For the second straight game, the Chicago Bears offense looked good. The unit was able to put up 28 points against a pretty good Miami Dolphins’ defense. Obviously, there were some negatives considering the Bears failed to win the football game.
Here, I will talk about some of the good and bad things I saw after re-watching Sunday’s gut-wrenching 31-28 loss.
Let’s get started.
It’s hard to win any football game when you lose the turnover battle. The Bears did just that in Sunday’s loss. On offense, the Bears had three total turnovers – two fumbles and an interception. Two of the three total turnovers occurred in the red zone, which cannot happen.
RB Jordan Howard fumbled on the goal line before halftime. QB Mitch Trubisky threw a ball into double coverage in the end zone on first down and with the Bears driving to win the game, RB Tarik Cohen fumbled after a nice catch and run.
It’s simple – these things cannot happen, especially the red zone turnovers. Imagine if the Bears were able to get points on those two drives? We’re probably talking about a win, instead of a loss today.
Again, it’s hard to win football games when you lose the turnover battle.
Jordan Howard Not Good
Don’t let the padded overtime stats fool you. Howard was bad on Sunday as he has been all season long. His vision seemed to be off at times. The fumble at the goal line didn’t help either. It was an all-around ugly performance.
This is coming off a week where there was a lot of speculation on whether the Bears should keep him around or not. Free agents off the street could do what Howard does in short yardage situations. Sorry, not sorry.
If Howard wants to continue to pout about his role, then play like he did on Sunday. Don’t expect him to be in a Bears’ uniform beyond the 2018 season. The truth hurts sometimes, but the truth is Howard is expendable.
His usage is also seeing a dramatic decrease in the Nagy offense.
Jordan Howard's snap rate over the last month of games: 73% > 62% > 54% > 51%
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 15, 2018
The offense and Howard are going in opposite directions. Hint, Howard is going the wrong way.
Third Down Success
Nagy’s offense was very successful on third downs throughout the afternoon. The Bears’ offense went 8-12 on third downs against the Dolphins. Hopefully, that is something that can continue for the rest of the season. For whatever reason, the play calling seemed to be good on third down most of the day.
The referees were downright awful in Sunday’s game. Both teams had to deal with bad officiating throughout the day, but no call may have been worse than the one on TE Trey Burton on a potential touchdown.
Burton was called for a hold on MLB Kiko Alonso on a touchdown that may have put the game away. Instead, the TD was called back and Trubisky threw an INT in the end zone on the very next play.
Here’s a closer look.
— Jason Glassman (@palacejay) October 14, 2018
Yikes, that’s about all one can say about that call. It’s a call that did contribute to a Bears’ loss. Should Trubisky have thrown an interception in the end zone? No, but that play never should have happened because the Bears had a TD the play before.
Nagy had this to say about the Burton penalty after the game:
“Trey did everything I asked him to do.”
Conservative Play Calling
Conservative play calling is something that continues to lose Matt Nagy football games. It lost him last year in the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans, this year against the Green Bay Packers and again on Sunday.
In overtime, Nagy didn’t throw the football once the Bears got into Dolphins’ territory. Instead, the rookie head coach ran the ball three straight times, playing it safe for a 53-yard field goal attempt.
Cody Parkey predictably missed the long field and the Bears would go on to lose the game. With Trubisky as hot as he was…why wouldn’t Nagy get more aggressive in OT, specifically on third and four?
Let your franchise QB make a play to win the game. Or at least get you closer into field goal range. Head coaches are supposed to put their players in successful situations. Nagy failed to do that at the end of Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
The hope is he learns from this experience, but that’s now twice that his conservative mindset late in games has lost Bears football games.
We knew the Bears’ offense had weapons, but man, do they have a lot of playmakers. Gabriel, Robinson, Burton, Cohen, and Miller were all involved on Sunday. Going forward, the Bears should have no trouble finding players to contribute.
Outside of the interception, Trubisky was impressive on Sunday. He did most of his damage in the second half.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) October 14, 2018
Nine TDs in his last two games alone. Very, very nice to see. His ability to read the field and opposing defense is improving as well. The hope is that progression continues to be made. To read more about Trubisky’s performance on Sunday check out my other article below.
— The Loop Sports (@TheLoop_Sports) October 15, 2018
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