So, the Bears just out-gained the Titans by 145 yards, ran 20 more plays, and lost 24-17. They held the ball for close to 10 more minutes, averaged a yard more per play, and gained ELEVEN more first downs than the Titans – and lost, 24-17. You already know what direction the arrows are pointing, but here’s why:
Arrow Down – Matt Nagy Nagy definitely had his work cut out for him on Sunday, but his bad habits continued to show up against the Titans. Spending an entire half trying to haphazardly (and unsuccessfully) establish some sort of inside run behind Arlington Hambright, Alex Bars, and Germain Ifedi was certainly … a choice. And *once again,* the offense looked woefully unprepared on the final drive of the first half – one that started in Tennessee territory – by committing back-to-back penalties before throwing twice into the middle of the field (with no timeouts) and eventually letting the clock run out with a Nick Foles incompletion on 3rd and 12. The third quarter running back screen on 3rd and 13 that led to a Titans scoop- and-score was an indefensible play call. The amount of third down throws that landed (if they even did that) behind the sticks was an indictment of his play calling and his coaching. Choosing to kick a field goal from the 4 yard line, with 12 minutes left in the game, down 17, was just icing on the cake.
Arrow Down – The Offensive Line Was there anything more predictable than this? What would you like to focus on? The back-to-back penalties from Charles Leno and Rashaad Coward on the final drive of the first half that took the Bears from 1st-and-10 to 1st-and-25? Or the back-to-back penalties on the first drive of the second half that took the Bears from 4th-and-1 to 4th-and-11? The Titans, who don’t have a good pass-rush, sacked Foles three times and Jadeveon Clowney didn’t even play! Starting practice squad guys on three days of practice was always going to go as expected, but it was so, so bad.
Arrow Down – David Montgomery He was doomed from the start, but Montgomery’s rough season got even worse on Sunday. It’s not really his fault that he finished with 14 rushes for 30 yards, but the same can’t quite be said about his third quarter fumble that Tennessee returned for a touchdown to go up 17. Someone, some day, is going to figure out how to best utilize Montgomery in their offense – it’s just not going to be Matt Nagy.
Arrow Up – The Bears ILBs No one had more tackles on Sunday than Roquan Smith, who finished the game with nine (11 combined) and had a sack to boot. He's continued to impress throughout his third season. And speaking of playing well, Danny Trevathan’s quietly been much better since his poor start to the year. Not only did he finish with six tackles and a QB hit, but his breakup of a deep ball intended for Corey Davis kept the Bears in the game for, like, 5-6 more minutes.
Arrow Up – Pat O’Donnell You think I’m joking, but O’Donnell had a hell of a game on Sunday. He averaged 50 yards per punt, hit one 64 yards and pinned the Titans inside their 20 twice. He was great, and it didn’t matter one bit. Football!
Arrow Up Hon. Mention – Barkevious Mingo; Allen Robinson; 12pm kickoffs that allow you to enjoy the rest of your warm Sunday Arrow Down Hon. Mention – Eddie Jackson; Dwayne Harris; Kyle Fuller’s hands