Bears

Bears Grades: Gould's heroics don't mask poor special teams play

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Bears Grades: Gould's heroics don't mask poor special teams play

Robbie Gould booted the Bears to a desperately needed first win under John Fox, one of the few special-teams highlights, albeit a huge one, from 49 yards in one of the NFL’s most difficult kicking venues. It was the 12th game-winner of Gould’s career and ties his previous longest for a winning kick.

Gould had converted from 54 yards earlier in the fourth quarter, pushing his success rate from 50 yards or longer to 76 percent (19 for 25, a franchise record). His three successful boots Sunday moved him to 9-for-9 on the season. Gould also is four points from tying Kevin Butler’s franchise scoring mark (1,116 points).

“I love that [south] end zone, because that’s the wind I’m used to,” Gould said. “I think I’ve hit all my game-winners at that end. The last one I remember at that distance was the Seahawks. You kind of bring yourself back to certain kicks.

“I knew if I hit it to the right upright and everyone else did their job – which they did all game – I knew we were going to have a chance to win it. Just trust your lines. It’s the same old end zone down there for me. It’s just something I’m comfortable with.”

[MORE: Wild finish propels Bears to first win of the year]

Despite Gould’s game-saving efforts, special teams continued to be a glaring weakness in the Bears’ game, going from the breakdowns in the loss to Seattle to different forms of poor execution and focus vs. Oakland.

‘Teams started against Oakland nearly as bad as they were against the Seattle Seahawks. Gould’s first PAT, attempted with new holder and punter Spencer Lanning, was blocked. On the ensuing kickoff, Gould’s pooch kickoff went out of bounds without a Bear getting to it, forcing the defense to face the Raiders from the Oakland 40. The defense forced a three-and-out but Oakland was able from that range to drop a punt at the Chicago 6.

Grade: C

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

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USA TODAY

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.