It’s tempting to write that Chicago’s about to panic over the .500 Bears for the next two weeks, but that’s not really the case, right? It sort of feels like Chicago knows exactly what type of team the 2020 Bears are – one that’s now more accurately reflected in the standings. All the Bears’ offense needed to do to win Monday night’s game was get into the end zone once, and they couldn’t do it. Here’s where the arrows are pointing after a 19-13 loss:
Arrow Up – Cordarrelle Patterson Cordarrelle Patterson revenge game! Kind of! His 104 yard kickoff return to open the second half showed off exactly what makes him so great – Patterson made a few cuts, found a gap, and left everyone in the dust (at 19 mph, it should be mentioned). Honestly, it would have been more impressive if the Vikings’ kicker *had* tackled him. Patterson wasn’t particularly efficient on the ground, rushing for 28 yards on 11 carries, but he actually made a nice sideline catch on the Bears’ first scoring drive of the night. And besides, he’s not here to be a bell cow or a top 3 receiver. Patterson’s good for one or two of those ridiculous returns every season, and it came at the perfect time on Monday night.
Arrow Down – Nick Foles I guess it didn’t really matter who was calling plays. Injury aside, Foles had yet another tough game, finishing 15 for 26 with 106 yards and an interception. The interception he threw on the first drive of the game probably should have been caught by Anthony Miller, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was high and behind him. Foles put too much air on a ball to Allen Robinson in the 3rd quarter that should have been an easy first down, too. It looks like it's going to be Trubisky time when the Bears head to Green Bay on the 29th.
Arrow Up – Roquan Smith I’d argue that no one on the Bears’ defense is playing better, week-over-week, than Roquan Smith. He leads the league in tackles for a loss (15) and his Monday night stat line – one sack, 14 tackles, 3 TFLs – was absurd. Every time you looked up, he was making a tackle. Smith was all over Dalvin Cook (95 yards on 29 rushes), and his third quarter sack forced the Vikings to punt from inside their own 20. The Bears have now found ways to stop Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook in back-to-back weeks, and Smith is a major reason why.
Arrow Down – Dwayne Harris He left the game in the 3rd quarter with a triceps injury, which could explain the muffed punt. That being said, when your one role is catching punts and you fumble said punts, it’s not a great night. If he’s healthy, it’ll be interesting to see if the Bears give him his job back when they return from the bye.
Arrow Up – Khalil Mack He didn’t have the most impactful night as a pass-rusher, but his interception in the 2nd quarter was both hilarious (Adam Thielen, what are you doing man?) and huge for Chicago, who were almost backed into their own red zone at that point. He’ll say it wasn’t good enough, but of all the highly paid pass rushers on the Bears’ roster, Mack’s the least of their concerns.
Arrow Up Hon. Mention – Akiem Hicks; Cairo Santos; Now Having 2 Weeks To Get Healthy Arrow Down Hon. Mention – Buster Skrine; the offensive line, still; the orange jerseys, always