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.

Meanwhile, the Bears offense reverted to pre-Cincinnati form, meaning struggling to get the ground game untracked or finding open receivers.  There was no rhythm to the Chicago attack as the Lions stuffed the box and held the Bears to just 43 rushing yards. A week after enjoying a productive 10 catch day, Bears receiver Kendall Wright suffered through multiple drops.   QB Mitch Trubisky threw for over 300-yards, but was picked off three times on some poor reads and throws.

The sputtering offense wasn’t helped by Fox’s game strategy.  After recovering a Detroit fumble late in the first half near the Lions 30, the Bears ran one play, a short pass completion to Daniel Brown with the clock stopped at :07. Rather than attempting to throw to the end zone, Chicago settled for a 41-yard Mike Nugent field goal. Later, on fourth and one at midfield, Fox chose to punt rather than attempt to pick up the first down. With a decimated roster and postseason play out of the question, Fox’s conservative management hampers any chance the Bears have to win.

Not to be absolved of blame is Chicago General Manager Ryan Pace, who has handed Fox a depth-riddled team absent of playmakers. The Bears receiving corps is barely NFL caliber, something that should have been anticipated and acted upon after Alshon Jeffery bolted in free agency.

As his NFL coaching career seemingly heads to a unpleasant conclusion, Fox provided few answers, just more reasons why change is inevitable again in Chicago. Discussing the slew of penalties, the  soon to be 63 year-old , said, “I think some of it was some new guys in because of some guys lost. That’s not an excuse; it’s just reality. For whatever reason, we had a lot of holding penalties, which I think was partly due to some of the changes. But all-in-all, it wasn’t good enough.”

Extra Points: Deja vu’ all over again…Rookie Tarik Cohen lost another big-gainer when he returned a kickoff 90 yards only to see it nullified due to a holding call on Bears special teamer DeAndre Houston- Carson…G Tom Compton left with a possible concussion. Fellow G Josh Sitton was forced from the game late in the contest with an ankle injury….Safety Chris Prosinski left on the game’s first series with a concussion…The Bears have lost 8 straight division games….Chicago’s only touchdown came on a 9-yard Trubisky pass to reserve RB Benny Cunningham.

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

  1. Joe says:

    Keep Bears Def. coach get rid of rest. Maybe put Fox in booth as consultant since you have to pay him anyway. Try to get Off. coach on Eagles team, as head coach.

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