Chicago Bears Week 7 Takeaways: Glad It’s Over – On Tap Sports Net

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Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

It would be sugarcoating to say the Chicago Bears lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Bears didn’t just lose to the Bucs, they were thoroughly and mercifully beaten by the score of 38-3. Nothing about this game was pleasant if you were a member of the Bears or a fan of the team. This game and the result provided flashbacks to the Marc Trestman days of Chicago Bears football. Now, the Bears find themselves sporting a 3-4 record. Any hopes of the playoffs are slipping further away from their grasp.

If anything, the drubbing by the Bucs exposed how large the gap is between the Bears and winning a championship. The loss on Sunday only proved Chicago is nowhere close to being up there with the big dogs of the NFL. Once again, Tom Brady flexed on an inferior team and imposed his will. Although, Brady totally avenged his fourth down blunder from last year, which came much to the dismay of Bears fans.

Nevertheless, here are the takeaways from the beat down the Bears suffered in Tampa.

Justin Fields

All in all, Justin Fields was awful on Sunday against the Bucs. Theres no two ways around it. Of course, that’s fine. The guy is a rookie QB. However, he turned the ball over five times. Regardless of whether it was his fault or not, protecting the ball is crucial in the NFL especially at QB. Once again, Fields struggled with holding onto the ball too long and he was not processing fast enough. The game speed is not quite slowing down for him yet. The flashes of excellence that he showed in previous weeks were hardly seen against Tampa. It did not help his cause that the offensive line play was dreadful and his playmakers were letting him down frequently. In addition, the game plan and play-calling didn’t do him any favors either.

Overall, Fields finished the game with the following stat line: 22/32 (68.7%), 184 yards (5.8 yds/att), 0 TD, 3 INT, 2 fumbles and a QB Rating of 44.3. Needless to say, the rookie QB improved as much as one would hope, but it’s important to remember he is still just a rookie. Furthermore, he has to deal with a shoddy offensive line and Matt Nagy.

Matt Nagy

Speaking of Matt Nagy, what exactly was that performance from his team? The Bears looked totally unprepared and outclassed. The fourth-year head coach is ultimately responsible for and oversees all three units of the team. Not only did the offense fail miserably, but the defense and special teams did not perform well either, which is a direct reflection of Nagy as a leader. After an entire week of preparation and coach speak, this is the best they could do. The opening sequence of the game was evident what kind of day it was going to be for Nagy and the Bears.

Win toss

Choose to receive

Give up a sack

Go 3-and-out

Give up a long punt return

Commit pass interference

Allow long run

Touchdown

Buccaneers 7, Bears 0

— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) October 24, 2021

Matt Nagy coached this game like a guy in over his head and coached scared. When the Bears were already down 21-0, the offense finally put together a sustained drive and Nagy elected to kick a field goal. On the corresponding drive, the Bucs scored a touchdown and took the lead back up to 28-3. Likewise, on the second to last possession of the game Nagy punted the ball from the Buccaneers 44 yard-line. At that point, the game was all but over as the Bears trailed 38-3. Instead of going for it from the plus side of he field and trying to put together something, he folded in an act of cowardice.

Matt Nagy: The Identity of His Team

It’s more than likely Nagy isn’t on the sidelines for the Bears in 2022 –fingers crossed– but the way he’s going out is sickening. His team has little fight. They aren’t tough enough and just bow down and succumb to teams that overpower them. The Bears lack the physicality and mental toughness that’s necessary in the NFL. Which, again, is a reflection of Nagy. The Chicago Bears during the Matt Nagy era have struggled to find their identity.

While it’s unlikely Nagy gets canned mid-season, as that’s not the organization’s style, it might be time to change the way things are done at Halas Hall.

Offense

Of course, the offense struggled to find their rhythm and put much of anything together. The offense finished with a whopping three total points, but they did put up 311 total yards on 65 plays, which averaged out to be 4.8 yards per play. The Bears had 168 yards through the air and 143 on the ground. Surprisingly, Chicago ran the ball pretty darn well against a pretty stout run defense.

Additionally, the Bears struggled on third downs by finishing 2-for-11 after starting 0-for-7. Likewise, as a unit they went 0-for-1 on fourth downs and 0-for-2 in the red zone.

Khalil Herbert

The Chicago Bears have a gem on their hands in Khalil Herbert. Give credit where credit is due, Ryan Pace knows how to find gems in the middle rounds of the draft. The lone bright spot of the day for the Bears, Herbert logged his first 100 yard rushing game by picking up exactly 100 yards on 18 rushes, which was good for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. This includes a career long run of 29 yards.

In addition, the fifth-round pick added 33 yards on five receptions in the passing game. All in all, Herbert logged 133 all-purpose yards on twenty-three touches, which comes out to an average of 5.8 yards per touch.

When David Montgomery returns from his knee injury, the Bears will have an dynamic two-headed monster at running back.

Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery is going to be one heck of a 1-2 combo at RB.

