Quick Game Comments: Bears at Falcons 11/20/22


  • The Bears looked to me like they were totally dominated up front. The Falcons had a nice mix of run and pass and the defensive line was getting no pass rush (again) and they got none of the penetration that they got a little bit of last week. The Falcons win the ball 29 times for 126 yards. The Bears had three tackles for loss the entire game.
  • The lack of a pass rush led the Bears to blitz far more than they would like. Mariota is a savvy veteran nowadays and he took advantage of the blitz on occasion. One play at the end of the first half particularly comes to mind where the Falcons got an important first down to eventually set up a field goal. They passed for 131 yards on 2O attempts.
  • I noticed that teams are not avoiding the side that Jaylon Johnson is coverage anymore. Apparently they’ve decided that it just doesn’t matter which side they go to. They are going to be able to take advantage of the Bears defensive backs either way. XXXX pass stats
  • There was some poor tackling out there. Looks like the Bears continue to have work to do on that aspect of the game.
  • Setting running quarterbacks loose seems to be the new style in the NFL. Personally, I think Justin Fields is setting the trend. But Marcus seems to be following it as he did a lot more running than I expected. Mariota ran 10 times for 28 yards and a touchdown.
  • Jack Sanborn (9 tackles) had another good game.
  • Former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson (10 runs for 52 yards) had a very good game today against his old team. His record setting kick return for a touchdown was the difference in the game.


  • Nice, alert play by Sam Mustipher the first quarter on a Justin Fields pass that went high into the air. Mustipher got to the ball and pushed Grady Jarrett down before he could intercept it.
  • Michael Schofield started despite the fact that Tevin Jenkins was active. It will be interesting to see what head coach Matt Eberflus has to say about that after the game.
  • The Bears evidently decided that there was no one on the Atlanta Falcons that could cover Darnell Mooney. Whenever Mooney got into an obvious one on one Fields was going to him and he was going to him fairly deep. Mooney shook loose on the Bears first touchdown and was wide-open on a long route down the right side line that Justin Fields just overthrew him on. The Falcons learned their lesson early and did a better job on him after the first quarter.
  • Give Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Peas credit for coming up with a nice plan to handle Fields (18 carries for 85 yards). The Falcons were spying Fields with linebacker Lorenzo Carter (5 tackles and 1 sack). When he decided that Fields wasn’t going anywhere on a designed run he crashed into the backfield on a delayed blitz. It was very disruptive. Eventually the Bears started to pick him up but he appears to be a pretty good pass rusher and he still caused a lot of problems.
  • It certainly did appear to me like the Bears did a poor job of picking up the Falcons blitz. The Bears are starting some veteran lineman over developing younger players presumably in an effort to better protect Fields. If that is the case, it’s not working. The Falcons sacked Fields 4 times. They ranked 1st in sacks coming into the game.
  • Spectacular catch by Cole Kmet running down the seam on a one-handed grab in the second quarter. That’s about as good a catch as I’ve seen all year. Kmet is really blossoming now in his third year. Kmet had 3 catches for 35 yards.
  • Trestan Ebner (6 rushes for 8 yards) simply doesn’t seem to have the explosion that the other running backs on the Bears roster do. He also seems to lack the vision of David Montgomery (17 carries for 67 yards). Montgomery did a particularly good job at getting good yardage after contact today. And I love seeing him go out on pass routes. He led the team with 3 catches for 54 yards).
  • Color man Daryl Johnston thought that Fields was holding his hamstring in the fourth quarter. It’s entirely possible. They were working on Fields legs on the sideline in the third quarter and certainly he looked hesitant to take off and run. This will be something to keep an eye on. Much though I loved what Montgomery did today, without Fields’ legs the Bears have very little offense.


  • Kicker Cairo Santos was coming off of a miserable game where he missed an extra point that arguably cost the Bears the game against the Lions last week. He recovered nicely by hitting a 41 yard field goal in the second quarter. He barely missed a 55 yard field goal near the end of the first half which, of course, you can’t really blame him for.
  • Eberflus will be criticized for going for that 55 yard field goal near the end of the half. The miss left the Falcons in good field position and they took advantage to kick a field goal to tie the ball game. But I kind of like the call. I think being aggressive there with this team leaves you with very little to lose. Let’s be honest. If you can’t be aggressive when the season is basically done and there’s not much on the line with a young team, you can’t be aggressive at all. I was OK with it.
  • Velus Jones was back as a kick returner and started the game with a nice 43 yard return.
  • Special teams also had another big play in the first quarter when they knocked the ball loose on a punt return at the very end of the period. They then ruined it by allowing Cordarrelle Patterson to score a touchdown on a kick return right before halftime.
  • The bears won the turnover battle by recovering two fumbles. Field threw an interception late in the game trying to make a play to get into a position to tie i
  • But the big difference, and the one that most disappointing, came in the area of penalties. The Falcons were penalized only two times for 13 yards. The Bears, on the other hand, were penalized 7 times for 56 yards and those penalties came at very damaging times, constantly setting the Bears back or helping the Falcons keep drives alive..
  • This was a frustrating game to watch. Ordinarily at this point I would say something to the effect of that the Bears got beat by a better team. Because most of the time that’s true this year. But in this case I’m not so sure, even with the poor Bears defensive line.

    This was a game where the Bears really beat themselves and that was something that I simply did not expect them to be doing this year with the new coaching staff.

    I really thought that the Bears would be in games that they had no business being in simply because they were better disciplined. But that was certainly not true today. The Bears had many bone headed penalties and showed a real lack of discipline that burned them in big spots throughout the game. Third and long was common due in part to penalties and in part due to Fields going down on sacks that weren’t picked up. These were given up to a team that was 31st in the league at sacking the quarterback coming into the game. The defense wan’t better, extending drives with penalties and poor discipline.

    The losses don’t concern me. The way that the Bears are losing does.

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