The Chicago Bears suffered their ninth straight game, a franchise record. We look at the good, bad, and ugly of the game.
Well, for the Chicago Bears, the 2022 season cannot end quickly enough. They took on the Detroit Lions in Week 17 and suffered an embarrassing loss. It was their ninth consecutive loss, a franchise record. It also dropped their record to 3-13.
The entire team looked listless and not ready to play. It was in stark contrast to how they played all season. Even in their double-digit losses, they played hard until the end. Against the Lions, everything went downhill after their first two drives.
The Bears have just one more game this season to end their losing streak. A win on Sunday could hurt the Minnesota Vikings’ chances of having a first-round bye so that would be nice. Additionally, it gives the team a positive going into the offseason.
Here are the good, bad, and ugly from the Chicago Bears Week 17 loss.
The good: Justin Fields (early) and draft position
In the first game the Bears played against the Lions, quarterback Justin Fields had an incredible game. He rushed for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. Additionally, he threw for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aside from a key interception, he was unstoppable.
In the rematch, it appeared as if it was more of the same. On the Bears’ first two drives, Fields led the offense to 145 total yards. He was responsible for 121 of them. Of those, 105 of them were on the ground. Fields looked like he was on his way to another big game.
That was before offensive coordinator Luke Getsy decided to handcuff Fields and try to have him become a pocket passer.
Fields finished the game with 132 rushing yards. He has his sights set on the record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback. He now has 1,143 rushing yards, just 63 yards short of Lamar Jackson‘s record of 1,206 yards. Let’s see if he gets it done against the Vikings.
The only other good thing from the game is the Bears’ draft positioning. The loss kept the Bears in the running for the top overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans have a 2-13-1 record. If they beat the Indianapolis Colts (very possible) and the Bears lose (probable), Chicago finishes half a game behind and earns the valuable top pick.
Without needing a quarterback, general manager Ryan Poles can play “Let’s make a deal” and amass a treasure trove of picks by trading down. That is a best-case scenario since the Chicago Bears have a number of holes to fill.
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The bad: The coaching
As I mentioned, Fields got off to a scorching start before he got handcuffed. He and the offense had success this season when he got rid of the ball quickly by utilizing screens and slants.
In addition to that, success also happened when Fields rolled out. He has the ability to throw accurate passes when he is on the run. Furthermore, by rolling out he can better use his legs to run if he can’t find an open receiver.
By having Fields do only a straight dropback, it eliminates his choices. The offensive line has its struggles, and with Teven Jenkins and Michael Schofield both going down early in the game, Getsy had to try to help the unit. That did not happen, and as a result, the Lions sacked Fields seven times. The breakdowns were quick and overwhelming. Instead of trying to minimize the damage, Getsy continually called the same plays. The offensive line was embarrassed and Fields took a beating.
Things weren’t better for the defense. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams made no adjustments and the Lions just destroyed the defense both on the ground and in the air.
It is understandable that the players need to step up and play hard. However, the coaches have to do the same in their job. Their job is to put the players in the best possible scenario to succeed. That did not happen against the Lions. Both players and coaches have to do better.
The ugly: The defense
It is uncharacteristic to see a Chicago Bears defense struggle. We are so used to seeing a dominant defense when the Bears play.
That hasn’t happened much this season, though. The defense has continually gotten bashed week after week. The unit’s performance against the Lions was the worst of the season.
The Bears gave up 504 yards of offense. The Lions did not face much resistance from Chicago. In fact, at one point in the third quarter, Detroit had a third and 18. The Bears could have stopped them and given the ball back to the offense and gotten something going. Instead, the Lions got a 38-yard run on a basic draw. They backed that up by having a 40-yard run after running the same thing on the next play.
This defense is just regressing. In their past two games, the Bears gave up 76 points and 930 yards. For the season, Chicago ranks last in points given up and 28th in yards.
There is a lot of work to be done for Poles. Now that the offseason is one game away, he and the rest of the Chicago Bears front office have the daunting task of overhauling the roster and bringing winning back to Chicago.
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