A combination of predictable play calling and very questionable referee work decides the Chicago Bears fate in their week eight matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
The Chicago Bears defensive streak of not allowing a touchdown in nine straight quarters came to an end on Sunday against the Saints. The first touchdown came on the first drive of the first quarter after a penalty on the defense during a made field goal for the Saints. After a 50 plus yard play to take New Orleans past midfield, the Bears defense came up big and forced the Saints to kick a field goal, but a clear offsides penalty by Kyle Fuller during the kick allowed a new set of downs and a touchdown on the very next play. What was supposed to be a Saints lead, 3-0, turned into 7-0 in a matter of seconds. The Bears had a chance to answer back but fails to do so. Although their first couple of possessions on offense resulted in a nice chunk of yards, the Bears were only able to come up with three points after a 27-yard made field goal by Connor Barth. Later in the half, the Saints score again with a one-yard run by Mark Ingram. The Bears had a chance to answer back with another field goal, Barth shanks it wide left and fails to hit the 48-yard field goal. The Bears head into halftime trailing 14-3.
The second half starts off where the first half left off with minimum productivity for the Bears. They start the third quarter with a three and out giving the Saints the ball at the 26-yard line after a 57-yard punt by Pat O’Donnell. The Bears Defense played solid during the first half but comes up even bigger in the second half. The defense goes from allowing two touchdowns in the first half to just two field goals in the second half. The Bears offense showed some light and a will to score after a beautiful 25-yard fade pass to tight end Zach Miller. The touchdown gets negated by the referees upon review (very questionable call) stating that Miller did not maintain control of the ball. I’d advise everyone to look at this play and you be the judge of this call! To make matters worse, Zach Miller suffered an injury on the play that didn’t look pretty at all. Talk about insult to injury! That play leads to a 44-yard field goal by Barth to cut into the lead, 14-6.
The Saints kick two more field goals to extend the lead and Tarik Cohen breaks the plane with a one-yard touchdown leap to bring the Bears to a one-score game. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the offense had a chance to tie the game on the last drive, but a miscommunication with him and wide receiver Tre McBride result in an interception by cornerback Marshon Lattimore which ices the game. The Bears fail to come back in New Orleans and falls 20-12.
The Bears Defense gets this award this week for the boys in blue. As the game progressed the defense seemed to get better. They also seemed to take every drive against them personally. In the first half they allowed two touchdowns, but in the second half, they only allowed 6 points (two field goals). Oh, did I fail to mention they also got two turnovers in the second half forcing two fumbles and recoveries! Although they allowed a couple of big plays down the field during the game, the defense bounced back multiple times forcing the Saints to punt the ball or kick it for three.
This defense has been a force all year thus far! Bear Down Monsters of the Midway!
Throughout the course of the game, it seemed that the Bears players were competing against more than just the New Orleans Saints. Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains play calling seemed to be very predictable in many people’s eyes. Not only did the defense and coordinators know when a run play or pass play was coming, but so did the fans, viewers and anyone else who was involved with Sunday’s game. It was one play that I can recall that the Bears fooled everyone and that was a pass on first down that resulted in a huge gain, but the very next play resulted in a two-yard loss after a predictable run call. Now, this doesn’t all fall on the OC because the referees played a huge role in this game as well. They missed countless calls (i.e. holding both offensively and defensively) and negating touchdowns that were clearly caught and secured even when an injury was present. There was even a part in the game where running back Tarik Cohen leaped across the plane of the end zone and it took a deliberation to decide if he was in or out. C’mon NFL get it together!
PLAY OF THE GAME
Now we can’t forget about the workhorse of the Bears organization, Jordan Howard! After an excellent punt by Saints punter Wil Lutz to pin the Bears at the five-yard line, a predictable run call to Howard goes for 50-yards in between the tackles putting the Bears in position to score. This play was explosive and couldn’t have come at a better time! Howard finished the game with 23 carries for 102 yards.
BYE WEEK, WEEK 9 (CHANCE TO REGROUP)
WEEK 10, Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Sun, Nov 12 12pm