UA-59049186-1 2020 Week 9: Chicago Bears 17, Tennessee Titans 24 - Good if it Goes

2020 Week 9: Chicago Bears 17, Tennessee Titans 24

Chicago Tribune

Get well soon.

Player Grades

The grading scale goes from -3 to +3 for each play. Screens are graded as runs. Penalties are counted in whatever phase they were committed. Pre- and post-snap penalties are in the “Misc.” column. “Short” throws are 10 yards or less, “Medium” is 10-20, “Deep” is over 20. Everything else (scrambles, throwaways, reads, etc.) is under “Miscellaneous.” Parentheses in a column denote grades/snaps from the opposite side of the ball and are not included in grades/snaps from the player’s usual side. Snap counts are from Pro Football Reference. Box score and other relevant info can be found at that link as well.

Are you saying Foles was good?

I am. This was not his fault. He had a couple throws he needed to not make – one in particular almost went the other way – but, otherwise, he avoided mistakes and did what he could to get the team in it. The problem was that his efforts were undone by the five guys up front. Take, for example, this:

In the yellow circle, Mooney is wide open. If Foles hits him, he’s running for a while, if not all the way. Foles didn’t get a chance to make the throw, though, because of what you see in the red circle. And lest you think the screwups up front were limited to the passing game, I present this:

This is actually blocked mostly well. Ifedi has his sights set on #55 for Tennessee and Bars and Leno have executed their blocks, and thus, there should be an opportunity for Montgomery to rip off a big one. Except there’s one problem – Arlington Hambright’s on the ground. This has been a recurring theme – an inability to get all five guys executing at once.

In positive news, Jason Spriggs has been activated from the COVID list and there’s a chance Cody Whitehair could be as well. In addition, the Bears also have Eric Kush available, so a starting line of Leno-Kush-Whitehair-Ifedi-Spriggs is possible, and that group might be able to manage to not be a total disaster.

Castillo liked Bars at center, though.

Insofar as Bars’s ability to handle the mental aspects of the position, particularly the line calls, I see what he’s saying. If he was sincerely praising his actual play, he needs his eyes checked. If Whitehair can’t go and you want to play Bars at LG over Coward with Kush at C, fine. In fact, please do, because Rashaad Coward is in possession of half of the four worst grades I’ve ever handed out. But let this be the end of any thoughts of Alex Bars ever being more than maybe an okay backup.

Nagy’s handing off the play calling to Bill Lazor.

Don’t expect this to be a panacea for the offense, because there almost certainly isn’t one as long as *gestures at offensive line* that whole thing’s going on. That OL situation is why I cut Nagy some slack to begin with. I don’t doubt Nagy’s ability to put together an offense. You just saw the picture of Mooney running wide open. You saw Mooney torch Jalen Ramsey (!) in L.A., but Foles not be able to get that pass off, either. Nagy’s problems have been game management and either a refusal or an inability to simplify the offense when it’s clear he doesn’t have the dogs to handle what he wants to do. The best case scenario here is that Lazor does the latter, giving Nagy more time to focus on the former. But, yeah, the offense put up three points in L.A. and had three through three quarters here. Something needed to be done.

How about the defense?

Excellent. They contained one of the best running backs in the game and gave the team a chance to win. Can’t ask for much more.

What does this mean going forward?

Same gameplan as last week: contain Cook and make Cousins beat you. Minnesota’s been hot lately, but that hot streak was has been sparked by Dalvin Cook. The big issue is going to be the offense – can they pull their own weight? The Vikings are just about middle of the pack (15th) in total defensive DVOA, slightly better against the pass (13th) and slightly worse against the run (19th). Danielle Hunter is out for the year and the Vikings traded Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore – the Bears need to be able to stand up to this pass rush. The ground game for the Bears is a total question mark with David Montgomery out with a concussion.

Monsters

Most defensive persons, Foles, Mooney

Chipmunks

All offensive line persons

Four Stars of the Game

4star Roquan Smith

3star  Daniel McCullers

2star  Jaylon Johnson

1star Akiem Hicks

Honorable mention: Nick Foles, Bilal Nichols

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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