Chicago Bears Week 13: Takeaways

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It took me almost a week to write my takeaways from the Bears crushing 26-20 home loss to the hapless Niners because I’ve been depressed all week since it literally ruined the Bears chances of making a surprising playoff push. At least Bears fan had a week to realistically consider playoff possibilities before it all came crashing down after their overtime loss to the 49ers.

A Niners team that had yet to win a game on the road and was starting former bust Blaine Gabbert at QB. The same Gabbert who threw this pass , if you didn’t watch the link it went backwards about 15 yards.

The Bears were favored for the first time all season and by a touchdown at that, but it didn’t matter as mistakes in all three phases of the game led to this demoralizing loss for the Bears. After a tough 0-3 start to the season the Bears have had a chance to win every game since, but all those games were against good teams in games that the Bears were underdogs.

This was the first game all season that the Bears were supposed to win comfortably. They were playing against a team that had been crushed on the road all season and were starting Blaine Gabbert at QB for Christ’s sake. What makes this loss even harder to swallow is that the Niners didn’t even play that well. If the Niners would have played their best game of the season it might have been at least less painful, but they were their usual pathetic selves,

It didn’t matter as the Bears made so many mistakes in all aspects that they lost a game to a team that didn’t even play that well and hadn’t won in Soldier Field since 1974. It was the first game all season that the Bears had a clear talent edge, but yet they still couldn’t win.

I’ll get in to the specifics of how the Bears blew this one in my takeaways below, but at the end of the day they were just outplayed by a team that is less talented than the quality squads the Bears almost beat the last few weeks. Scroll down for the grisly details below.

Week 13 Takeaways

1.) Jay Cutler played his worst game since coming back from injury

For most of the 2015 season Jay Cutler has played his best season as a Bear, but this week was an exception. Cutler not only threw a pick-6 on a blatant screen pass but also missed multiple wide open receivers. He missed Josh Bellamy on what would have been an easy TD on the first drive of the game and then missed Alshon Jeffery wide open 50 yards down the field on a play that would have been a game-clinching TD in the 4th quarter.

If Cutler hits Bellamy or Jeffery on either play or doesn’t throw that pick-6, the Bears probably win this game easily. There were another handful of passes that Cutler missed that would have moved the chains and kept the ball in the Bears hands. There were some dropped passes and dumb penalties that negated big plays, so all the blame can’t be centered on Cutler, but he picked a bad week to have his worst game since week 1 of the season.

It’s hard to be mad at Cutler after the season he’s had so far, but he missed plenty of passes on Sunday that could have sealed the game. To his credit Cutty was running for his life most of the game but if Cutler had played like he had the last few weeks, the Bears win this one easily.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

2.) Robbie Gould choked away a victory

Gould’s biggest miss was the 36-yarder that would have won the game at the end of regulation, but he also missed a 43-yarder that would have improved the Bears chances of winning as well. To his credit Gould did hit 51 and 45 yard kicks earlier in the game to keep the Bears ahead, but missing a 36-yarder with the game on the line is a mistake kickers get fired for.

Gould has only missed two field goals in the same game twice in his career before this season, but he’s done it twice this year and it’s cost the Bears two wins this already. He’s been one of the most consistent Bears the last few seasons, but he’s 33 years old and maybe losing a bit of his fastball. If Gould had been more consistent this year the Bears probably only have three losses this season. Is he washed up? Is it a case of the yips? Either way, he needs to get better. Gould is one of my favorite Bears and I hope he pulls it together soon.

Next: More Takeaways