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Chicago Bears Week 16 Takeaways: Snowy in Seattle

Here are the main takeaways from the Bears’ thrilling comeback win over the Seahawks in snowy Seattle.

Bears Seahawks
Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bears snapped their three-game losing streak on Sunday by defeating the Seattle Seahawks 25-24. Even more impressive, the Bears won on the road. It’s no surprise that playing in Seattle as the visiting team has been a tough task. However, adding in the fact that there was an ongoing snowstorm and the Bears were down 10 points (TWICE!), Chicago deserves a golf clap and a pat on the back.

The Bears’ victory improved their record to 5-10 and eliminated the Seahawks from playoff contention. Both sides join the following teams watching the playoffs from home:

  • Jaguars (2-13)
  • Lions (2-12-1)
  • Texans (4-11)
  • Jets (4-11)
  • Giants (4-11)
  • Panthers (5-10)

The Bears can take solace in knowing the win drops their first-round pick out of the top five. That selection belongs to the Giants after a draft-day trade that netted the Bears Justin Fields. Currently, the Bears, or the Giants, would be selecting seventh overall. Either way, when these two teams lock horns at Soldier Field, it will hurt the Giants’ draft position. But more on that later.

Nevertheless, the Bears won a thrilling game on Sunday out in Seattle. Without further ado, here are the takeaways from the Bears’ win over the Seahawks in the snow!

The Tale of Nick Foles

Imagine being in Nick Foles’ shoes. Last year, he took over for Mitch Trubisky midway through the Week 3 game in Atlanta and led Chicago to a comeback win. Then, he and Matt Nagy clashed on the sidelines against the Buccaneers. He rode it out for a few more weeks only to lose his job following an injury.

In the offseason, the Bears signed Andy Dalton to be the QB1, thus signaling the team doesn’t believe in Foles enough to be the starting quarterback. A few weeks later, Chicago drafted Justin Fields only to push Foles further down the depth chart.

The peak of the Nick Foles era as a Bear came in Week 3 of this season when cameras caught him telling Dalton how the offense wasn’t working. The clip went viral for a couple of days.

Then in Week 16, the Bears finally called upon Foles to start. The decision came as a result of Justin Fields dealing with an ankle injury and Dalton coming off the Reserve/COVID-19 list only shortly before the game.

Nick Foles

As far as the game goes, Foles did a decent job. He managed the offense fairly well and didn’t put the ball in harm’s way for the most part. However, there were times when he took unnecessary sacks. When have Bears fans heard that before?

But for the most part, Foles was quick and decisive and may have improvised at times. There were questionable decisions too. For instance, on fourth-and-four, Foles could have taken off and run for the first down. There were visibly no defenders nearby. Instead, he chose to float a pass to Damien Williams that went incomplete. Although, one could argue for a defensive pass interference penalty on that play.

Overall, Foles posted the following stat line:

  • Completions/Attempts: 24/35 (68.5%)
  • Yards: 250 (7.1 yds/att)
  • Touchdowns: 1
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Passer Rating: 98.5

Additionally, he took four sacks for a loss of 21 yards. However, Foles’ only touchdown was a dart to former Seahawk Jimmy Graham.

After that touchdown pass, the Bears went for the two-point conversion. Foles threw a pass that resulted in a fantastic catch to put Chicago ahead for good.

But more on that later.

David Montgomery

The Bears’ lead running back had a tough day on the ground. However, he made up for it in the passing game. All in all, David Montgomery had 106 all-purpose yards on 28 touches — good for an average of 3.8 yards — and one touchdown. His lone score came in the second quarter, and he followed it up with a snow angel.

Montgomery was a difference-maker in this game.

  • Running game: 21 carries, 45 yards (2.1 avg), 1 TD
  • Passing game: 7 catches, 61 yards (8.7 avg), 0 TD

The third-year back led the team in receptions and tied Darnell Mooney for most targets. Oh, if that wasn’t enough, Montgomery was busy taking souls.

Khalil Herbert

While Khalil Herbert didn’t contribute as much on offense, he played a key role in the return game, especially since Jakeem Grant was inactive. Herbert returned five kickoffs for 94 yards (18.8 average), which included a long of 30 yards. Just as well, he had two rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown. His score was a 20-yard scamper through the snow.

Additionally, Herbert hauled in one catch for seven yards. It was a pretty uneventful day in terms of total stats for the rookie, but he made it count when it mattered.

