"What Went Wrong" aims to take a look at each of the Bears’ eight losses and figure out, well, just that. Consider it one last chance to hate-read about the 2019 season.
Oh, the Saints game. Not only was this the first time Matt Nagy lost a game by more than one score, but it happened on a day where New Orleans was without Alvin Kamara and Drew Brees. Just let that sink in for a moment. Latavius Murray scored two touchdowns against the Bears, Ted Ginn Jr. made an appearance, and Taysom Hill did the type of Taysom Hill things that are going to land him a big ol’ contract this spring. It was one of those final scores that looked far more respectable than how the game actually played out, something Matt Nagy angrily admitted in the moments after.
And after all of this, the icing on the cake: the Bears ran the ball seven times all day. *This* was the I’m-Not-An-Idiot game! How fun. So what went wrong?
On The Surface
It’s pretty simple: the Saints were a way better football team. Some stat lines for you:
- Teddy Bridgewater, in what was definitely not, but maybe? an audition: 23/38, 281 yds, 2 TDs
- Michael Thomas, who is apparently unstoppable in every way: 9 catches for 131 yards
- Latavius Murray, who is not even the Saints’ starter: 27 rushes, 119 yards, and 2 TDs
You’re not going to win many games with the Bears offense when you have to match those type of numbers. So did they? Let’s see:
- Mitch Trubisky: 34/54, 251 yards, 2 TDs
- Allen Robinson: 10 catches, 87 yards, TD
- 7 rushes
Even after some impressive garbage time stat-padding, they still came up short. There would be more heartbreaking losses later on in the Bears season, but I’d argue this one was maybe the most embarrassing.
Under The Surface
Surprise! Per Pro Football Focus’ grading system, this was by far the worst rushing performance of the season. It probably didn’t help that both David Montgomery and Anthony Miller both fumbled on drives where the Bears actually had some momentum in their favor. It was a particularly bad day for Montgomery, who had two rushes for six yards – four of which came after contact. So he had two clean yards, all game. Two.
On the defensive side, it was a tough afternoon for Eddie Goldman, who missed two key tackles. Kyle Fuller was PFF’s lowest-graded starter (46.4) after giving up 17.5 yards per reception and getting smoked on a 34-yard reception from Bridgewater to Thomas. It was one of Fuller’s worst games in coverage all season, which tends to happen when you line up against the Offensive Player of the Year. It was also the second straight game without any semblance of a pass rush – see a trend here? – as only Abdullah Anderson had a sack.
This was the first game where people started to realize that Things Were Not As They Seemed. Little did Bears fans know that they were just starting a season-defining 4-game losing streak, and things were only going to get worse. Since this whole series is a gigantic bummer, I’ll leave you with the one good moment from that game:
Cordarrelle Patterson goes 102 yards to the HOUSE.— NFL (@NFL) October 20, 2019
His 7th career kickoff return touchdown. #NOvsCHI @ceeflashpee84
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