The Bears played wonderful game offensively, but couldn’t get it done in crunch time in a 29-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Brian Hoyer was the key to awakening the beast … Or so we think. A total of 522 yards of offense, 397 being passing yards by quarterback Brian Hoyer, were not enough as the Bears failed to convert on fourth and eight in Colts territory. The defense broke down late as well, as a big play lost a fourth quarter lead. Here’s a run through of the Bears offensive and defensive performances from Sunday.
How much can you fault an offense that racks up 522 yards? Well, let me tell you.
The big number is nice to see, especially against a dismal defense like the Indianapolis Colts. However, 522 yards doesn’t mean, in the words of former Colts head coach Jim Mora, diddly poo. The 23 points to show for it dampens the output, as the offense committed way too many penalties, some of which killed red zone drives.
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Connor Barth is a liability at the kicker position, as his miss from 49 yards kept it a two score game as opposed to a one score game, which was huge on the final drive.
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery only had six targets on the day. Wide receivers Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith, and tight end Zach Miller, had more total targets. There’s no excuse for that, especially when Jeffery was being covered one-on-one all game by the Colts secondary, which looked like Lego figures compared to Jeffery’s stature. Throw in the costly fourth quarter fumble by Meredith, and Dowell Loggains has some ‘splaining to do: be it his play calling or Hoyer just refusing to target his best weapon.
Other than that, running back Jordan Howard continues to show why Jeremy Langford is not the Bears starting running back. His 118 yards on 16 carries and receiving touchdown look wonderful on paper, but factor in his electric running style and his first down count, which was at least 15 of the Bears 25 total first downs, and you have a player which has become a difference maker out of nowhere.
Facing a similar team, albeit better, to the Detroit Lions, and the defense severely under performed.
While the Colts have a better quarterback in Andrew Luck, there were mental lapses from the secondary, who underperformed. While the absence of Deiondre’ Hall (injury) and Harold Jones-Quartey (benching) led to some talent gaps, such as the playing of safety Chris Prosinski and cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc, which allowed the Luck to pick apart the Bears defense 322 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead 35 yard toss to T.Y. Hilton with four minutes to play.
Three sacks by Willie Young, and five overall, were expected against the Colts who have a lackluster offensive line. However, hard counts still baffle the Bears, who had a handful of offsides and neutral zone infraction penalties. There were also lapses in the pass rush which allowed the Colts to fling the ball where ever they pleased, allowing first downs on downs that required 10+ yards to get to the line to gain.
The benching of Jones-Quartey was also a question mark, as John Fox called the action performance based, however there’s something to be said in benching Jones-Quartey for Chris Prosinski, who was late in getting secondary help on Hilton’s game-winning touchdown.
Overall, there’s something to be said about the coaching following this game. Why did the Bears forsake their best receiver on offense? Furthermore, why bench a player who’s lacking performance was better than their back up? Add in the costly penalties, and there’s not much to hang on the players following this loss.