- The Bears were occasionally packing the box whenever they thought Alvin Kamara was going to run. I don’t think they had much choice, really, and they couldn’t afford to do it too often. And frankly, it didn’t help that much. The New Orleans offensive line is very good and did a good job.
- Some really bad tackling out there. Admittedly many of the Saints players are pretty good at making defensive players look pretty miserable. All the more reason to emphasize the fundamentals.
- Tony Romo pounded away on this but its something I’ve noticed the second half of the season. The Bears have flat out stopped playing man-to-man coverage. I’m guessing they’re trying to generate turnovers. But they’re struggling to cover with it. It just wasn’t going to work against the Saints. Or anyone else who is any good.
- Manti Te’o is mobile enough but he’s not very physical to me. I thought the Saints came out and picked on him in the second half. Credit to him for being a high effort guy, though.
- The Bears had this weird lineup I’ve never seen them do before. They had all three defensive aligned to the right of the center – to the same side Kamara was on in the backfield. They ran a stunt off of it to rush Brees on the play. Perhaps a little creativity from defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.
- I thought Tashaun Gipson had a really good game today. He was really aggressive and quick to the ball.
- Truth be told what I said about Gipson really goes for the whole defense. I thought they all looked more lively and were faster to the ball today. I was glad to see it. I felt like they’d been missing it for most of the last half of the season.
- Also kudos for getting pressure on Drew Brees. They did a surprisingly good job of this against a very good offensive line.
- Mitch Trubisky was right on target with his passes today. About as good as he’s ever been. Kudos to him.
- I thought the offensive line did a reasonably good job of protecting Trubisky as well. They held up even when the Saints brought pressure.
- Unfortunately they had a tougher time making hay in the running game against a highly rated Saints defense. Not a surprise but if the Bears can’t run the ball, they aren’t going to be able to do much on offense.
- I love the way David Montgomery runs. Just maximum effort on every play.
- The Saints did a really good job of stopping those naked boots that Trubisky has made a living on. You knew a good defense was going to do that.
- Matt Nagy decided to go for it on 4th and 4 from roughly the Saints 35 yard line in the first quarter. I really thought with Cairo Santos being as hot as he is, I would have kicked it. It was still early and they needed to get on the board.
- How in the world did Javon Wims drop that touchdown in the end zone in the first quarter?
- I lost count of the number of pre-snap penalties in this game but it was too many on both sides.
- Anthony Miller’s ejection was inexcusable. Plain and simple.
- 4th and 2 from the Bears 12 yard line with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Eddie Jackson jumps off-sides. The Saints eventually scored a touchdown to make it 14-3. Awful.
- Duke Shelley appeared to have an interception in the second quarter but the call was reversed. I thought the refs did the right thing.
- John Jenkins got an interception (the called it a fumble) on a tip ball by Tashaun Gipson in the second quarter. It was a huge play as the Bears were really doing nothing and things were looking grim at 7-0. After Cole Kmet got a stupid unsportsman-like conduct penalty that cost the team 15 yards, the Bears settled for a field goal. But at least they got on the board.
Well, it wasn’t like this was unexpected. The Bears got beat by a better team.
A very shorthanded defense played better than I expected for most of the game. I thought we finally saw a little bit of the team that we saw at the beginning of the year. Generally speaking they were fast to the ball and played with a little fire. It was nice to see.
But what really stuck with me was the way that the Saints solved the Bears offense. It confirmed what I have thought for weeks. Head coach Matt Nagy was forced to simplify his offense for Mitch Trubisky for the third year in a row and when they finally ran up against a good defense, they had it covered. The movement in the offense, the naked boots that cut the field in half, none of it worked.
I give Trubisky credit. He really threw the ball reasonably well today. But his arm is connected to his head and his head just isn’t there.
The Bears face an off-season with a lot of holes and with very few resources to fill them. The defense is aging and needs an injection of youth. The offensive line needs a make over. They need better receivers and they need more dynamic play makers. But, as usual, no need is greater than the one at quarterback.