Darnell Mooney had a five catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. | Nam Y. Huh/AP
A roundup of news items from the Bears’ 16-13 loss to the Ravens.
The Bears made a lot of projections about their young players going into this season, and some of those haven’t worked out well. But they got it right on wide receiver Darnell Mooney.
With Allen Robinson out because of a hamstring injury, Mooney caught five passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ 16-13 loss to the Ravens.
The scary thing is that his numbers could’ve been even bigger, as he spent most of the afternoon running free of defenders. Bears quarterbacks Justin Fields and Andy Dalton targeted him on nearly half of their passes, and Mooney had at least two drops that cost him a chance to set a career-high in yardage.
“I just tried to take every opportunity I could and try to make the best of it, knowing A-Rob was out — big focal point of our offense,” Mooney said. “So I knew I would have to take care of the load. I was up for it.
“It was a lot of opportunities missed out there that I’m definitely very mad about.”
His 16 targets were the most by a Bears player this season.
With the big game Sunday, Mooney is already approaching the totals from his impressive rookie season and could exceed his 2020 yardage Thursday against the Lions. He now has 41 catches for 571 yards and three touchdowns and leads the team in all three categories.
Quinn, Smith star defensively
Outside linebacker Robert Quinn was one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL last season after giving the Bears just two sacks in his first season of a five-year, $70 million contract.
Now he’s their most valuable defensive player.
With the Bears’ pass rush depleted by injuries to Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, Quinn stepped up with a career-high 3 1/2 sacks against the Ravens. And considering he’s an 11th-year veteran and former all-pro, setting any career-high at this point is impressive.
It was also the most by a Bear since Jay Ratliff against the Dolphins in 2014.
That surge took him to 10 sacks for the season, making him the first Bear since Mack in 2018 to reach double digits.
Linebacker Roquan Smith also set a career high with 17 tackles, including two for loss. He went into Week 11 fourth in the league in tackles and now stands at 110. He has topped 100 in all four seasons with the Bears.
Santos’ new streak
After setting the franchise record by making 40 consecutive field goals, Bears kicker Cairo Santos has now missed his last two.
Santos was well short on the 65-yarder he tried at the end of the Steelers game, then missed wide left on a 40-yard try in the first quarter against the Ravens. It was just his second miss at Soldier Field in two seasons.