Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
7.) Kyle Fuller held his own against Antonio Bryant
Bryant had 6 catches for 82 yards and probably would have had more had it not been so easy for the Cowboys to run the football. So it’s not like Fuller shut Bryant down or anything, but he didn’t look overmatched and made him work for his catches which is a rarity against this Bears secondary.
Here is what Bryant had to say about Fuller’s performance: “He’s way more than decent. He’s a good player. You’ve got to bring your A game when you are going against a guy like that. You got to.”
At least the Bears have one rookie from this year’s draft that looks like a potential starter.
8) The Bears recovered an onside kick for the first time in 10 years
In his 10 years with the Bears Robbie Gould has never completed a successful onsides kick. The Bears recovered one Thursday in Jay Feely’s first onsides attempt.
9.) After a decent performance last week, the Bears special teams unit went back to being awful
I guess last week’s solid special teams performance was a fluke. The Bears had an extra point blocked, gave up a punt return TD that luckily was called back, and had 4 penalties called against them over the course of the game. That’s unacceptable. No special teams player had a grade over .5 and only 2 players finished the day in the positive (Mundy, Mariani) according to Pro Football Focus. As a unit the Bears special teamers had a -8.5 collective grade. Awful.
10.) Shea McClellin wasn’t terrible
Out of fairness to McClellin, since I’ve been tough on him in this space, he actually played pretty well on Thursday night. McClellin’s best play was a good read on a screen pass that resulted in a nice tackle behind the line of scrimmage. He had a few nice plays and was the Bears top graded defensive player according to PFF (1.4).
11.) Jordan Mills actually played pretty well
Both McClellin and Mills played well? Sign of the apocalypse? I didn’t notice it on my first viewing, but after watching the tape Mills really stood out on a night when most of the Bears O-line failed. Mills was very aggressive in the running game and played with an edge I haven’t seen much of this year. His pass blocking was solid as well. After leading the team in QB hurries allowed most of the season, Mills hasn’t allowed a sack, hit, or hurry in two of his last three starts. I’ve been pushing for Ola or someone from this year’s draft taking over for Mills since he has looked like a liability for most of his Bears career, but on Thursday he looked like the future at RT.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
12.) Trestman? Tucker? DeCamillis? Why do they still have jobs?
The Bears problems aren’t only on the field. Things need to change from the top down. Whether it starts with GM Phil Emery or with the assistant coaches that Emery and Trestman put in place, someone needs to be held accountable for what has happened on the field this season.
The talent gap between the Bears and the top teams in the league is even wider than it was when Emery took over 3 years ago. That failure is on Emery. He also drafted Shea McClellin in the first round and pulled the trigger on Cutler’s massive contract extension instead of using the franchise tag on him to continue evaluating his ability to lead the Bears. Those are only a few of his mistakes and overall there are far more cons than pros on Emery’s ledger.
In Lovie Smith’s last season with the Bears the offense scored 23.4 points per game. In 2014, Trestman’s 2nd year running the Bears offense, the Bears are only scoring 21.6 points per game. That failure is on Trestman.
The Bears defense is giving up 29.1 point per game which is dead last in the NFL. If the Bears give up 44 total points over their last three games, Mel Tucker will have been calling the shots for the two worst defenses in the Bears 95 year history. This one is easy. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker deserves to be fired.
The last thing I want is to prolong the time it takes for the Bears to be good again, but I have lost confidence in Emery and his coaches. I have been searching the stats for something, even if it’s obscure, that gives me hope that the Bears are moving in the right direction, but haven’t had any luck. All arrows are pointing down and I don’t have faith that this current group of decision makers and “leaders” can turn the Bears around.