If you were hoping for a loss to help the Bears’ future draft position, then you’re probably pleasantly pleased with a Lions 31-30 win.
But if you were hoping to feel better after a Tank Win, then you’re probably having some mixed feelings. Because that was a big ouch of a loss for the Bears.
It’s hard to be the team trying to build a culture and losing to that Lions team with Jared Goff throwing to create-a-player receivers on one side of the ball and one of the worst defenses in football on the other.
Did Justin Fields Show Progress in His Development?
There was more good than bad for Fields in this game. And his stat line was pretty darn OK:
- 12/20, 167 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 99.4 rating
- 13 carries, 147 rushing yards 2 TD
Overall, it’s a good showing from Fields. So, yeah, I’d give him my stamp of approval on the progress report. Fields continues to make plays happen with his legs. And his ability to prolong plays would be more helpful with a better supporting cast.
Unfortunately, this is what is keeping me from being more pleased with the day’s efforts (especially in a one-point loss):
Yeah, that is a throw Fields was immediately wanting back as soon as he let it go. Hopefully, that’s one he’ll see in film room and not make that throw again.
OK, But Did the Bears Win?
No. And I have mixed feelings about it.
This is the type of game the Bears should’ve won. At home. Against the NFC North’s worst team. And versus a foe the Bears have beaten 7 of their last 8 games. Nah, you can’t lose that game if you’re a team trying to build from the bottom up. Beat the teams you’re supposed to — it’s as simple as that.
Can We Call It a Tank Win?
- Any game where Fields looks like That Dude, but the Bears still help their draft stock is a good game. I get it. It’s not just that the Bears need picks, but GM Ryan Poles needs to be picking in a place where he can land premium talent. Losing to the Lions helps.
- Seriously, this is good:
- There are some teams (Texans, Seahawks, Falcons, Commanders) behind the Bears that should be calling to move up into that No. 6 spot and maybe land a quarterback in the draft.
- But there’s so much the Bears need to do before they become the team we want them to be in the future. There were too many moments late where the play calling got too conservative on the offensive side of things. Defensively, that whole unit needs a re-boot — starting up front with the defensive line. Thankfully, the Bears have a defensive leaning head coach who can nudge things in the right direction.
A Cairo Santos missed extra point sent me to a dark place. But that wasn’t the thing that had me flummoxed most from this game.
It was the penalties. So many penalties.
There were 9 of them for 86 yards. And they were all painful. Particularly the one that negated a Jack Sanborn interception that came right before a Lions TD drive. Everything matters in a one score game.
Sigh. I’m not sure there’s any one particular reason. Some of them were careless disciplinary issues that you can’t have. But some shouldn’t have been called in the first place. Such as that Kyler Gordon late hit penalty in the fourth quarter after Jared Goff’s flop.
Maybe that’s more embarrassing for NFL refs than the Bears. Even still … it’s unsightly for it to happen. Can’t wait for another apology from the league later in the week.
A road trip to Atlanta is up next. It’ll be a homecoming for Justin Fields, the Georgia-born QB who the Falcons passed on drafting in 2021 in favor of tight end Kyle Pitts.
It’ll also be a reunion of ex-Bears in Atlanta, with Ryan Pace, Cordarrelle Patterson, Phil Emery, and others having taken their talents to the Peach State in recent offseasons. Wouldn’t it be nice to give Pace and friends a taste of what could’ve been had he not goofed in so many different areas.