Quick Game Comments: Bears at Lions 1/1/2022


  • I’m not entirely sure what the issue was but Justin Fields had a rough day accuracy-wise on deep balls. Some passes, especially in the first half, were overthrown by a long way. The Bears had just 7 yards passing in the first half and finished with only 30.
  • Interesting that the Lions went with such a heavy does of man-to-man coverage. The Bills had a lot of success stopping Fields from running in part by playing zone defense (where the cover men face the quarterback). But, as color man Jonathan Vilma pointed out, man-to-man is what the Lions do. I guess they thought that it was better to stick with it.
  • Very, very bad day for Braxton Jones who literally got pushed into Field a couple times in just one series in the second quarter. If the team decides that Jones isn’t working out, the need for a left tackle becomes a priority. That’s a tough position to fill and will require the use of resources that the Bears would rather be used to solve other problems.
  • We got to see some Dieter Eiselen at right guard after both Tevin Jenkins and Michael Schofield went out with injuries. He was up and down and occasionally looked like he didn’t belong.
  • On a related note, Fields was sacked 5 times in the first half. The Lions finished the game with 7. In fairness to the offensive line, some of these were Fields holding the ball and not cutting loose. I don’t need to see the all-22 to tell you that Fields was missing open men underneath again as he searched for the big play. This game was a step back for him.
  • The Bears did a good job of running the ball today (200 yards rushing and 9.1 yards per rush), as they did the first time these teams met. This needs to carry over to next year against better teams.
  • The Lions did a good job of preparing Aidan Hutchinson for this game. The Bears left him unblocked much of the time hoping that he would bite on inside run fakes. Instead Hutchinson stayed at home, penetrated straight up field and was waiting for Fields on the edge. The naked boot wasn’t working and the Bears needed to find a different solution. They couldn’t do it.
  • The Bears, who haven’t been bad in this area over the course of the season, were terrible on third down making just 3 of 13 attempts. They were 0 for 1 on fourth down.
  • Yards per pass attempt were just 1.1. That’s very bad.


  • The Lions literally ran over the Bears (265 yards on 39 attempts and 6.8 per rush) in one of the most embarrassing defensive performances that I can remember. D’Andre Swift (78 yards on 11 carries) and Jamaal Williams (144 yards on 22 carries) took turns going off on long runs for the Lions. We’ll have to wait for the post game forensics but I got the distinct impression that this was a disciplinary issue with players simply not covering their gaps. Correcting this will be a focus for the coming week. To the extent that it can be corrected.
  • The Bears rather obviously thought they could get to Jared Goff by blitzing him. Not that they had must choice. The Bears are last in sacks. In any case, Goff looked like he was prepared and he handled it well.
  • On a very related note, I doubt that I have to mention how awful the Bears defensive line was. But, for the record, it was awful. No penetration against the run and very little pass rush in the absence of the blitz most of the time. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Bears have the worst defensive line in the NFL. This is without doubt the number one need for the offseason.
  • The Lions were attacking the Bears safeties mercilessly, especially DeAndre Houston-Carson. He was involved in both of their initial touchdowns. He was in coverage on the pass for the first and the run for the second was right where he was lined up. This was a tough game for both him and Jaquan Brisker, who was also burned a number of times.
  • Kyler Gordon was under attack as well. He has looked more comfortable out there since the Bears moved him outside permanently and out of the nickel corner position. But his day was marred by a key pass interference call in the end zone that set up the first Lions touchdown.
  • If you are looking for a glimmer of hope, the Bears held the Lions to just 4 for 12 on third down, which isn’t too bad. They were 0 for 1 on fourth down.


  • Kenny Albert (play by play), Vilma (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline) were your announcers. I was impressed by Vilma. He had obviously done his homework on these teams and showed more in depth knowledge than usual about the current state of the Bears. He also seems to have a very good idea of what’s happening on the field, diagnosing plays and describing what happened rapidly and accurately.
  • Nice game for Velus Jones who had some good returns including a long one near the end of the first half. He’s done better the last couple games, giving Bears fans just a bit of hope for the future of the 2022 third rounder.
  • The Bears didn’t have an outrageous number of penalties but there was one really bad one, a 34 yard pass interference call in the end zone against Gordon that basically handed the Lions their first touchdown. This is why referees don’t like making such calls. The penalty is crippling and, depending on the nature of the offense, is worse than the offense deserves.
  • The Bears lost the turnover battle with a fumble and interception. They got none from the Lions.
  • Not too thrilled that the Lions went for it on fourth down and two with 8 minutes left up 38-10. On the other hand, the Bears refused to let common sense prevail and called time out with 2:45 left and down by 28. So I guess I can hardly blame the Lions for extending the pain if the Bears were so determined to do so as well.
  • Getting very sick and tired of seeing Gronk on my screen trying to sell me insurance. It wasn’t too funny the first time I saw one and its become very annoying now.
  • The Lions deserve to win this game. They played better and they wanted it more. That’s not a terribly big surprise given the state of both franchises and the seasons that they are having. The loss doesn’t worry me. The way that they lost does.The Bears lost the turnover battle again and are generally not showing signs that they are the better disciplined team that they need to be week after week to win.

    What is also mildly concerning is that there were some key players to the Bears future that had bad games today. Braxton Jones had a miserable time with the bull rush. Jaquan Brisker was frequently attacked in the passing game. Kyler Gordon was also successfully attacked and he had a key pass interference call in the end zone that set up the Lions first touchdown. Chase Claypool was active but didn’t make the stat sheet. The Bears traded what looks like it will be the 33rd pick in the 2023 draft for him. Even Justin Fields regressed today in terms of his passing and his field vision.

    These are young players that the Bears need to be able to build upon for their future. Some are rookies but its late in the year now and they should all be playing better than they are.

    On a different note of the same song, the failure of the Bears coaching staff to find a solution once it became apparent that the naked boot wasn’t working was also problematic and a bad sign for the future. The fact that the defense as a whole is continuing to have so many problems stopping the run, to the extent that this involves poor discipline and gap control by the defense, can also be partly laid at the feet of the coaching staff. In short, the Bears coaching staff was completely out classed today by the Lions staff.

    These are bad signs that we all have to hope are not indicators of the kind of future the Bears are in for.

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