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Photo: Steve Roberts/USA TODAY Sports

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Chicago Bears Week 9 Takeaways: Nagging Negligence

The Bears dropped to 5-4 following a loss to the Tennessee Titans. The performance on-field was dreadful as the offense lacked any signs of life.

The Chicago Bears’ woes continued as they lost 24-17 to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Their playoff aspirations continue to fade away, as a third straight loss does not help matters whatsoever. What was once a promising start at 5-1 has become a nightmare. The team’s record now stands at 5-4.

It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but the Bears were on the wrong side of yet another ugly game. It’s the same song and dance with these guys. From start to finish, the Bears were a disjointed team. Wash, rinse, repeat.

There wasn’t much to take away from this game considering it was mostly bad due to the same old issues. However, here are the main observations from a disastrous performance in Nashville.

Defense

How much more can one ask for? The defense deserves major props. They stifled the high-powered Titans offense, holding them to 17 points and 228 total yards on 55 plays for an average of 4.1 yards per play. The Titans recorded just 11 total first downs as well.

Those yards and first downs distributed like so:

  • Pass Offense: seven first downs, 136 yards on 21 attempts
  • Run Offense: four first downs, 92 yards on 31 attempts

For the afternoon, Tennessee’s offense was confined to a robust 40% third-down conversion rate after going six for 15 overall.

The biggest accomplishment of the game for the Bears’ defense was their containment of Derrick Henry. The typically dangerous back carried the ball 21 times for just 68 yards (3.2 avg).

Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill didn’t fare much better. His final stat line read: 10/21, 158 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 104.9 QB Rating. Additionally, the Bears’ defense collected three sacks that amounted to 22 yards lost.

Not a single soul should blame the Bears’ struggles on the defense.

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Matt Nagy

Matt Nagy’s time in Chicago seems to be running its course, at least from an objective performance evaluation standpoint. The offensive guru is in way over his head. Nagy seems to be clueless as a schemer, game planner, and play-caller. He has zero feel for the game and the adjustments he makes are few and far between.

Consequently, Nagy is the Achilles heel for the Bears. His stubbornness and ego are getting in the way of where the Bears could be headed. The defense is doing their job but the offense keeps shooting themselves in the foot. These problems on offense aren’t a recent development, as they have persisted ever since he was hired.

The summation of Nagy the play-caller…

Offense

The offense was putrid, as they could only muster up 17 points. Oddly enough, the Bears’ offense did outperform the Titans’ offense. However, just looking at the total numbers can be quite misleading. The stat sheet won’t show that most of those yards and points came in garbage time.

The Bears finished with 375 yards on 75 plays for an average of five yards per play. The passing attack logged 319 yards while the running game could only contribute 56 yards. They even managed 22 first downs (17 passing and five rushing), which was double what the Titans had.

However, turnovers and penalties were backbreakers. The Bears coughed up the ball twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

There was a sequence early on in the game where the Bears cost themselves a chance at points due to multiple awful penalties.

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Third Down Struggles

Additionally, the Bears struggled mightily on third downs. At one point, they were zero for nine on third-down conversions. They finished with just two conversions on 15 attempts.

This is especially concerning considering the fact the Titans previously were allowing their opponents to convert on a high percentage of third-down situations.

Third Quarter Ineptitude

The Bears have struggled to score or do much of anything in the third quarter all season.

Did they score in the third quarter against the Titans? Nope.

Special Teams

The special teams came through when the offense could not. Pat O’Donnell flipped field position and gave the defense a bit of help.

Funny (or sad) enough, the biggest play and run of the day was a direct snap on a punt that OLB Barkevious Mingo carried for 11 yards and first down.

Evidently, the Bears punt A LOT. Not just in 2020 but over the last 50 years.

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Cordarrelle Patterson

Normally how Patterson is used and when he is used is an issue. Nevertheless, today was an exception. The Bears used Patterson wonderfully in this game all things considered. The RB/WR recorded 40 all-purpose yards — 27 yards on four receptions and 13 yards on three rushes.

It was a good day for Mr. Patterson.

Cordarrelle Patterson Bears
Photo: Steve Roberts/USA TODAY Sports

Roquan Smith

The Bears’ third-year linebacker continued his impressive play. Smith finished with 11 tackles (nine solo, two tackles for loss), one sack, and one QB hit against the Titans.

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Offensive Line

The Bears’ offensive line has been decimated by injuries, no doubt, but even when healthy they’re uninspiring as a unit. Here’s how they lined up today:

  • LT: Charles Leno
  • LG: Arlington Hambright
  • C: Alex Bars
  • RG: Germain Ifedi
  • RT: Rashaad Coward

Yuck.

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Overall

This was a dumpster fire of a game and one everyone needs to rinse it from their memories as soon as possible. The Bears’ defense held up their end of the bargain and the offense did not, per usual. This team doesn’t instill confidence in anyone going forward. The offense is an absolute mess and with Nagy calling the plays it’ll be hard to fathom any spark or turnaround coming soon. Watching this game was painful as pulling teeth. Yikes.

One step forward (Saints game), two steps back (Titans game).

What’s On Tap Next?

The Chicago Bears take Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field in a Week 10 matchup. These two teams will square off in primetime on Monday, November 16th at 7:15 PM CDT. The game will be televised on ESPN. The Bears will head into that divisional matchup on a three-game skid. Meanwhile, the Vikings are riding a two-game winning streak after taking down the Packers and Lions in consecutive weeks. These factors should make for an interesting NFC North battle.

Be sure to tune in to the Bears On Tap podcast for postgame reactions, updates and analysis throughout the week, and discussions on a variety of other Bears-related topics.


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