In the days before this week’s Monday Night Football (MNF) matchup between traditional NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears played at Soldier Field, there was a lot of talk and speculation about how bad the Bears offense is, and it all turned out to be true. The Bears couldn’t produce when they needed it most, and the loss could cost them in the long run.
The Bears Need A Better Offense
It does not seem like anything that Bears head coach Matt Nagy tries works to any great degree. He even turned over play calling to his offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and sent him up to the coaches’ booth to observe from above. But that didn’t work either. The Bears did not score an offensive touchdown all evening against Minnesota on MNF.
Chicago’s quarterback, the journeyman Nick Foles, had a total of 106 yards passing with zero touchdowns all night. Some of the blame for that could be laid on the beat up offensive line that allowed a penetrating Vikings defense to keep Foles off-balance all evening. The game was so predictable that it was borderline boring.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen only caught four passes all evening, but two of them were for touchdowns, beginning with the first score of the game when Thielan came down in the end zone with a one-handed grab in tight coverage that probably went a long ways towards further demoralizing the Bears.
Still, at halftime, the score was Vikings 7, Bears 6, so, all was not lost at that point. But the Bears had lost their last three games in a row and hopes were not exactly soaring. Now it’s four losses in a row, and, even though Chicago has a bye coming next week, they will still have to gear up and face Aaron Rodgers and the division leading Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field the week afterwards.
Then, to add injury to insult, Foles had to be carted off the field with only 37 seconds left in the game when he was thrown to the ground after yet another incomplete pass.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy told the press in his post-game interview, “Obviously, it was repetitive today. It was still happening. So not only for the players’ health right now, but for us as a coaching staff, we need to make sure that we’re really, honestly going back now and saying, ‘OK, you know, what’s going on and where are we at now that we have time to really see it?”
The Bears Break A Franchise Record
One brilliant bright spot for the Chicago Bears came on the second half kickoff when Cordarrelle Patterson received the kickoff four yards deep in the end zone and proceeded to carry the ball all the way back for a touchdown and giving the Bears their only lead of the night at 13-7. The 104-yard runback was the eighth career kickoff return for a touchdown for Patterson, which ties with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington for the modern day NFL record. It was also the longest for the team since 1967.
Other than that, it was a pretty sloppy NFL game overall. There were 3 muffed punts, all three of which were recovered by the kicking team and Chicago only gained 32 yards in the entire second half.
Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a good game overall, coming down with 8 out of 10 targets for 135 yards, but no scores, so no end zone dance in Chicago. While his quarterback, Kirk Cousins, had a respectable game completing 25 of 36 passes for 2 touchdowns and one interception. Stellar running back for Minnesota Dalvin Cook was held to under 100 yards rushing for the first time in a while but managed 96 yards on the ground for the game.
The Vikings will host the hapless Dallas Cowboys next week for what should be another easy victory.