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Bears can’t overcome mistakes in depressing 20-10 loss

Bears Soldier Field photo

A season-long trend of costly penalties, key mistakes, and head-scratching coaching strategy reared its ugly head as the Chicago Bears stumbled to a ugly 20-10 defeat to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field Saturday afternoon. For the fourth straight season, the Bears (4-10) will endure double-digit losses as they limp mercifully to the end of the 2017 campaign.  Detroit improves to 8-6 and remains in NFC playoff contention.

No matter the day of the week, it was more of the same for the Bears on Saturday.  A senseless personal foul by Defensive Lineman Eddie Goldman on the game’s first play from scrimmage epitomized the day for Chicago. The Bears were flagged 13 times, including 5 on one drive, in a sloppy effort that should close any discussion about the possibility of a coaching change. Head coach John Fox, the master of the obvious, summed it up. “We just didn’t start fast. We had penalties, particularly on offense. The guys battled and kind of semi got back into it, but I think it was a little bit too little, too late.”

While the Bears gave up two field goals (31 and 48 yards) by Matt Prater, Chicago was able to keep Detroit QB Matthew Stafford largely in check through most of the first half until Stafford came up big on a third down and long call late in the first half. Facing third and 18 deep in his own territory,  Stafford unleashed a 58-yard pass that Lions receiver Marvin Jones outleaped Bears Safety Eddie Jackson to come down with. Detroit would later score when Stafford connected with T. J. Jones for a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0 and effectively put the Bears in hibernation. READ MORE

Bears dominating offense overpowers Bengals

Mitch Trubisky jersey

Unleashing a triple threat of running, passing, and receiving, the Chicago Bears amassed a season-high 482 total yards en route to a convincing 33-7 win over the injury-depleted Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Bears snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 4-9, while the Bengals slipped to 5-8.

Before a sparse crowd that included a nice contingent of Bears fans in the Queen City, Chicago took control midway through the second quarter and was never challenged the rest of the way.

QB Mitch Trubisky played his best game of his rookie campaign, engineering a balanced attack that punished the Bengals in the air and on the ground. Trubisky was sharp in completing 25-of-32 passes for 271 yards, including a four-yard touchdown scamper and a 1-yard scoring toss to TE Adam Shaheen. Unlike recent games, Trubisky displayed poise in the pocket, confidently delivering several throws in tight spaces. He formed a nice connection with WR Kendall Wright, who caught 10 balls for 107 yards.

Not to be outdone by the Bears rookie signal caller, second-year RB Jordan Howard rebounded from a couple of subpar outings with a strong game. Howard ran over and through a beleaguered Cincinnati defense that was already short-handed coming off Monday night’s disappointing loss to AFC North rival Pittsburgh.  Behind an offensive line that might have enjoyed its best game of the year, Howard pounded Bengal defenders between the tackles for 147 yards on 23 carries and 2 touchdowns. “We moved the ball with ease on them,” stated the former Indiana University star. “They didn’t know if we were running or throwing, so it felt pretty good.” READ MORE

Bears try to snap skid in Cincy

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With little to play for, the Chicago Bears limp into Cincinnati Sunday trying to stop a freefall that has resulted in a five game losing streak. Here are three things to watch as both teams go through the motions during the season’s final month.

1. Mitch Trubisky’s progress…Curiously, Bears head coach John Fox remarked that he thought Trubisky played his best game in last week’s disappointing 15-14 loss to San Francisco. In anyone else’s universe, observers saw Trubisky still struggling to read defenses and hanging on to the ball too long. Though he was accurate, Trubisky’s longest pass completion was merely 15 yards. He appears indecisive with pressure up the middle, not sure whether to step up into the pocket, tuck the ball and run or roll out.  Trubisky needs to perform better down the stretch to inspire confidence in him moving forward.

2. Will the team play hard down the stretch?….Fox usually has his teams ready to play, but starting with the post-bye matchup with Green Bay, the Bears appear unprepared and outcoached. With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, it’s easy to understand some players checking out, knowing the Fox tenure is essentially over. Depth concerns reflect a roster still in transition, making the Bears talent deprived in many key areas. READ MORE