Chicago Bears Week 13: Takeaways

4 of 4

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

10.) The Bears rushed for 170 yards, but it took 38 carries

As I mentioned above, the Bears put up 170 rushing yards which is almost double what they totaled the last two weeks, but the problem is that it took 38 carries for the Bears to get there. Even worse, the Bears had less than two yards on 17 of their 38 rushing attempts. Against a team that has been gashed by opposing running backs the last three weeks, it was a disappointing performance by the O-line who should have been able to overpower a weak 49ers D-line.

To make things even worse, the Bears had sixth O-lineman Jermon Bushrod on the field for multiple snaps and it made little difference on most plays. The O-line was able to keep Cutler clean with only one sack allowed but the Bears didn’t have anywhere near enough positive runs against a bad defense. The Bears will need to develop a running game in a hurry if they are going to make a late season playoff run.

11.) Josh Bellamy hurt his chances of sticking around next season

Jay Cutler telegraphed his first half pick-6 on a screen / pick play. Jimmy Ward made an instinctive play to get the INT, but Josh Bellamy also missed the designed pick on Ward that would have kept him from getting to the ball in time for the pick 6. Bellamy also had a crucial holding call that negated a Bears first down early in the 2nd half. He has gotten increased playing time the last few weeks with all the injuries at WR, but his inconsistent play and dumb mistakes are hurting his chances to earn a significant role next season.

12.) The Bears return game is starting to make some plays 

For the 2nd week in a row new kick returner Deonte Thompson made a big play with a 74-yard kick return to set up a score. Ka’Deem Carey made a nice block on the return which could be key to him sticking around next season if he can continue to provide special teams value. The Bears also scored a punt return TD early in the game on a trick play by rookie Bryce Callahan, but it was called back due to an illegal block on ILB LaRoy Reynolds. Eddie Goldman also blocked an extra point that ended up being an impact play that kept the score tied at the end of regulation.

It wasn’t all positive for the special teams unit as a Callahan punt return TD was wiped out by a penalty and Robbie Gould missed two field goals including a 35-yarder that would have won the game for the Bears.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

13.) Willie Young continues to be a force off the edge

Just a few months ago Willie Young was on the trading block and a candidate to be released if the Bears couldn’t find a taker for Young. Despite coming off a 10-sack season, he was considered a man without a position in the Bears new 3-4 hybrid scheme. The fact that Young was coming off a late season ACL tear was probably the only thing that kept him from being dealt.

For the first half of the season it looked like the Bears would have been better off dealing Young for whatever they could get as he had only 11 tackles and 1 sack through 9 games in sporadic playing time. Then starting OLB Pernell McPhee suffered a knee injury opening up some extra snaps for Young before the Broncos game and he as been a force ever since. Young has 3.5 sacks in the the last three games, 10 tackles, and 5 QB hits. All of a sudden Young looks like the player who had 10 sacks for the Bears last year and has earned a regular spot in the OLB rotation