Grades: Five turnovers, TD for defense


Grades: Five turnovers, TD for defense

The Tennessee Titans were taken out of any game plan or rhythm by the takeaway tsunami that swept over them, usually wearing a Chicago No. 33. The Bears forced six Tennessee fumbles and recovered four, with a Brian Urlacher interception for a touchdown.

Chris Johnson broke an 80-yard run for a score in the fourth quarter for the Titans final points with 10 minutes to play. That accounted for nearly one-fourth of the 333 net yards, however, and the Bears knocked the ball loose from Johnson twice, once setting up a first-quarter touchdown, so that account was all square in a game where the Titans needed more than break-even.


The turnovers and runaway first quarter took RB Chris Johnsons opportunities down and made Titans less-dimensional. Linemen were consistently getting penetration and getting into Johnson frequently before he could get underway and running north-south.

Israel Idonije and Stephen Paea, who each had a quarterback hits, shared a third-down sack of Matt Hasselbeck in the second quarter and Corey Wootton added one of his own. Nate Collins had another strong game with three tackles and a pass broken up. Pressure on Hasselbeck is always difficult because of the quick releaseWest Coast mindset.


Brian Urlacher recovered a Tennessee fumble on the first play, added TD return of an interception as part of the first-quarter blitz of the Titans, and punched the ball out of Chris Johnsons hands for another first-half Titans turnover leading to a touchdown. Urlacher also found time for a pass breakup as well as finishing second on the team with seven tackles.

Nick Roach stuffed Johnson on a third-and-one in the first quarter for some momentum when it looked like it would matter, and he finished with four tackles despite the Bears needing to use nickel packages freqently. Lance Briggs helped contain Johnson with four tackles.


Charles Tillman played his way into the discussion not just of NFL defensive player of the year, but also of league MVP. He helped hand the offense the ball in Tennessees end of the field twice in the first quarter with forced fumbles. He finished with a team-high nine tackles, all solo, and was responsible for four fumbles total.

Tim Jennings broke up a pass in the end zone and had three solo tackles to go with a second pass deflection. Kelvin Hayden keeps playing his way onto the field as the nickel back over D.J. Moore, who had two tackles. Haydens pass-defensed stopped a third-down conversion early and he recovered two of the six Tennessee fumbles.

Chris Conte broke up three passes and Major Wright provded two tackles in solid run support as the Bears continue to get outstanding safety play.

Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

The Bulls season has gotten off to a rocky start, losing their first three games of the campaign. Part of that can be attributed to injuries to star Lauri Markkanen, and things just got a whole lot worse.

Point guard Kris Dunn will miss the next four to six weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee.

Dunn played in his first game against the Mavericks on Monday night after missing the first two games for the birth of his son. Dunn scored nine points with seven assists and four rebounds.

Cam Payne has been filled in for Dunn in the first two games and will be tabbed to do so for the next month or so

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

Power Rankings Roundup: People are pretty apathetic about losing to the Patriots

While the notion of a "good loss" is more coachspeak than anything of real substance, it looks like NFL media agree. 

After a close loss to the Patriots -- about three feet close, to be exact -- Power Rankings makers aren't blaming the Bears too much. In fact, shoutout to our mothership, Big NBC Sports, for actually *raising* the Bears in their latest rankings. Thanks guys! 

Here's what they're saying: 

Ours: #17, down 4 -
You can do worse than barely losing to the Patriots, but what on earth has happened to Chicago's defense?

NBCSports: #10, up 1 - 
Bears went toe-to-toe with the Patriots and made it to the later rounds before taking one on the chin. No shame in that.

NFL.com: #11, N/A - 
The opportunities were there for the Bears, who took it to the Patriots in the first half Sunday. The second half was a different story, as Chicago was stuck in catch-up mode.

Washington Post: #16, down 1 - 
The Bears came up a yard shy of a tying TD on the Hail Mary against the Patriots. This was a far less egregious loss than falling to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins a week earlier. But it was still a loss.

ESPN: #13, down 1 - 
Need more from: RB Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging only 3.46 yards per rush, which ranks 41st out of 47 qualifying running backs. Bears running backs as a whole rank 30th with 1.45 yards after contact per rush, and Mitchell Trubisky has led the team in rushing in two of the past three games.

Sports Illustrated: #18, N/A - 
The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.

Sporting News: #16, down 1 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have become a fun, unpredictable and mostly explosive roller-coaster ride, but the defense is showing it has plenty of leaks behind Khalil Mack.

FanSided: #17, down 2 - 
Mitchell Trubisky and those special teams were a disaster on Sunday.

Bleacher Report: #15, N/A - 
The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms. However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs.