Remember when Bears-Browns was the most sleep-inducing game of the season? Nope, not anymore. The John Fox era ended in style, with a horrifically unprepared team being destroyed by the current NFC favorites.
The Bears, in typical Bears fashion, had more punts in the first half than they did first downs. The Bears punted the ball five times in the first half, ending every offensive possession off the foot of Pat O’Donnell. In contrast, they only had one first down on a Dontrelle Inman reception.
The Bears only score came off of a play which was half a decade in the making.
Back in 2011, Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub drew up a punt return which faked out the Packers, leading to an easy punt return touchdown for Johnny Knox. However, the play was called back due to holding, a questionable call to say the least.
Today, the Bears pulled that play off. Tarik Cohen faked out the Vikings punt coverage, leading to a hiding Bryce Callahan being able to return Ryan Quigley’s punt to the house.
Outside of that one play, however, the Bears looked completely hopeless in the first half. Two Latavius Murray one-yard dives gave the Vikings 14 of their 16 points. The other two came off of a safety following a Mitchell Trubisky intentional grounding penalty. He was going to be sacked in the end zone regardless, so it’s like a patchwork offensive line isn’t going to work very well.
The third quarter was incredibly boring, with another couple of Pat O’Donnell punts. However, it ended on a sour note, as with 14 seconds left, Case Keenum fired a dart which was caught by Stefon Diggs for a score.
The Bears countered with a drive of their own to start the 4th, but Trubisky fired four straight incompletions from the Vikings 6, turning the ball over on downs.
They threatened to make it interesting with just over two minutes, but for the second time, the Bears couldn’t punch it in from short yardage. This time, they couldn’t advance the ball 6 feet in 4 downs. And with that, it was all she wrote on the Bears season, they lose 23-10.
Play Of The Game:
This one is fairly obvious. Jeff Rodgers’ masterpiece of a play design which led to Chicago’s only first-half score is the play of the game. As mentioned previously, this isn’t the first time this play has been tried by the Bears. The first one, which was tried in 2011, was called back due to penalty.
This play has been converted before, by the Rams in 2014. In this instance, Tavon Austin deked out the Seahawks return team, leading to a Stedman Bailey touchdown.
This instance wasn’t exactly like those two plays, but it was the same premise. Instead of Callahan running back to receive the punt, he camouflaged himself along the sideline before receiving the kick. Nevertheless, it was an impressive play, and one worthy of this honor.
Player Of The Game:
This game featured two of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs this season, dueling safeties. Harrison Smith, widely regarded as the best safety in football, didn’t make the game despite leading the PFF ranks.
His counterpart Adrian Amos is second on that list. And he was Chicago’s player of the game today.
Amos completely smothered the middle of the field all game, laying the hammer down on multiple occasions. Amos had 11 tackles in the game, including one tackle for loss.
Amos was a pleasant surprise alongside rookie Eddie Jackson all season, so it is only fitting that he finishes the season with one of his strongest performances yet.
The post-John Fox era.
We’d like to thank all of our readers for their support throughout our inaugural season. It was a long one, but you guys made it all worth it.