Tank Win V: Falcons 27, Bears 24

It was bound to happen at some point, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be against the Bears (of all teams).

The Falcons held onto a late fourth-quarter lead and didn’t suffer another dose of irreperable heartbreak. Instead, it was the Bears who fell short after being unable to pull off late-game heroics of their own in a 27-24 Falcons win. Younghoe Koo’s 53-yard field goal with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter was the difference between victory and defeat on this Sunday.

But more importantly, I think we’ve got another Tank Win in the books for Chicago’s football team.

Let’s discuss.

Did Justin Fields Show Progress in His Development?

I have mixed feelinfgs here, so I asked the magic 8-ball for a tiebreaking vote: Signs point to YES.

Ah, ok, well, sure.

Fields’ first-half showing was legit. He was just 7-for-12 for 71 yards (5.9 Y/A) with a 103.1 passer rating when slinging it, but Fields was making plays, moving the ball, and seemed to be taking a step forward in his development. But the second half wasn’t all that pretty. Fields was 7-for-9 in the second half, but just gained 82 yards through the air (only 6.8 Y/A). He had an ugly interception while trying to execute a jump throw that went off David Montgomery’s hands on a play on the Bears’ final possession that was full of all sorts of havoc.

How precious was that pick to Fields’ passer rating? It caused it to lose 19.86 points on the number. Tough break, QB1. But those are the breaks.

OK, But Did the Bears Win?


And if you’re looking for a culprit, you might want to look in the general direction of Head Coach Matt Eberflus and Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy. Because in a game where Fields was clearly slowing down in the second half (the FOX cameras panned to Fields getting work done on him on the sidelines while the defense was at work), Getsy called for designed quarterback runs on each of his first two plays. Getting Fields on the move is fine, but he was clearly a step slow in the second half. So … why risk further injury?

Unfortunately, it’s a question we have to ask because it’s something the Bears are going to be dealing with momentarily:

Can We Call it a Tank Win?


And this tweet sums up why:

The good news is that the loss currently puts the Bears in a position where they have the fourth overall pick. We’ll dive in on that as the smoke clears after the rest of today’s games end.

But the bad news is that the offensive line continues to put Fields in harm’s way.

That offensive line gave up 3 second-half sacks after the Falcons realized they could stunt their way to rushing the quarterback. And Teven Jenkins, arguably the team’s best offensive lineman, wasn’t even in the game because Michael Schofield got the start. To perform in that manner after The Wall Street Journal described your unit as “well-regarded” is … something. It’s almost as if maybe the WSJ got a little flowery in the word department because the author had no idea how to flesh out their point (which evidence shows was inaccurate anyway, but I digress).

Part of me says you’ve gotta tip your cap to Dean Pees. But on the other hand, you — by no means — don’t actually have to hand it to ’em. The Bears didn’t make an adjustment. And it was costly.

Em-BEAR-Assment Meter

When the losses stack up, you need laughter to get you through these tough times:

What’s Next?

The road show continues as the Bears play another road game in Week 12. And, yes, it is another trip to the greater New York area. This time, it’ll be the Jets providing the competition at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The last time the Bears played out in Jersey, we began seeing the sparks of Fields’ climb. I wonder what he’ll do for an encore. Hopefully, he’ll be healthy enough for us to find out.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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