The Chicago Bears (3-9) were defeated 31-10 by the New York Jets (7-4), which marked their fifth straight loss of the season. It’s the third consecutive year where Chicago has had a five-game losing streak.
This game had all of the makings for an ugly game — no Justin Fields, rainy weather from start to finish and the fact that there was a question about whether it would be Trevor Siemian or Nathan Peterman getting the starting nod for Chicago.
While the Bears kept it close in the first half, including scoring on their first two possessions, things quickly spiraled in the second half. Chicago was dominated by New York, and they were outscored 14-0 in the second half.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what we saw during the game and how we graded the Bears in this loss.
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The biggest takeaway from Sunday’s loss was this Bears offense has only been working because of Justin Fields. Credit backup Trevor Siemian for leading Chicago on scoring drives on their first two possessions of the game. But it was all downhill after there, with the Bears scoring just 10 points and were held scoreless in the second half. It’s hard to believe, just recently, this offense was putting up 33, 29, 32 and 30 points against some quality opponents. But that’s a credit to what Fields has been able to do over the last month, where he’s been Chicago’s entire offense. Seeing what Fields has been able to do despite concerns with the offensive line and supporting cast makes it all the more exciting for when he finally gets talent around him.
There were a couple of bright spots in what was ultimately a dismal offensive outing. David Montgomery had his best game since Week 2, combining for 113 total yards (79 on 14 carries and 33 on three catches). Chase Claypool also saw his most action since being traded to the Bears, playing 67 percent of offensive snaps (which led receivers). He caught two passes for 51 yards (all in the first quarter), and we caught a glimpse of the impact he can have on offense moving forward. Byron Pringle even got in on the action, catching his first touchdown as a Bear.
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Jets are going to be in for a rude awakening once Mike White faces an actual NFL defense. The Bears defense, when healthy, has been one of the worst units in the league. But this was an injury-riddled Chicago defense that made White look like a Pro Bowl QB (much to the dismay of Zach Wilson). The Bears were down some of their biggest impact players in this game, starting with rookies Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon. Then they lost their best defensive player in Eddie Jackson, who suffered a non-contact foot injury. There was no way the Jets wouldn’t be able to take advantage.
Wherever you look, it was brutal. Since White had the game of his life, let’s start with the passing defense. White completed 22-of-28 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns for a 149.3 passer rating. That included two plays of 40-plus yards. Rookie wideout Garrett Wilson had five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Not only could the Jets pass the ball, they ran all over Chicago. The Bears’ 29th-ranked run defense allowed 158 yards on the ground, and that was without rookie sensational Breece Hall. The good news? The Bears pass rush actually got home for the first time in two weeks with Armon Watts recording the team’s lone sack of the day.
Special teams: A
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There wasn’t a whole lot for the special teams to do in this game, but they were easily the best unit on the field for Chicago on Sunday. Cairo Santos connected on both of his kicks — a 22-yard field goal and an extra point. Rookie Trenton Gill had another solid day, nothing 244 yards on five punts, including a long of 61 yards. The return game was non-existent, where Dante Pettis had the lone return — a 12-yard punt return. And, the good news? The Bears didn’t allow a special teams touchdown, so that’s progress.
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Let’s be honest, I’m giving the coaching staff (and front office) an A here because of the decision not to start an injured Justin Fields in what was a wet and ugly game. There was absolutely no reason to play Fields in this game, and I honestly believe that was the intent heading into this contest. But Matt Eberflus really milked the gamesmanship aspect taking the decision up to inactives. Watching Eddie Jackson and Darnell Mooney go down with injuries was another reminder that it’s not worth risking further injury to Fields. While Chicago is riding a five-game losing streak (and sitting at 3-9), this season has already been deemed a success because they’ve found their guy in Fields. And that’s all that matters.