by MADDIE TOPLIFF
Let me just say this: Losses in another country shouldn’t count. It is called the National Football League, after all. So, losing against the Oakland Raiders in London? It never even happened. Wait, what do you mean we’re 3-2 now? Didn’t you read what I just wrote?
Welcome back, Bears fans — or haters. I don’t judge my readership. No, Chicago’s trip abroad to play the NFL’s annual game in London did not go to plan, but we’re gonna break it down and understand exactly why so that we can improve during bye week. Yes, a bye week does mean you’ll have to survive a week without me. It’ll be okay.
Trubisky still troubled
It was what we expected — quarterback Mitch Trubisky sat out this week’s game due to a left shoulder injury acquired during the Vikings game last week. According to Bleacher Report, the injury consisted of a dislocated shoulder in addition to a slightly torn left labrum — a piece of cartilage that is attached to the rim of each shoulder’s socket. That left second-string QB Chase Daniel to step into the starting position once again. The Bears front office also made the decision to move QB Tyler Bray from the practice squad to the active roster just in case Daniel took a tumble. This made me breathe a huge sigh of relief. If you remember, last week RB Tarik Cohen was slotted to be Daniel’s backup. And that’s something I did not want to see.
Hicks and Smith back at it
We were missing a couple of key players in our defensive 11, but no more! Both Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith sat last week out — Hicks had a knee injury, and Smith was dealing with an undisclosed personal issue. While Smith practiced unrestricted all week, green-lighting Hicks was a game-time decision. Don’t want to be too hasty!
As far as backups go, we know Daniel isn’t the worst that’s ever been. But he didn’t get the chance to throw the ball much first half, getting sacked three times in the first half alone. It’s always a toss-up for me. How much of the blame falls on Daniel and how much is the offensive line’s fault? Nevertheless, Daniel was 100% to blame for a terribly thrown pick at the top of the second quarter. No debate there. The Raiders went into the locker rooms at half time up 17-0, courtesy of a couple breakaways allowed by the Bears defense.
Third quarter was Beardown central, though, baby. The defense forced a fumble recovery and shifted the momentum early on, setting RB David Montgomery up for a great, gritty TD run. WRs Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson II also made a splash with a few huge grabs courtesy of Daniel threading the ball exactly where it needed to go — including two more TDs. Cohen also showed up with a monster return on special teams for 71 yards— his most impressive this season. With an undisputed 21-point run in the third, things were looking up: 21-17. Can I get a woot woot?
Bloody heck (a reprise)
But alas, friends. Fourth quarter is where my joy went to die. The special teams were still in it to win it, grounding punt returns. And the defensive looked like they wanted to win — forcing fumbles — but they got cocky. Sloppy pass coverage helped Raiders QB Derek Carr take his offense down to the end zone for another touchdown, putting Oakland back on top 24-21. Luckily, we got the ball back with plenty of time to move into field goal position. Unluckily, Daniel shot his team in the foot by throwing a terrible, gut-wrenching interception and ended the game. We all know Eddy “Dinero” Piñeiro would’ve won us that game. And we have to live with that fact.
-Throwing interceptions at crucial moments in the game is not good.
-Getting cocky leads to sloppy mistakes.
-Our receivers know darn well how to catch a football.
Maddie’s Monster of the Game
Gotta give it to Robinson II today. The athleticism demonstrated in his catches — touchdown and otherwise — could make any man cry. Way to show up and get your team back in the game. Honorable mention goes out to Montgomery for being so consistent in getting up the field. Love you guys.
Sad face. The Bears dropped to third this week, pushing the Detroit Lions into second place. Which isn’t even fair because they had a bye this week. Whatever.
1st place: Packers (ew)
2nd place: Lions
3rd place: Bears
4th place: Vikings. Lol.
Bye, Bye, Bye (Bye Bye)
We’re off the air next week, folks. Hopefully we use this time to figure out some OL strategy and give our injured players the rest they need. Hopefully.
Until next time, stay warm and Beardown.