Chicago Bears Week 14: Takeaways

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when we were talking about the Bears chances to make the playoffs? Ha, that was fun for the week that it lasted. After the Bears 23-20 loss to the Redskins on Sunday, their 2nd consecutive loss to a team previously winless on the road, the Bears are 5-8 and have a better chance for the first pick in the draft than making the playoffs.

This was a demoralizing loss on many levels as there were breakdowns in all three phases of the game which is becoming a weekly ritual. The Bears reminded me of last year’s squad by coming out listless and seemingly not ready to play, then promptly fell behind 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter.

Jay Cutler led the Bears back from a 21-7 deficit to tie the score at 21 with 1:24 to go in the 3rd quarter, but the Redskins connected on a 47-yard field goal in the 4th quarter to take back the lead. The Bears had a chance to tie the game with 1:45 left, but  Robbie Gould missed a 50-yard attempt and then the Redskins were able to run out the clock.

It was the Bears 4th loss by three points or less which leads the league and was the 10th consecutive game that the Bears had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. It’s disappointing that the Bears have only managed to win half of them, but it is a significant improvement from the embarrassing losses of last season and a sign of growth. There is just a lot more growth needed for the Bears to become a playoff caliber team.

Week 14 Takeaways

1. ) Robbie Gould is becoming a problem 

For the 2nd time this year Gould has missed three field goals in a row. Last week he missed a 35-yarder that cost the Bears a win over the 49ers and this week missed a 50-yarder that would have tied the game against the Redskins. Gould has been one of the few reliable Bear players over the last few seasons, but he’s getting up there in age at 33 and may be declining physically. Then again it could just be a case of yips as Gould did hit his first 17 field goals this season. It’s not fair to pin the whole loss on Gould, but those are kicks an NFL kicker is expected to make.

2) The OLBs, Willie Young & Lamarr Houston, both played well

Pernell McPhee missed Sunday’s game, but after weeks of being the Bears only effective pass rusher they don’t seem to need him as much lately with both Willie Young and Lamarr Houston playing well. Houston led the Bears with ten tackles and a sack and Young played even better with a sack, three QB hits, 4 QB hurries and a forced holding call. It’s even more impressive considering Young spent most of the game lined up against 3-time Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams.

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