Bears

Bears Grades: D-line can't do anything to slow Stafford

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Bears Grades: D-line can't do anything to slow Stafford

The travails of the secondary trying to cope with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and the Detroit air show got next to zero help from a depleted defensive front that failed to generate any consistent pass rush and was too often gashed by Detroit runs when contain and gap integrity broke down.

With Ego Ferguson gone on IR with a knee injury, Eddie Goldman settled in at nose tackle and Jeremiah Ratliff at one end. The Bears, however, used a blizzard of personnel packages and looks from the front seven on Detroit’s first possession, none of which proved effective in a methodical 80-yard Lions touchdown drive.

That corrected on Detroit’s second possession, ending in a third-down sack shared by Jarvis Jenkins and Goldman on which the front four’s lane integrity left Matthew Stafford zero places to go on a third-and-one.

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Goldman was credited with five tackles. Jenkins had two additional quarterback hits, and Ratliff was credited with three solo tackles. Stafford was able to scramble six times for a total of 37 yards, a long of 11 yards.

The Lions had seven drives of 60 yards or longer. Of the 12 Detroit possessions, only three were stopped without at least one first down (a fourth ended with an interception by linebacker Jonathan Anderson.)

Moon's Grade: F+

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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