Rerun Victory Earns Bears Low Quality Grades
If television viewers thought they were watching a rerun Sunday of a Bears game rather than a live production, it’s understandable.
Their 19-14 victory over the underwhelming New York Giants closely resembled the 20-13 victory over the undermanned Detroit Lions two weeks earlier at Soldier Field.
The Bears enjoyed a few positives but gave more examples of why they're 5-6 and not serious playoff contenders.
From a missed extra-point kick by Eddy Pineiro, to the silly interception Mitchell Trubisky threw over the middle on a deep ball to Javon Wims, to a complete inability to move a mediocre defensive front out of the way for running backs, to the dropped possible touchdown pass by Ben Braunecker, this one had flaws en masse.
The way they blew up a two-point conversion said far more about their chances of putting together a winning streak to make the playoffs than any other play.
They had offensive pass interference on a two-point try, then too many men on the field because and finally missed a kick they should make.
Earlier in the week coach Matt Nagy said he was certain no one had quit yet.
Quit? No. Function like football players? Also no.
Here is Sunday's report caardrd against the Giants and it reflects the multiverse known as Bears football, where the most efficient and explosive plays are accompanied by complete buffoonery.
At 2.5 yards a carry, or 90 inches, there's nothing here to excite anyone except maybe inchworms or snails. They had a nice 13-yard burst from David Montgomery on the second play of their second possession, a 13-yarder from Tarik Cohen and a 12-yard scramble by Mitchell Trubisky. Remove those three runs and you get 23 rushes for 27 yards. It's a good thing they moved James Daniels to left guard and Cody Whitehair to center. If not, think of where they'd be then. GRADE: D-
Braunecker's drop could have tainted the whole day, and then they had two more drops in the first half. It's in character considering they came in second in the NFL in dropped passes according to STATS Inc. Now they'll be leading. Even after those misadventures, and Mitchell Trubisky's "miscommunication" for an interception in the red zone, the Bears passing game bounced back and Allen Robinson produced a season high in receiving yards while Anthony Miller matched a career high in receptions (6) and hit a season high in yardage (77). GRADE: C-
They were wrapping up well and setting a mean edge all day in an effort to stop Saquon Barkley, two things coaches stressed all week. He gained only 3.5 yards a carry. The Giants had 26 yards on a Daniel Jones scramble, 22 on an end around by Sterling Shephard and a 22-yard Barkley run. Beyond this, they gained 39 yards on 18 carries. Eddie Goldman completely caved in the middle so the defense could surround Barkley and gang tackle him. GRADE: A
They held Daniel Jones to a career low in passing yards at 150 and the Giants managed 1 of 12 on third-down plays. Even noted Bear killer Golden Tate was held largely in check by Buster Skrine, with one late 23-yard TD catch and two other receptions for 10 yards. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made certain twice that Barkley wouldn't get out of the backfield and cause havoc in the passing game, once on a textbook open-field tackle. GRADE: A-
This was a complete and utter disaster until Pat O'Donnell salvaged a horrendous day by himself and all special teams players by punting 61 yards to the 6 to leave the Giants with too far to drive with no timeouts at game's end. The complete menu of fouled up special teams plays include a shanked punt of 13 yards by O'Donnell, a 40-yard punt return allowed, a missed Eddy Pineiro point-after kick from 48 yards, the kicking team not paying attention to who should be on the field to earn a 12-men-on-the-field penalty, two Tarik Cohen misplayed punts that he let hit the ground and bounce forward for big yardage, and, of course, the illegal block on a punt return. GRADE: D-
Both special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and Nagy deserve some blame for not having the extra-point team sharp and ready to kick a longer PAT. When a team has five straight scores to start the second half after struggling in the first half, it has to say something about preparation and that speaks to the coaches. At least they had the right second-half offensive adjustments and got a little more downfield yardage in their passing game. GRADE: C-
This mess of high and low grades will average out to a C-, and the Bears can be happy it's not worse. GRADE: C-