- Of course, the ultimate question here was going to be whether the Bears could stop the Titans run game without allowing the play action pass to burn them. The Bears did do a good job of stopping the run (2.5 yards per rush at halftime, 3.2 for the game) and I think they did about well stopping the play action pass as you could expect. But the play action pass over the middle was there for the Titans more than occasionally. They did gain some chunks of yardage on it but there were some drops that limited the damage.
- The Bears did a good job of beating the Titans on first down. That’s eventually putting the Titans in third and long, something they are not built to handle well.
- Buster Skrine had really good coverage on A.J. Brown on the Titans first touchdown. Sometimes this stuff happens.
- The Bears got really good pressure on Ryan Tannehill. They had 3 sacks at halftime.
- Tashaun Gipson has some tackling issues that need to be addressed. Eddie Jackson missed some, too.
- I’d say the Bears defense did as well as you could expect. It was a good effort totally wasted.
- The Bears came out attacking the edges of the Titans defense, apparently believing that they didn’t have the speed, nor the cornerbacks to defend it. They had very little success on the ground (2.8 yards per rush). But much of what they had on the ground did come to the outside.
- Matt Nagy made a gutsy decision to go for it on fourth and one from the Titans 34 yard line. They didn’t get it behind the re-shuffled offensive line. Not that they would have gotten it behind the starters. Running such a play up the middle is a bit tone deaf. Whether he thinks they should be able to get the yard or not (they should) Nagy should know he doesn’t have the personnel to do it by now.
- For whatever reason, the Bears largely went with Cordarella Patterson at running back early in the game rather than David Montgomery. Perhaps Nagy thought he was more of a threat to the outside. They certainly had very little success with Montgomery running up the middle. In any case, personally I don’t have a problem with this as I don’t think Patterson’s instincts are as bad as some have made them out to be. But I like Montgomery better and I’d rather see him in there. Eventually he started getting a lot more snaps.
- Foles struggled with pressure in his face much of the time. It was an anemic Titans defensive line but they brought a lot of pressure to my eye and the Bears re-shuffled offensive line couldn’t handle them. The run blocking also was poor. All in all, the back ups didn’t step up this week as they do on good teams around the league when needed.
- Foles also showed the fear in the pocket that we saw last week. This is very, very disturbing.
- The Bears were miserable on third down. They were failed to convert on 13 of 15 until garbage time.
- For much of the first half it looked to me like Jimmy Graham was the only receiver who could get open and that wasn’t much. The Bears must have adjusted at halftime because more receivers got involved at that point. We finally had a Riley Ridley siting.
- Few if any targets for Cole Kmet this week. Kmet is an inline tight end and I think its hard to use a guy like that if you don’t have a running game. We didn’t see much from Demetrius Harris either.
- Dick Stockton, Greg Jennings and Laura Okmin were your announcers. I would say that Stockton was his usual self. I’m not as critical as many but he won’t be the favorite of many people. Jennings wasn’t great and added something to the broadcast that I could appreciate only a few times.
- Special teams
- Although Pat O’Donnell had a good game, the Bears punt coverage team occasionally got its tail kicked with a number of good returns for good chunks of yardage. I targeted this unit for criticism last week as well.
- The fake punt and run by Barkevious Mingo was clever (and successful).
- The Titans made an interesting decision to kick the ball short on the kickoff to open the second half. It was an indication that they were reasonably confident that they could stop the Bears offense with good field position and they didn’t want Patterson to blow open the game with a big return.
- The Bears kicked a field goal with 12 minutes left in the game and you have to wonder if at that point it was more about not getting shut out than it was about winning the game.
- The Titans had some open play action passes over the middle open but they didn’t make as much of it as they could have due, in part, to drops. Teams that live and die by such plays need to make those plays all the time.
- Fourth and one early in the third quarter. False start Arlington Hambright. False start Jimmy Graham. Punt. Typical. The Bears had 5 penalties for 35 yards which is an improvement for a team that entered the game leading the league.
- Just as the Bears looked like they might finally be able to kick a field goal in the third quarter, Montgomery fumbled. Desmond King brought it back for a touchdown. Anthony Miller’s fumble with 3:45 left in the game extinguished any slim hope the Bears had of coming back.
- This Bears offense is about as bad as I’ve ever seen right now. And I’ve seen some really bad Bears offenses. Some of the units from the early 2 thousands scarred me for life. One thing is certain. The Bears can’t keep rolling Nick Foles out there at quarterback if he won’t stand in the pocket, as he again failed to do, especially in the first half. No matter how bad the blocking is, you can’t have a guy in there who won’t take advantage on the occasions when they actually do keep the pocket clean. I get it. It’s an easy thing to say when you are sitting on your couch at home. But its not my job. It’s Foles’ and he has to step up and do it or the Bears have to find someone else to step in.