5.) Bears injury luck keeps getting worse
The Bears continue to get destroyed by injuries. Here is a breakdown of this week’s casualties:
- TE Zach Miller – Broken foot. This is heartbreaking for Miller who missed three full seasons with foot injuries and had finally established himself as one of the better receiving tight ends in the league. He’s out for the rest of the season. Tough break.
- OLB Leonard Floyd – This was scary. Floyd jammed his neck off the back of 336-pound Akiem Hicks and was lying motionless on the field for about five minutes. He was eventually taken off on a cart and was at least moving his arm. Early reports for the Bears are positive, but Floyd was taken to a local hospital for more tests. Floyd is leading all rookies with five sacks and looks like a long-term building block for the Bears. Hopefully he is okay.
- G Josh Sitton – Left the game early in the third quarter with what looked like an ankle injury and didn’t return. The Bears offensive line fell apart once he left the game.
- CB Cre’Von Leblanc – Suffered a concussion while missing a tackle on a key 4th down play. LeBlanc didn’t return.
- OLB Christian Jones – Key special teams contributor Jones hurt his ankle on kick coverage and didn’t return.
I’ve never seen anything like the string of injuries the Bears have suffered this season. It seems like every game the Bears lose at least two or three players.
6.) Reserve offensive linemen were awful
I mentioned it earlier but right tackle Mike Adams was clearly overmatched by Giants DE Jean Pierre-Paul. He was either overpowered or too slow to stop Pierre-Paul on almost every pass play in the second half. I was interested to see what the former 2nd round pick (2012) could do, but now I see why the Steelers gave up on him so quickly.
Backup guard Ted Larson, who is filling in for Kyle Long, also struggled. He had a crucial 4th quarter holding penalty that backed up the Bears on a must-score drive and gave up multiple pressures inside. Rookie Eric Kush entered the game after Sitton’s injutry and held him own but didn’t make many positive plays.
As a group the Bears backups were a mess and a big part of the reason that the Bears couldn’t move the ball in the second half. They will need to improve next week if the Bears offense is going to have any chance to succeed.
7.) The secondary needs help badly
At one point in the second half the Bears had the following five defensive backs on the field: Bryce Callahan, Demontre Hurst, Sherrick McManis, Chris Prosinski, and Deon Bush.
That’s probably the worst group of DBs any team fielded this week (this season?). The Bears really need to add talent in the secondary this offseason. Some of their young players have potential, but there needs to be at least one or two proven players on the field for the Bears secondary to have a chance against good QBs.
8.) Front four didn’t get it done
After nine sacks in the previous two games, the Bears didn’t have any on Sunday and were neutralized by the Giants offensive line. Losing Leonard Floyd hurt, but he was ineffective for the most part in his three+ quarters played. Pernell McPhee was invisible out there after his inflammatory comments during the week.
Willie Young got some pressures on Manning, but couldn’t finish any plays. Rookie Jonathan Bullard got a rare start Sunday, but didn’t make any plays and was replaced by recently signed C.J. Wilson in the second half. Both Cornelius Washington and CJ Wilson played well, but neither made enough impact plays to make a difference.
With the inexperience in the Bears secondary, the front four needs to provide at least some pressure to protect the back half of the defense. The Bears couldn’t get it done on Sunday as the Giants offensive line won most of the battles on pass plays, giving Eli Manning the time he needed to find an open receiver.
The front four has been one of the few bright spots recently, but they didn’t play well enough against the Giants and the Bears lost.