Bears Get "Punched in the Mouth," Claypool Loses His Cool, Keep Fields Safe, and Other Bears Bullets

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Bears Get “Punched in the Mouth,” Claypool Loses His Cool, Keep Fields Safe, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Back to reality, folks. After a lovely holiday weekend, it’s back to work and back to school for many on an unseasonably warm Monday morning in the Chicagoland area. This type of Monday hits you like the Lions hit the Bears, when they put up 504 yards of offense on Sunday. Or like the Lions pass rush that sacked Justin Fields seven times on Sunday.

  • Detroit’s seven sacks of Justin Fields on Sunday put Fields at 55 sacks on the season, a new franchise record. Fields’ 55 sacks tops Jay Cutler’s 52 sacks in 2010, marking just the second time in franchise history that a quarterback has been sacked more than 50 times in a single season. Fields took as many sacks on Sunday as he completed passes, which is something we’ll discuss more in tomorrow’s Fields Film post, but it was not good, to say the least.
  • Detroit’s 504 yards of offense was the most yardage that the Bears have allowed to an opponent in a non-overtime game since a 54-11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on December 22, 2013.
  • But it wasn’t the shellacking that bothered me most about Sunday’s game with the Lions. Instead, it was the decision to keep Justin Fields in the game in the middle of the shellacking. Matt Eberflus stressed the importance of the final two games last week, and that’s fine, in theory. But when you’re down by four touchdowns in the second half, what’s the point?
  • After the game, Eberflus said that he and his staff decided before each drive that they sent Fields back out there that there were valuable reps for him to play. I’m sorry, but I find it hard to believe that there was anything truly valuable about those garbage time reps.
  • Everything about this game was terrible. There was no development going on. Almost half of the Bears total offensive output came on a pair of Justin Fields runs (60 yards and 31 yards) within the game’s first two drives. Chase Claypool was almost non-existent in his return, Fields was laboring to stay in the game, spending time getting treatment and in the medical tent, and the Bears weren’t accomplishing anything. Where’s the value in leaving Fields out there for more hits?
  • Speaking of Claypool, there was a moment on the sideline as the clock waned where Claypool slammed his helmet on the ground on the sideline and had some words with wide receiver’s coach Tyke Tolbert after his first target of the game was an incomplete pass. Claypool played four snaps in the first half and 19 total after missing multiple games with a knee injury. So why play him but not play him? Justin Fields has some things to say about it when he was asked about the incident after the game:

“Yeah, he was frustrated,” Fields said after Sunday’s Lions (via The Athletic). “He’s a passionate player. He’s passionate about the game. … He was just showing his emotion. It’s great to have emotion in the game, but you have to know how to control it. You can’t let it come out like that because, at the end of the day, that’s not helping anybody. That’s not helping the team.”

  • Fields said that everyone was frustrated after they were “punched in the mouth” by the Lions on Sunday:

“Everybody’s frustrated,” Fields continued. “We’re getting blown out. Just call it what it is. We got punched in the mouth. Everybody feels that way. We talked to him. I talked to him. That’s not going to do anything. That’s not helping anybody. That’s just spreading everybody apart. We need to be here for each other, stick with each other and fight.

“Not many teams in this league are going to fight the way we did. I don’t know. I’m getting really passionate. But just like, every drive, we were getting blown out and I’m like, ‘Yo, I don’t care what the scoreboard is. We’re going to go out there, we’re going to play our hardest.’ They know that I’m doing that. Going back on Chase, he’s passionate. Just has to learn how to control those emotions and keep them inside and know what’s going to be best for the team.”

  • The decision to play Claypool and then barely use him was a head-scratcher. The decision to leave Fields out there down by four touchdowns in the second half was a head-scratcher. Matt Eberflus and his staff had a rough afternoon in Detroit.
  • In searching for good things to talk about from Sunday, Velus Jones Jr. having another excellent kick return has to be near the top of the baren list. I can’t even find a clip of it (and all-22 isn’t up yet) on Twitter because the Bears had already given up on social media by that point.
  • Oh, and what the heck is up with the Dante Pettis situation? First, he leaves the game to be evaluated for a concussion. Then Matt Eberflus says after the game that he 1) passed concussion protocol and 2) was transported to a local hospital as a “precautionary measure” because he had blurred vision. Is the NFL’s concussion protocol that broken!?
  • Losing competitively is what I would consider a “tank win.” Getting your teeth kicked in and looking incompetent in every phase as players and coaches is the type of performance that makes it tough to sell future development as the silver lining. The latter is what we saw on Sunday. The Bears looked like a clown show, and that’s not development. Those are not “invaluable repetitions” your team needs to improve.
  • The Bears got bullied, and that was probably their worst loss of the season. Yes, even worse than the Commanders loss in Week 6.
  • Also not a great start to 2023 for the Blackhawks …
  • At least we’ll have baseball in a couple of months, right?


Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.