Whose arrows are up and down after the Bears' 19-11 loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Well, the Bears have their first dud of 2020. The much-anticipated new era of Bears quarterbacking looked suspiciously similar to the last one – a confusing mess full of stagnant drives, missed throws, and a total lack of, you know, functionality. The Colts were clearly the better team on Sunday, but Matt Nagy, Nick Foles, and the rest of the Bears did little to dispute that. Here’s whose arrows are up and down after the 19-11 loss:
Arrow Up – Darnell Mooney
Mooney looked like a focal point in the offense once again, as the Bears went to the rookie wide receiver early and often on Sunday. Mooney was (unsuccessfully) targeted twice on third downs in the first quarter, and his 33-yard reception on the offense’s first play of the second quarter was a thing of beauty:
If Darnell Mooney can do this there’s really not much stopping him from becoming one of the league’s best deep threats pic.twitter.com/IUmHwaY2F9— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) October 4, 2020
Mooney finished the day with relatively modest numbers – 5 receptions for 52 yards – but Nick Foles’ accuracy didn’t do him many favors. Still, Mooney continued to establish himself as one of the Bears’ most explosive playmakers on an offense that desperately needs something to be optimistic about.
Arrow Down – Matt Nagy
He’ll be the first to say it, but ultimately, not getting into the end zone through the first 58 and a half minutes falls on him. The game plan was confusing; the Bears’ run game was abandoned pretty quickly (/never started at all) and the passing offense generally looked disjointed all day. It’s hard to say what looks worse: going 3-13 on third down, or committing eight penalties – especially when several of them are 15-yard personal fouls. He also, once again, bungled the Bears’ final drive of the first half, only managing three plays before punting ahead of the two-minute warning. Calling Cordarrelle Patterson’s number on multiple third downs was certainly a choice, too. Nagy deserves plenty of credit for how he’s coached the Bears to a 3-1 start, but Sunday wasn’t his finest hour.
Arrow Up – Roquan Smith
No one on either team finished with more tackles (13) than Smith, who’s now stacked a few strong performances together after a slow start to the 2020 season. To give you a sense of how Sunday went, Smith made maybe the Bears' best play of the afternoon, and it didn’t even count: his impressive interception in the end zone was negated after reviews showed that he stepped out of bounds first. On a day when the defense played some uncharacteristically sloppy ball, the third-year linebacker stood out.
Arrow Down – Kyle Fuller
An atypically poor performance from Fuller, who came into the Colts game playing some of the best football of his career. Two different pass interference calls against the corner gave the Colts new life, including one that moved the ball 28 yards – to the Bears’ 10 – with a minute left in the first half. Smith’s aforementioned pass breakup saved a touchdown, but the Colts still managed to get three points on that drive, the final of that half. He wasn’t bad in pass coverage – especially in the second half – but the flags were backbreakers for a defense that was on the field for a whole lot of Sunday’s game.
Arrow Up Hon. Mention – Jaylon Johnson, Allen Robinson, the weather
Arrow Down Hon. Mention – Khalil Mack, Nick Foles, the orange jerseys