- Some surprises on the Bears first possession. First play of the game is a long bomb that draws a pass interference call. So much for easing Matt Barkley into the game the way that most teams would do.
- Second surprise, the Bears go for it on fourth and one on the Titan 30 yard line. They didn’t get it. Perhaps this as much as anything suggests that it this isn’t so much about wins and losses and it is about evaluation. The Bear have nothing to lose and that, obviously, is going to be the mentality for the rest of the year. There were plenty of guys out there who looked like they were having fun in their moment to shine in place of injured players. Marquess Wilson looked pretty happy to just be catching passes and someone named Daniel Brown made a nice catch for the Bears first touchdown.
- Having said all that the Bears really came out running. Seven of their first 12 plays were runs and they were averaging almost 6 yards per carry.
- Titans really look like they came out flat for this game. There aren’t that many games that they go into as the favorites and you wonder if they didn’t take the Bears seriously. Whatever it was, it didn’t last long as they quickly began to dominate.
- Cody Whitehair had another brain fart as he had a bad snap deep in Bears territory that killed a drive.
- Kudos to Matt Barkley for standing in the pocket and looking down the barrel of the gun to deliver some tough throws knowing he was going to get hit.
- Give the Bears some credit. The whole stadium knew they were going to throw in the fourth quarter during their comeback and they did a decent job of protecting Barkley, who got the ball out fast.
- The Titans also came out running as expected and they did a nice job of it. It nicely set up the play action pass for big games, particularly in the first quarter where at least one long pass was completed to Delany Walker as Adrian Amos was caught flat footed looking for the run. He’s got to understand that he’s being set up and he should be looking for that throw.
- Bryce Callahan wasn’t much better as he was repeatedly burned. His job has to be in jeopardy.
- The play action pass also really helped what is an average Titan receiving corp excel.
- The Titans really dominated the line of scrimmage. They protected Marcus Mariota well and the pass rush rarely gave Marcus Mariota much trouble. More importantly, they completely neutralized the Bears front seven rush in the running game. Nearly every run got to the second and third level.
- Marcus Mariota did some big damage with his mobility. He typically dropped back, looked for a target and if he didn’t see someone relatively quickly, he took off. It was something you expect to see a rookie do but it was still plenty effective.
- Mariota has to lose the cheesy mustache and the soul patch. It looks ridiculous.
- Nice catch by Rishard Matthews right before the half for the Titans third touchdown.
- Nick Kwiatkowski didn’t do much special but he held his own. He was the primary force that stopped Demarco Murray from scoring a touchdown last in the third quarter.
- Mariota had a wonderful game. The guy throws a pretty deep ball.
- Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots were your announcers. I found it to be amusing that the Bears didn’t even rate a sideline reporters. They weren’t irritating and they did a decent job of accurately describing the action. Having aid that, I can’t say that I learned much. When the audio went out briefly in the second quarter I can’t say that I missed it that much.
- Special teams weren’t bad. The Bears pulled a surprise of the type that the Titans have been pulling off recently. They started the second half with an onside kick and recovered it. Bears special teams coordinator Jeff Rogers trained under Titans special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman. Perhaps he’s trying to show that he can coach like the older veteran.
- The Titans were really burned by some pass interference calls in the first half. As it turns out, no harm done as the Bears went for it on fourth and one and didn’t complete the pass on the first one and Matt Barkley threw an interception deep in Titan territory after the second. The Titans weren’t the only one to have trouble in this respect. An offensive pass interference by Logan Paulsen eliminated a first down. A defensive holding from Bryce Callahan kept the Titans alive on the drive that resulted in the their second touchdown, as well.
- I was disappointed at the number of drops in this game. For instance, Jordan Howard dropped a touchdown in the first quarter. Cameron Meredith had one that stuck out at the beginning of the second quarter that should have been a first down and another in the fourth quarter as the offense worked to make a game of it. Josh Bellamy dropped a first down near the end of the half and two more in the fourth quarter. Marquess Wilson dropped a very good long pass in the fourth quarter that would have set the Bears up for a potential touchdown and would have really lifted some spirits at that point. He then dropped another perfectly thrown ball in the end zone. And, of course, Bellamy dropped a potential game winning touchdown. These guys really let Matt Barkley down.
- Matt Barkley threw a bad interception behind Ben Braunecker where Wesley Woodyard picked it off deep in Titan territory that took at least three points off the board. He threw another crushing interception in the end zone while under pressure. That wasted a good effort coming out after halftime after the team recovered an onside kick.
- This was a particularly disappointing game for me because the Bears were not only outclassed talent-wise but because they literally seemed to make every mistake that you can make. Average Titans receivers ran by defensive backs like they were traffic cones. Too many penalties, drops, crushing turnovers, bad tackling and even a bad shotgun snap. You name it, they did it. I guess the good news is that there’s a lot to work on. Any consistent improvement will be very easy to see at this point.