The Chicago Bears started slow but then scored three unanswered touchdowns to take the lead over the Detroit Lions they would relinquish late in Week 10. The Bears’ offense continued to look impressive, with quarterback Justin Fields leading the team down the field over and over. The Bears have now scored 30 points in three of their last four games.
Defensively, the Bears played pretty well compared to their performances in the previous two weeks. However, they made some egregious errors they’ll need to clean up if they want to win another game. They surrendered two touchdowns in the fourth quarter that allowed the Lions to complete their comeback Sunday. Here are three studs and duds from the Bears’ loss to the Lions.
Chicago Bears Studs
Justin Fields-Cole Kmet connection
For the second straight week, Cole Kmet caught two touchdown passes from Fields. Kmet showed his athleticism against the Lions’ defense. Kmet was Field’s favorite target on Sunday, as Kmet was targeted seven times. Kmet finished with 74 yards receiving on four catches. The two seem to be establishing a solid connection as this season progresses.
Jack Sanborn sacks
Who needs Roquan Smith at $20 million a year? Jack Sanborn is making exciting plays for the Chicago Bears’ defense. Sanborn brought the heat against the Lions in Week 10. He sacked Jared Goff twice and finished with 12 total tackles on Sunday. Two were tackles for a loss. Sanborn was used to blitz often in the Bears’ scheme against the Lions. It was effective when it worked, but when he missed, the Lions got first downs and a touchdown.
Sanborn made great plays. A second-half interception by Sanborn was negated by a Jaylon Johnson penalty. As head coach Matt Eberflus would say, that’s great “ball production” by the undrafted rookie free agent.
The Chicago Bears run game
The Chicago Bears continued to run the ball effectively against the Lions. Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery were both averaging more than four yards a rush in Week 10. Fields took the running attack to another level. He accounted for 147 of the Bears’ 258 rushing yards. He added two touchdowns as well. Fields set a Bears record in the Super Bowl era, as he has now run for a touchdown in four consecutive games.
Chicago Bears duds
The Chicago Bears’ secondary
The Bears’ secondary looked terrible against the Lions. The Lions decided to play with a balanced attack, as they ran the ball 31 times and attempted 26 passes. They would have done better just sticking with the passing game. Lions quarterback Jared Goff finished with 236 passing yards and a touchdown pass.
The coverage was bad, but penalties hurt as well. Jaylon Johnson had two illegal use of hands penalties on a fourth-quarter drive that ended in a touchdown. Johnson’s penalty wiped out a Sanborn interception that would have given the Bears a chance to ice the game on the next drive.
Third and fourth down defense
The Chicago Bears couldn’t get off the field on third down against the Lions. A lot of that was because of the poor play by the secondary. The Lions finished 5-11 on third down and 1-1 on fourth down conversions. It wasn’t just short conversions the Lions had to make. The Lions converted on third and nine and third and 14 on two of their scoring drives against the Bears.
Chase Claypool’s production
The Chicago Bears gave up considerable draft capital to add Chase Claypool to the offense. He was targeted twice by Fields. Claypool caught one of those passes for eight yards. He wasn’t seen in red-zone situations against the Lions. Claypool might be learning the playbook, but the Bears surely have some easy packages for Fields heave a jump ball to the big-bodied receiver. The Bears need to make better use of the playmaker they traded a second-round pick for.
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