The down-linemen didn’t grace the stat sheet in dramatic fashion but were the obvious starting point for controlling Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and disrupting the basic game plans of coach Lovie Smith.
Eddie Goldman was in on a sack of former Florida State teammate Jameis Winston when he delivered a thunderous rush over rookie right guard Ali Marpet, the sack going to Pernell McPhee when Goldman blew up the play with his rush and forced Winston to pull the ball down as McPhee arrived.
Goldman had to be helped off the field and was carted to the locker room after a third-quarter play, reported as an ankle injury. The rookie nose tackle left the locker room with his right ankle in a walking cast.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]
The defense spent heavy snaps in nickel personnel, meaning that Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, listed as linebackers, worked primarily as de facto defensive ends. Two of Young’s three tackles were for losses and Houston added one TFL. Both were in on Winston following a poor shotgun snap in the middle of the fourth quarter, forcing a long field-goal try that missed and left the Bears with a two-score lead and momentum.
Will Sutton was able to knock down a Winston pass in the first quarter.
Moon's Grade: B
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.
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.