— Aalap Desai (@ADesai410) October 24, 2021

Offensive Line

This unit had a rough day at the office. As a whole they allowed four sacks for a loss of 16 yards and were partly responsibly for both fumbles lost by Fields. Furthermore, they were bullied all game long. Especially Sam Mustipher and Lachavious Simmons. Simmons started at right tackle for Elijah Wilkinson who was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list before the game.

Overall, it wasn’t the best game for the offensive line. The pass protection struggled to hold up. Although, they performed fairly well in the running game.

Playmakers: Where Are You At?

The Bears playmakers struggled to help Justin Fields. Cole Kmet dropped a pass from Fields early in the game. Following that, Allen Robinson fell down on the first interception and Darnell Mooney had the ball bounce off of his hands on the second INT. There were a handful of drops in the game and moments where they were not in sync with the rookie QB. This was baffling, considering the Buccaneers had a depleted secondary heading into this contest.

Defense

Woof. Talk about a rough game. Sean Desai’s unit allowed 38 points in total. Of which, 35 came in the first half. This was Mel Tucker level bad and something not seen since 2014.

This is the 3rd time since at least 1991 the Bears have allowed at least 35 points in the first half.

The other two came in back-to-back games in 2014. Brady and the Patriots scored 38 in the first half on 10/26/2014, then Rodgers and the Packers poured on 42 on 11/9/2014.

— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) October 24, 2021

In addition, the Bucs offense imposed their will on the Bears defense. Tampa Bay gained 411 yards on 70 plays, which is an average of 5.8 yards per play. 226 of those yards came through the air and the remaining 182 were on the ground. The defense, which leads the league in sacks, recorded a grand total of zero sacks on Sunday. In fact, they didn’t log a single takeaway either. The past two weeks have been tough to watch if you’re a fan of the Bears defense.

Penalties/Bilal Nichols

As a whole, the Bears picked up four penalties for 32 yards. Not only that, but one of those penalties got Bilal Nichols ejected from the game. Nichols was caught punching a Bucs offensive lineman. This instance was the third in three years where a Bears player threw a punch at an opposing player.

Now, Nichols joins the likes of Anthony Miller and Javon Wims.

Cairo Santos

Once again, Cairo Santos appreciation. The Brazilian kicker notched his 35th consecutive FG and the Bears’ lone points in the game.

Moral victory alert: #Bears avoid shutout with Santos’ 35th straight field goal.

— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) October 24, 2021

Injuries/COVID Outbreak

Heading into this matchup, the Bears were somewhat shorthanded. They were without Akiem Hicks, who is nursing a groin injury. Additionally, they were without Robert Quinn, Jimmy Graham, Caleb Johnson and Elijah Wilkinson after these four landed on the COVID-19 reserve list.

Overall

In conclusion, there was not much to like from this game. Aside from Khalil Herbert and Cairo Santos, everything else was horrendous. The offense was dreadful. The defense was woeful and the special teams was mediocre. Now, the worst part of it all was the coaching. Not only was Nagy bad but Sean Desai and all the other assistant coaches were brutal. It didn’t help that Bill Lazor, the savior from Nagy’s play-calling, was just as bad.

It’s not as if many Bears fans expected much from this game anyway. The Bears were going up against a juggernaut of a team in the Bucs. Ironically, the loss to the Bears last year awakened this buzzsaw that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Now with the loss, the Bears are 3-4 and sliding out of playoff contention. However, there is still plenty of time left and anything can happen. So, never say never. However, it would take a drastic turn around like last year after their six-game skid. More than likely, that’s probably not happening again. Especially not with this schedule.

What’s On Tap Next?

The Chicago Bears (3-4) will come back home to Soldier Field and take on the San Francisco 49ers (2-4) next week. This game will take place on Sunday, October 31 and kick off at 12:00 p.m. CDT on FOX. It’s only fitting that this contest is happening on Halloween because nothing says scary more than watching the Bears offense and Matt Nagy go to work. However, it’s only the fans they put the fear in as the opposing teams aren’t flustered one bit.

Now, they’ll get to take on Joey Bosa, Fred Werner, and the 49ers defense. Both teams are looking to rebound from their losses. Chicago was humiliated by Tom Brady and the Bucs. Meanwhile, San Francisco dropped their Week Six contest to Carson Wentz and the Colts at home on Sunday Night Football. It will be interesting to see who’s under center for the 49ers, whether its Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance. Nevertheless, San Francisco has some playmakers on offense led by Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk. While it will be a far cry from Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, the Bears will have to take the Niners offense seriously regardless of who the QB is.

Be sure to tune into the Bears On Tap podcast for postgame reaction, updates, and analysis throughout the week in addition to discussions on a variety of Bears-related topics.

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Writer/contributor for On Tap Sports Net and Bears on Tap. Lifelong and a die-hard fan of the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Nothing but respect the White Sox though. Enjoying life and having a good time. Interests also include eating, gaming, sometimes reading and tons of tomfoolery. Good sense of humor (although sometimes dry). Occasionally witty. Follow me on Twitter

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