It was a bone-dry four quarters of football in the Windy City this past weekend, and it looks like Chicago may not be a future Foles kingdom after all.
Sunday marked the Bears’ first loss of the 2020 season, which occurred at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts’ number one-ranked defense. The inner team chemistry just wasn’t able to pan out for Nick Foles’ first game as the team’s starting quarterback, causing the pass game to struggle and the run game to be forgotten about on offense. On the other side of the ball, defense struggled with covering the Colts’ average offensive effort, led by NFL veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers.
Key lineup changes
All eyes were on two particular positions going into the Colts matchup. First: running back. Unfortunately, running back Tarik Cohen did in fact end up tearing his ACL when hit after a fair catch in week three. Not only was Cohen a key part of the offense, but, prior to injury, he was the Bears’ primary kick returner. The running game took a hit, but special teams were arguably hit harder. On Sunday, wide receiver-turned-return specialist Cordarelle Patterson did his best to fill Cohen’s shoes, but had a pretty quiet game overall.
Second, quarterback. After the surprising coaching decision to sub in Nick Foles halfway through the Falcons game ended up paying off, fans were hopeful that Foles’s 3-TD magic would continue into week four. Unfortunately, it just did not go over that way. Foles struggled to dig into the elusive team chemistry that he needed to crack the Colts’ nearly infallible defense. Right off the bat, it was clear that short, efficient passes wouldn’t be enough to sneak a new set of downs past the defense. Foles’ offense averaged 2.6 yards per play in the first quarter, and Chicago punter Pat O’Donnell punted a total of seven times during Sunday’s game.
The other sides of the ball
Bears defense has been hit-or-miss this season, both on pass coverage and sniffing out the run. The Colts’ first drive of the game exposed these problems, with the Bears defense allowing two huge third-down conversions, which eventually ended up leading to the sole Colts touchdown. Conversely, the Colts defense was the star of the show, holding the Bears to a measly 28 rushing yards. But admittedly, Chicago’s defense could have been worse. 12 of Indianapolis’ points were from being forced to settle for field goals.
We win some, we lose one
The end result? An 11-19 hometown loss. Foles was finally able to spark a scoring drive, finding WR Allen Robinson II for a 16 yard touchdown pass and converting the two extra points, but it was too little too late, with only 1:35 left on the game clock after the scoring drive to make something happen. Colts win their third game in a row and hope to make it four against the Cleveland Browns next week.
Maddie’s Monster of the Game
This game was collectively a bit of a snoozer — remember: the Bears scored 3 points in the first three quarters — but Bears linebacker Roquan Smith made his fellow defensive players look a lot better than they deserved to, with a couple of monster-sized stops. It may have not been enough to secure the victory, but he was definitely a factor on the field Sunday.
1st place Packers: 4-0 (Won against the Atlanta Falcons)
2nd place Bears: 3-1
3rd place) Vikings: 1-3 (Won against the Houston Texans)
4th place Lions: 1-3 (Lost against the New Orleans Saints)
Brady to bring the beatdown?
The Bears have the unfortunate pleasure of hosting Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers tomorrow AKA Thursday, October 8 at Soldier Field. Brady will be coming off a 5-TD game, bu I don’t want to chalk it up to a hopeless pairing. Maybe Christmas will come early this year. I already have visions of a Khali Mack sack dancing in my head. The Thursday night game will be accessible via Fox, NFL network and Amazon. Until then, mask up and Beardown.