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Bears Wins Like Sunday's Provide Few Answers

All wins or losses leave more questions than answers but wins like Sunday's by the Bears can be even more perplexing because they defied NFL logic by winning only with defense.

Rarely do games provide answers, only questions.

Or if they do supply answers, the questions created are even greater.

The Bears beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17, or rather hung on thanks to their defense and the hard running of David Montgomery and Justin Fields—although Fields himself created the problem with a horrible interception at a crucial time in the game.

Rarely do games provide answers, only questions.

Robert Quinn summed it up best in an understated manner.

"It's one game," Quinn said. "It's done and over with now. Now you need to see if you can be consistent next week. That's how you get judged if you can be consistent. It’s fun to get the win, but on to next week."

Here are the five biggest questions to come out of the game.

5. What happened to the sure-handed receivers?

Last year Darnell Mooney was so sure-handed it was almost uncanny, and Allen Robinson was perfection. Both had balls they should have caught that would have made huge impacts on the game. It's possible timing was thrown off by the quarterback switch but not that much.

Mooney's missed catch on a deep out wasn't exactly a drop.

"It was a tough catch, but I've seen him make those catches," coach Matt Nagy said Monday.  

4. What exactly is a legal celebration and what isn't?

It's obvious the Bears were told the same as everyone else because they all knew the rule, but there appears to be a really gray area officials can't explain properly and the consistency is completely lacking. Bears defensive players wanted to regain their swagger after seeming to lose it the previous two seasons. Four turnovers forced in a short span can do it. But part of the "swag" is the celebrating big plays. Is it possible the inconsistent whims of officials are cramping their style?

3. How can Bears win with their nickel cornerback situation?

Duke Shelley was safer covering the slot than Marqui Christian but the Bengals found ways to pick on him anyway. He was just a better tackler after the catch. Teams with more experienced quarterbacks than Joe Burrow are going to pick this up right away and take apart the Bears pass defense, from Derek Carr to Aaron Rodgers and Baker Mayfield this week.

2. How can their offense be this bad after all this work?

Whatever they thought they did to improve their offense doesn't seem to have taken hold. They're worse than last year. They average 5.2 yards a pass attempt, which is Dowell Loggains level. They're last in the league at this key stat. They're 29th in offense and 27th in scoring. The tight ends had one target on Sunday. 

 defense needs to score for them again to let them win games. It would appear Matt Nagy has about run out of drawing boards to go back to, so maybe he should return to that under-center I-formation he despises. It works.

1. Who starts at quarterback vs. Browns?

Unless Andy Dalton's knee injury is actual ligament damage—and it doesn't appear to be the case because he was designated the backup once he went to the sidelines—then it's going to be a case where we all watch through the week to see if this will be Justin Fields' first start. Appropriately, it would come in the state where he made his reputation, Ohio. Nagy said Monday he expects to know the full extent of Dalton's injury later in the day .

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