Chicago Bears: Week 8 offensive, defensive, rookie MVPs
By Evan Bruner
The Chicago Bears fell to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 33-22 as the Bears sank to 3-5 on the season. It was the Bears’ third-straight loss as the defense was unable to stop Jimmy Garrapolo and the 49ers’ offense. Although the Bears took yet another loss, there were some standout players.
The Chicago Bears lost again, but these three stood out on Sunday
Offensive and rookie MVP Justin Fields
Justin Fields may have played his most complete game as an NFL starter, finishing the game with 278 total yards, two touchdowns, and an interception thrown in garbage time. Overall, Fields was able to show off his tools, from the ball placement on his touchdown pass to his elite athleticism and playmaking with a career-high 103 yards on the ground.
The Bears offense thrived without Matt Nagy
Despite the loss, the Bears’ offense looked as good as they have all season, all while head coach Matt Nagy was at home due to COVID-19. Chris Tabor ran the show instead, and the offense played noticeably better against a respectable defense.
Defensive MVP: Roquan Smith
Roquan Smith led the Bears’ defense in tackles with six and recorded a tackle for loss in a losing effort. Smith extended his team lead on tackles for the season and was one of the few bright spots on what was a disapproving defensive performance. This was not Smith’s best performance as he had his bad plays as well, but not many on defense stood out in a positive way.
The defense missed Khalil Mack
It can be hard to understand a player’s true impact on a team until you see how the team looks without him. Week 8 was a good reminder of that, as the Chicago Bears front was unable to get any pressure on the opposing quarterback. The lack of a pass-rush gave Garropplo enough time to find the open receiver and was the key to the 49ers’ offensive success
Special teams MVP: Jakeem Grant
Grant has six returns for 156 yards and continues to be a solid kick returner for the Bears. I’d like to see him be a little less aggressive and be willing to take more touchbacks on kickoffs, but more times than not, Grant’s decision to take the ball out from the end zone resulted in better field position.
Cairo Santos missed his first kick of the season on an extra point in the first quarter. He still made three field goals and made one of his two extra points. Santos’ incredible kicking streak was bound to come to an end, and considering the fact the game was decided by double digits, it’s hard to say the missed extra point played a significant role in the game’s outcome.