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Chicago Bears: 3 Takeaways from Week 7

The Chicago Bears lost to the Los Angeles Rams in an embarrassing 24-10 loss. The Bears offense had 0 touchdowns, with the team’s only points coming off of an Eddie Jackson fumble return for a touchdown and a Cairo Santos field goal. This loss moves the Bears to 5-2, and drops them out of the NFC North division lead. Here are three takeaways from the Bears Week 7 game.

Matt Nagy should not be calling plays

The Bears offense is mostly to blame for the Bears loss on Monday Night Football. They were 4 for 14 converting 3rd downs, 1 for 4 on 4th downs, and scored 0 points on two trips to the red zone. They also turned the ball over twice, including an interception in the end zone on a potential scoring chance.

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

This is no surprise for an underwhelming Bears offense facing one of the best defenses in the league.

This season, the Bears rank 30th on 3rd down conversions, 25th on 4th down conversions, and 29th in red zone scoring. It is very tough to have a successful offense while putting up these horrendous statistics. Play-calling is a large reason for inability to convert in these situations.

Instead of offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, head coach Matt Nagy has taken on the role of offensive play-caller and done a poor job. The statistics demonstrate a bad offense, and Nagy has not done much to change his play-calling.

For instance, Nagy is determined to involve Cordarrelle Patterson in the running game. Patterson is the Bears star kick returner and special teamer. He does a great job in this role, being named an All-Pro in six seasons as a kick returner. However, Nagy has been lining him up in the backfield this season without much success.

In 2020, Patterson has averaged 2.8 yards per carry on 25 attempts. Even worse, on his 6 short-yardage rushing attempts, he has gained a total of 2 yards. Yet, Nagy still trusts him in important situations.

Nagy should not be calling plays for the Bears. He has done little to adjust his play-calling, and as long as he continues in his ways, the Bears offense will struggle.

Cole Kmet is the real deal

In Cole Kmet’s first 5 games, the Bears rookie tight end racked up a total of 1 reception on 4 targets. He was pretty much a non-factor, and many wondered whether or not the Bears second round draft pick was anything special. However, he proved in Week 6’s game against the Panthers and against the Rams that he is likely the real deal.

Against the Panthers he had an impressive touchdown catch in traffic. Then, on Monday night, he had caught both of his targets for a total of 45 yards. He had one especially outstanding catch, grabbing the ball over the defender’s helmet and rumbling for another 10 yards.

The rookie tight end looks to be improving, both in his pass-catching and his blocking ability.

Head coach Matt Nagy commented on Kmet, saying: “Cole Kmet is going to start playing more in this offense… He’s deserved it. He’s earned it. He’s a guy that I’m really proud of the way he’s playing. For us, we have to be aware of that, understand that and start using him more.”

It is clear that Kmet is a special player, and it will be exciting to see him develop and hopefully improve this lackluster Bears offense.

It is not the time to panic about the Bears

There is no doubt that for the majority of the game, the Bears were not even close to being a match for the Rams. The Bears offense was weak and largely lifeless, and the defense suffered because of it. Many are ready to give up on Chicago, but the Bears should not be counted out of the playoff race just yet.

First off, they are still 5-2. The 5-1 start was key, as they beat some solid teams on they schedule. In their nine remaining games, they also have the 9th easiest remaining strength of schedule according to Tankathon. This heavily increases the Bears chances of making the playoffs.

Beyond just making the playoffs, the Bears are a better team than they showed against the Rams.

Their defense is still one of the best in the league, and the 24 points that it allowed does not tell the whole story. They were constantly set up in poor field position because of offensive errors. On 3 of the 4 Rams scoring drives, they had to go less than 60 yards to score. This reflects the offenses inability to convert 4th and 3rd downs.

(Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Bears defense also scored Chicago’s only touchdown on a fumble forced by Robert Quinn, which was returned for a touchdown by Eddie Jackson

This shows that there is no reason to panic about the Bears defensive performance. Even though 24 points allowed does not seem like a superb defense, they are not an issue at all.

The Bears offense clearly had a terrible game against the strong Rams defense. Despite their mediocrity, Chicago’s offense can be average enough to let the defense carry them to the playoffs. They were able to do that in the Bears previous wins, and should be able to continue to do so.

 

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