The Chicago Bears’ only hope to score is when the opponent is kicking off. And no, that’s not a throwback comment about Devin Hester.
And now Chicago has lost its top two quarterbacks. Not that either was producing much.
Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a 104-yard kickoff return to begin the second half, and that’s the only time the Bears got into the end zone. The Minnesota Vikings had a tough time scoring themselves, but didn’t need much in an ugly 19-13 win on Monday night. Chicago squandered a good start to the season as the Bears are now 5-5 and it’s unlikely to get better because the offense is putrid.
Then it got worse. Nick Foles was slammed down trying to throw a ball away in the final minute and had to be carted off the field.
The Bears’ offense couldn’t do anything before the injury. Before a final desperation drive in the final minute the Bears had 131 total yards, and only 14 in the second half. It’s hard to go nearly two quarters in the NFL and gain only 14 yards. It’s not like the Vikings are a great defense either.
The Bears are unlikely to turn anything around on offense, with or without their top two QBs from the start of the season.
Nick Foles struggles again, gets hurt
Foles faced a Vikings defense that has a young secondary and has not been very good against the pass. Before Chicago’s last drive, Foles had 106 yards, no touchdowns and one interception for a 53.1 passer rating.
The Bears had a final shot in the last minute, but Foles was rushed on first down. He tried to stay up to avoid a sack, threw from an awkward angle and was slung down to the ground. Foles was down for a while with an injury. Tyler Bray came in for the last 37 seconds.
Before that, Foles’ play was bad again.
Foles has had a weird career. He had one of the best quarterback seasons ever, in terms of passer rating, in 2013. He made a Pro Bowl. Then he fell off the NFL map almost immediately afterward and almost retired. Foles resurfaced with the Eagles, and we all know the story about his Super Bowl MVP run. He led another late surge to the playoffs the next season. He got a big free-agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, got hurt and replaced his only season there, and was traded to the desperate Bears.
The Bears got the Foles who was on the verge of becoming a pastor because he looked like he had no NFL future. He replaced Mitchell Trubisky, who is now out with a shoulder injury, and the Bears’ offense didn’t get any better.
It’s easy to blame the Bears’ supporting cast or the play calling. Bears coach Matt Nagy gave up play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor on Monday, and the results were just as bad if not worse.
And now the Bears might need to call on Bray, who is unlikely to be the answer either.
Bears offense gets nothing done
The Vikings kept grinding it out on offense, knowing it wouldn’t take many points to win. Rookie receiver Justin Jefferson had a huge night. Dalvin Cook wasn’t spectacular but kept the chains moving with more than 100 total yards. Adam Thielen scored two touchdowns. His second TD gave the Vikings a 19-13 lead and it was clear the Bears’ offense wasn’t going to answer.
After four straight three-and-outs to start the second half, the Bears finally got another shot after a good punt return set them up at the Vikings’ 46-yard line. They finally got a first down on a short pass to Patterson. That was it. A third-and-5 screen pass to Allen Robinson was a miserable call that was shut down immediately. With just over two minutes to go the Bears had to go for it on fourth-and-9, and Foles missed Anthony Miller deep downfield.
The Bears are .500 and aren’t completely out of the NFC playoff hunt. But when you watch their offense, it’s hard to imagine them making any kind of run to the postseason. Having to turn to a third starting quarterback wouldn’t change that answer.
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