After a tough loss against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, the Bears hosted the Vikings at home Monday night. It is safe to say that the emotions of the season where put on display last night. The Bears defense played spectacularly but Justin Fields and the offense failed to score in the red zone on multiple occasions.
Chicago was able to score a late touchdown in the last seconds but it would have no impact on the outcome of the game. Resulting in a final score of 17-9 making the Bears 4-10 on the season, officially eliminating them from the playoffs.
Bears defense stuns Vikings
Maybe the only positive of Monday was the way the defense played. The defense was ready to go even with an array of players missing. Chicago’s defensive line played excellently, due in large part to the help of Akiem Hicks who just returned from injury. Holding Dalvin Cook to just 89 yards and zero touchdowns. Dalvin has averaged 97 yards a game this season and scored six touchdowns. The Bears defensive line also recorded 3 sacks for a total loss of 30 yards.
The Bears defensive backs also played very well last night holding Kirk Cousins to 87 yards unfortunately giving up two touchdowns. They even were able to keep one of the leagues best receivers, Justin Jefferson, to just 47 yards. A possible future corner star was born last night in Thomas Graham Jr. who was made his debut Monday night. Graham Jr. was a 6th round pick out of Oregon and just came off the practice squad. He recorded one of the best rookie corner debuts with a PFF grade of 90.7, 3 PBU and allowed 10 yards. Even though the Bears lost they may have found a great corner for years to come.
Mental errors and turnovers
Despite the defense’s effort, the Bears team as a whole suffered more than a few mental errors. Even though some would argue the referees cost Chicago this game, it was more than just the referees. The Bears totaled three turnovers all of which were fumbles. One of these fumbles was a muffed punt by Damiere Byrd in the 4th quarter which summarized the night. Nothing seemed to go right for the Bears as they had plenty of chance to take the lead but could never capitalize. Even with Fields throwing for 285 yards and leading Chicago into the red zone three times in the 4th quarter, the Bears would only be able to score one touchdown the entire game as time expired.
This game really showed how visibly frustrated the players, fans, coaches and front office were in the season as a whole. The Bears stadium erupted in we still stink chants and fire coach Nagy cheers. The players and Nagy were both the cause of multiple unsportsmanlike conduct calls. This all occurred as the night just seemed to slip into a deep depression as Bears fans could hardly watch. All Bears Nation can do now is look to next year and pray a new coach can help produce better results. Hopefully, Fields will be able to develop some and grow with the team in the last three games of the season.