Cole Kmet

It’s time to give Cole Kmet some credit where it’s due. He was catching short passes and breaking tackles seemingly all afternoon. If anything, most of his yards came after the catch, which is a positive step forward in his development. His final stat line read as follows: 4 catches, 49 yards (12.3 avg) on 5 targets with a long of 16 yards.

If the Bears can properly deploy Kmet going forward, his ceiling can be much higher.

Damiere Byrd

The speedy receiver only had one catch for 11 yards on three targets. However, he made the biggest catch of the day. As previously alluded to, the Bears went for two after Jimmy Graham’s touchdown. On the play, Nick Foles sprinted to the right and fired a pass to the end of the end zone. The intended target was Damiere Byrd, who made a spectacular one-handed catch to give the Bears the lead.

Just keep playing this video on a loop. It doesn’t get any less ridiculous.

Offense: Overall

In total, the Bears’ offense put up 25 points and was able to move the ball well. As a result, they accumulated 317 yards on 69 plays for an average of 4.9 yards per play. Of course, the majority of their total yards came through the air. Chicago logged 229 total passing yards after subtracting the sacks. The running game produced the remaining 88 yards of offense. Of those, Montgomery made up half with 45.

The Bears’ offense also converted on 50% of their third downs (7-for-14). Likewise, the Bears went 1-for-3 on fourth down. In the red zone, they were successful on two of their four trips. Of the two failed tries, the first was a turnover on downs and the second resulted in a field goal. So it wasn’t necessarily all bad.

Roquan Smith

Once again, Roquan Smith was a Pro Bowl snub. Nevertheless, he continues to do his thing. #AllPRoquan led the team in tackles.

  • 9 tackles
  • 7 solo tackles
  • 2 tackles for loss
  • 1 QB hit

Not only does Smith show up on the stat sheet, but he’s visible on the field as well. The linebacker is always flying towards the ball. Usually, Bears fans will notice him near the conclusion of the play. The eye test proves it.

Robert Quinn

Another week, another sack. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Quinn is just a half-sack shy of tying Richard Dent’s single-season record.

Defense: As a Whole

The defensive unit didn’t have its best day, but it wasn’t a terrible outing either. Given the conditions, they did alright. Chicago limited Seattle to only 18 first downs but did allow 331 yards on 53 plays for an average of 6.2 yards per play. However, Sean Desai’s unit held the Seahawks to only 161 passing yards.

As a result, Russell Wilson finished the game with the following stat line: 16/27, 181 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. He completed only 59.3% of his passes and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt. The Bears sacked him twice for a loss of 20 yards, which is not nearly as impressive as what they did to Seattle’s two best receivers. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for five catches resulting in 71 yards and a touchdown.

  • DK Metcalf: 2 catches, 41 yards, TD
  • Tyler Lockett: 3 catches, 30 yards

Metcalf, of course, is the son of former Bears’ offensive guard Terrence Metcalf, who spent seven years in Chicago (2002-2008).

As for the run defense, that was a different story. The Bears had a tough time with the Seahawks’ ground game. Seattle was able to run for 170 yards on 24 rushes for an average of 7.1 yards per attempt. Rashaad Penny carried the load for his team.

  • Rashaad Penny: 17 rushes, 135 yards (7.9 avg), 1 TD
  • DeeJay Dallas: 4 rushes, 15 yards (3.8 avg)
  • Russell Wilson: 2 rushes, 13 yards (6.5 avg)
  • Dee Eskridge: 1 rush, 7 yards (7.0 avg)

All the yards aside, the Bears’ defense stifled the Seahawks on third and fourth downs and in the red zone.

  • Third Down: 3-10 (30.0%)
  • Fourth Down: 0-1 (0.0%)
  • Red Zone: 1-3 (33.3%)

Injuries

The Bears did not come out of the game unscathed. Teven Jenkins exited in the early stages of the game and did not return due to a shoulder injury.

Similarly, defensive back Teez Tabor left the game but on a cart. Tabor did not return and the team placed him on IR with an ankle injury on Monday.

Additionally, Cairo Santos took a vicious hit on a kickoff and walked off the field in pain. However, he was able to finish the game. Since Nagy did not address the matter after the game nor on Monday, it seems Santos should be good to go for Week 17.

Germain Ifedi

It’s time to address the elephant in the room. After Germain Ifedi’s shenanigans last week, the Bears made him captain this week.

Against the Vikings, Ifedi laid into Jenkins after getting a flag for defending Justin Fields. The situation was perplexing because a real captain would have stood up for his rookie quarterback.

