The Chicago Bears replaced kicker Connor Barth with Cairo Santos and all is well in the world.
Well, not quite. But it’s a start.
- Barth’s miss on a 46-yard game-tying field goal was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, but it wasn’t the only reason that contributed to another Bears loss. Head Coach John Fox cited “lulls” and “siestas” as contributing factors to another patented close defeat that have become commonplace since the start of 2015. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune has the write-up, in which Fox explains that no team – especially his own – is good enough not to play a full 60 minutes.
- “Lulls” and “siestas” at this point of the season should be viewed as unacceptable. For those to be non-existent moving forward, change has to start on the practice field and come from the top with the coaching staff. Because if it continues, it could turn out to be quite the indictment of a coaching staff that could be fighting for its future.
- One week after self-inflicted wounds on the field in the form of penalties and other gaffes helped keep the Bears from beating the Green Bay Packers, more turned up in the loss against the Detroit Lions. Fox can talk about “lulls” and “siestas” as much as he wants, but as WGN’s Adam Hoge points out, the Bears put themselves in a position to win the game with a touchdown on their final drive … only to ignore what got them there in the first place. Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains put together a script of early plays that were successful and played to the (few) strengths the offense had going into Sunday’s game. So to go away from it in the biggest moments of the game seemed counter-intuitive and ultimately unsuccessful.
- Adam Shaheen had a break-out performance and the Bears re-discovered Tarik Cohen and made sure to get him more than two touches. But neither played on the team’s final offensive drive because the rookies aren’t up-to-speed when it comes to the nuances of the team’s two-minute offense, according to the team’s head coach.
- While ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson points out that Cohen’s return to the fold on the offensive side of the ball wasn’t enough to bring home a victory, it sure was nice to see him with a major role in the offense. He was on the field of 49.2 percent of the offense’s plays and received touches as a rusher and pass catcher. Bears coaches insisted they hadn’t forgotten about Cohen when asked about his declining playing time, so it makes sense that they would ensure he would get a steady volume of plays. Hopefully, this is more of the norm for Cohen and not an outlier.
- Shaheen and Cohen weren’t the only rookies to show progress. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky joined the party, though his numbers weren’t as good as they were against the Packers. Despite not matching his first half numbers (8 of 12 passing, 115.6 passer rating) after halftime, Fox says he has seen improvement every week and sees the arrow as still pointing up for his rookie quarterback. “When you really think about it, it’s pretty impressive because he’s had under 10 games as a starter in the National Football League and just over 20 games as a starter since high school,” Fox said, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website. “He’s done a great job and will continue to get better.”
- While Trubisky improves, Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune notes the rookie made a costly mistake in Sunday’s loss. Trubisky had a costly turnover on a fumbled quarterback-center exchange that led directly to a Lions defensive touchdown. It was the first touchdown of the day for Detroit and it seemed to swing the momentum in favor of a team that was reeling and off to a slow start against a sub-.500 team for the second straight week. The Lions were there to be had, but the turnover gave Detroit new life and the team slowly built momentum from there.
- Let’s not get it twisted, though. Turnover aside, Trubisky’s ball security has been more good than bad … and that has helped keep the Bears in games they had no business being in. Trubisky has thrown 65 passes since the bye week and hasn’t thrown an interception. His bye week adjustments have helped drop his interception rate to a tidy 1.4 percent.
- Meanwhile, here is the line of the quarterback who beat Trubisky last week: 21/36, 239 yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. Brett Hundley struggled against the Baltimore Ravens defense in a 23-0 loss. It’s utterly amazing the Bears lost a home game to that Packers outfit.
- Though, it’s hard not to be impressed with Davante Adams, who 8 of 10 targets for 126 yards against the Ravens defense. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the year and should probably be targeted by a Bears team that doesn’t have an outside threat at receiver.
- Of course, it could be worse:
Tyrod Taylor: 3 interceptions on 254 passes this year.
Nate Peterman: 5 interceptions on 14 passes today.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) November 19, 2017