Bears

Bears Grades: Receivers make minimal impact in loss to Vikings

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Bears Grades: Receivers make minimal impact in loss to Vikings

Like the running backs, receivers were of minimal impact in a blowout loss, although several were able to at least make some contributions even if they were lost in the blizzard of negatives.

Alshon Jeffery did a superb job of working free for a back-shoulder throw in the end zone for the Bears’ second-quarter touchdown. “We did a great job, but [offensive coordinator] Adam Gase and [wide receivers coach] Mike Groh did a great job calling the play and Jay [Cutler] made a great throw.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

But Jeffery was generally shackled by cornerback Xavier Rhodes before the latter injured an ankle and had to leave. After Rhodes left, Jeffery was able to make his catch, his only one of the five balls thrown to him. Jeffery himself had to leave for a time in the third quarter with hamstring tightness, returned but his status for next Sunday in Tampa Bay remains to play out this week.

Zach Miller continued his strong play in the wake of Martellus Bennett’s difficulties, catching all six passes thrown to him by Cutler for 57 yards, although three accounting for 38 yards came on the Bears’ meaningless final possession in the fourth quarter.

Eddie Royal’s return to the field after his knee injury has seen some production but limited major impact. Royal caught 5 of his 6 passes but for just 31 yards, no catch for more than 10 yards.

Moon's Grade: C+

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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