Chicago Bears Gameday: 3 Keys to Victory over the Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears, Tremaine Edmunds
Chicago Bears, Tremaine Edmunds / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Bears as a team need to finish in the 2nd half and 4th quarter

What has seemed to prevent this team from taking the next step in the second half of the season has been late-game execution. This problem was apparent from the first couple weeks of the season, when the Bears crumbled with the game on the line against both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos.

After winning a few games, it appeared that this team had potentially gotten over the hump, but last Sunday's loss to the Browns proved that there are many areas where this team needs to improve down the stretch. Offensively, the Bears need to improve in their late-game playcalling and execution, while the defense needs to prevent big plays in the final possessions.

Chicago Bears, Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson
Chicago Bears, Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In recent weeks, the Bears have played well on offense throughout the first three quarters, but seem to lose their rhythm deep in the fourth quarter. Some of this seems to result from a difference in playcalling, which often keeps the ball out of Fields' hands in key situations. Between the losses to the Browns and the Lions, the offense had 21 fourth-quarter plays within a one-possession score, where Fields threw or ran the ball just 11 times. Up less than a touchdown late in the game is the time to try to find a dagger deep shot, not run the ball three times and punt after two minutes of clock time.

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Defensively, the Bears have been great but continue to allow one too many big plays down the stretch. It is hard to blame the group, which is often responsible for keeping the game close in the first place, but still, the unit has a bad habit of allowing big plays in late-game situations. Simply put, the Bears need more game-changing plays in the fourth quarter, and flip the script surrounding this team's late-game woes.