Sure, the captaincy decision was understandable as Ifedi is playing his former team. However, Ifedi was not deserving of those honors and his play proved just that. Ifedi had a rough game overall against the Seahawks. His lone bright spot was recovering a fumble just two plays before the eventual game-winning touchdown.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that the concept of rotating captains each week is sophomoric, which conveniently brings us to our next topic.

Matt Nagy

Has Matt Nagy checked out knowing the writing is on the wall? I mean good grief. His personnel decisions were beyond asinine. He really started Germain Ifedi at right tackle over Larry Borom and Artie Burns at cornerback over Thomas Graham Jr., who was spectacular against the Vikings a week earlier? Granted, Burns and Graham Jr. did rotate throughout the game.

Yes, Larry Borom played, but only after Teven Jenkins left the game with an injury. It should have never come to that. In fact, my guy, Joseph Herff hits it on the head here.

To be fair, Nagy wasn’t totally awful against the Seahawks. He actually made a few good decisions. Go figure. For instance, going for it on fourth down inside the red zone was a good call. Then, going for two and playing for the win at the end of the game was brilliant.

But we shouldn’t get too excited by those decisions because it was Nagy doing his job, which he is paid to do. I guess we have low standards for the Bears’ head coaching position now.

Winter Wonderland

After the game, some of the Bears had some fun in the snow. First, Roquan Smith pelted Alec Ogletree in the face with a snowball.

Then, Marquise Goodwin got in on the act and blasted the Bears’ social media team.

Good Vibes

As soon the as game ended, a few Bears’ players let their emotions go heading into the tunnel. Here is Patrick Scales:

Next, we have Khalil Herbert:

Finally, David Montgomery gave us the “yessirski” followed by Khyiris Tonga loving the weather, apparently.

Overall

Sure, the Bears’ win clinches a non-losing record during Nagy’s four years. Great. Fantastic. That does nothing for the team or organization besides ensuring mediocrity. Despite the rumors, the Bears did not fire Nagy on Monday. In fact, Nagy made it known that he’s under the assumption that he’ll coach the final two weeks. Regardless, there are only two weeks left until the inevitable occurs. As soon as the final whistle blows in Week 18, Nagy’s keycard should stop working at Halas Hall.

As for the game itself, the Bears knocked the Seahawks out of playoff contention with their win. It’s always nice to play spoiler when there’s not much else to play for.

It was a stupid fun game to watch. The Bears started a third-string QB, who just happens to be a former Super Bowl MVP. Foles took his first snaps in over 400 days and had to go up against Russell Wilson in Seattle while both teams battled a snowstorm. To make it even more hilarious, the Bears rallied after being down by 10 points… TWICE.

Finally, the head coach showed his fortitude and went for the win on a two-point try. Despite the terrible play, a miraculous catch bailed Chicago out. The guy who won the game? A receiver who struggled to get playing time until recently, coming off a bad week after a damn good one.

If that isn’t “peak Bears”, then I don’t know what is.

What’s On Tap Next?

The 5-10 Chicago Bears head home for their final game of the season at Soldier Field. Their opponent is the 4-11 New York Giants, who own Chicago’s 2022 first-round pick. The Week 17 matchup has several draft position repercussions.

As things currently stand, the Bears’ pick is the seventh overall selection. Meanwhile, the Giants slot in at fourth overall with their own pick. If the Giants win this game, their own pick could drop as far back as eighth, which could push the Bears’ pick up to 3rd overall. Of course, this is pending results of the other teams ahead of or behind them. On the flip side, a Bears win would push their own pick back. As a result, it would help the Giants by elevating their own pick.

The Bears and Giants will square off on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at 12 PM CST. The game will air on CBS. Chicago hopes to have Justin Fields back from an ankle injury. Jaylon Johnson, Allen Robinson, Tashaun Gipson, and Jesse James could all return to action after exiting the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. The Bears’ defense will be nearing full strength and it could bode well for them.

The Giants, led by Mike Glennon, have been on the struggle bus lately. This scenario could help Robert Quinn break Chicago’s single-season sack record and possibly chase down Michael Strahan’s record as well. The Giants are are tough, gritty team defensively. However, their offense’s incompetency hurts the defense. Sounds familiar.

Be sure to tune into the Bears On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction plus updates and analysis throughout the week.

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Writer/contributor for On Tap Sports Net and Bears on Tap. Lifelong and a die-hard fan of the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Nothing but respect the White Sox though. Enjoying life and having a good time. Interests also include eating, gaming, sometimes reading and tons of tomfoolery. Good sense of humor (although sometimes dry). Occasionally witty. Follow me on Twitter

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