The Chicago Bears pulled a rabbit out of their hat and were able to magically blow another fourth-quarter lead. Entering the final frame up 17-7, they did what they had become very good at and collapsed when it mattered most. Once again, poor coaching, game planning, and execution cost them.
There is lots of blame to dish out for this game. The offensive line sold, the playmakers outside of DJ Moore and Cole Kmet were nowhere to be found, and coaching failed this team once again. While there was a superb defensive effort for most of the game, they fell apart late. This team still does not know how to win.
Chicago Bears Week 15 Loser No. 1: Darnell Mooney
Darnell Mooney’s outing against the Cleveland Browns was a sort of encapsulation of how this season has gone for him. With high expectations entering the year as the number two and main slot receiver, it was supposed to be a bounce-back year for him. Unfortunately, he has not only not been a focal point of the offense, but when called upon, he has not been the same player that went for over 1,000 yards just two seasons ago. The final picture from Week 15 against Cleveland tells a lot of the story, and for Mooney, it might mean that his time with the Bears is coming to an end.
Darnell Mooney has been a great piece in the offense for the past few years. He just was not good enough to be the one for a competitive offense. In his role as the number two this year, he has 29 receptions for 409 yards and one touchdown. He had two catches for fourteen yards against the Browns with a pair of crucial drops, including not being able to haul in the Hail Mary pass that fell right in his lap on the final play.
Mooney played last year, banged up, and has had some health issues this season, and his production reflects that. He has not separated as much this season and does not look as quick and explosive as he has in years past. He also missed a key block on a fourth down running attempt against the Browns, which cost a turnover on downs.
With this being a contract year for Darnell Mooney and the Bears in desperate need of more receiver help besides D.J. Moore, Mooney needs to be showing out for his next deal. That has not happened this year, and his lack of production has been a nail in the offense for the most part. With DJ Moore getting most of the focus from opposing defenses, it has been disappointing to see Mooney’s limited production. If he hopes to earn another contract with the Bears or at least get a good offer from another team, he will have to make up for his drops and spotty play over the final stretch of games.