LAKE FOREST – Unlike the Rams game the week before and the Colts game four weeks ago, studying the tape of the Bears 26-23 loss to the Saints wasn’t painful.
The Bears actually did some very good things, it was just unbelievably frustrating because they had multiple chances to affect a very different outcome and they failed time and again because of failures to execute.
Had Nick Foles played better throughout, had Jimmy Graham executed better in the second half, had Roquan Smith or Eddie Jackson made just one play when it was presented to them in overtime there’s a good chance the Bears win the game.
The Bears didn’t lose because of Foles, Graham, Smith or Jackson, but they missed a bunch of opportunities to win because of plays they didn’t make.
Quarterback: Foles hit a 50-yarder to Darnell Mooney, a TD toss to Allen Robinson and converted two key fourth downs on the drive to tie the game and get to overtime.
But the Mooney ball was underthrown, the Robinson TD was overthrown and he needed to convert those fourth downs because of missed opportunities on first, second and third.
Yes Foles is under pressure but too many of his missed reads and poor throws are coming when he senses pressure, not because of it. His clock is running too fast. Hub’s Grade: C –
Running Backs: David Montgomery got 21 of the 22 run calls and did everything he could with what he was given, and that he caught only two of his five targets was as much or more on Foles as him. Hub’s Grade :B +
Receivers: Three different grades here; Like Montgomery Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller for the most part did everything possible with what they had to work with. B + Obviously Javon Wims gets an F.
Jimmy Graham played his worst game as a Bear and Cole Kmet with more snaps failed to provide help in the passing game. Blocking from those two and Demetrius Harris was okay most of the time. Hub's Grade: C –
Offensive Line: The Bears ran 69 plays, they can’t win on every one. In spite of playing most of the game without three starters these guys held their own a lot of the time.
Charles Leno may have played his best game and has stabilized the last two weeks, Sam Mustipher knows what he’s doing out there and isn’t hurting them, and Germain Ifedi caved in the entire left side of the Saints front on the Montgomery 38-yard jaunt.
Hats off to Juan Castillo in a very tough spot. Hub’s Grade: B –
‘D’ Front Seven: Drew Brees was sacked 12 times in 16 games all last season, you just don’t finish on him often.
These guys played really well with lots of pressure in Brees face all day and remember they geared to stop the run first, and with the exception of one Alvin Kamara 20-yarder and a 12 yard burst from Taysom Hill they did a nice job.
Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan played their best games of the year and Barkevious Mingo flashed a bunch too. Hub’s Grade: B +
Secondary: Holding Brees to 2-13 on third down and 1-4 in the Red Zone is unheard of with or without Michael Thomas but that’s a total defense grade for which these guys get a lot of credit.
Kyle Fuller was outstanding, again, but I’m still not sure what Jaylon Jonson was doing on the Jared Cook touchdown, Buster Skrine and Tashaun Gipson each blew one coverage and Eddie Jackson has to get that pick in OT. Hub’s Grade: B
Special Teams: Cairo Santos is just money right now, he gets an A, but Cordarrelle Patterson had his worst day as a Bear on kickoffs and the punt coverage was spotty. Hub’s Grade: B –
Coaching: Matt Nagy had one of his best games on the sidelines, cleaning up a lot scheme-wise and gameplan wise from the Rams game, finding a way to make the run work against one of the best run defenses in the league and there was little to quarrel with as far as play-calling or game management other than the “communications” issue which appeared to be more on Foles but for which the boss has to take responsibility.
After the Monday night fiasco Nagy had his guys ready and gave them a plan they should have won with had they executed it. Hub’s Grade: B