Position Grades after Bears win over Lions


by - Staff Writer -
Santos had the game-winning kick on Thanksgiving (David Reginek - USAT)
Santos had the game-winning kick on Thanksgiving (David Reginek - USAT)

There was some good and some bad on Thanksgiving as the Bears finally got back in the win column after a five-game losing streak. The Bears are now 4-7 after beating the Lions 16-14 at Ford Field.

So let’s take a look and give out some grades based on the performances by position after the win over Detroit.

Quarterback A-

Justin Fields was sidelined with an injury, and Matt Nagy and co. delivered the Bears’ best passing attack all season. Andy Dalton threw 39 times and notched the Bears’ first 300+ yard passing game since week 9 of 2020 with Nick Foles. Dalton had 317 yards and a touchdown as well as a pick and also picked up 11 yards on the ground.

Running backs B-

David Montgomery had 17 carries for 46 yards and added three catches for 28 yards. It wasn’t his most productive game, but he was especially solid late in the game, picking up first downs. Khalil Herbert was quiet but spelled Montgomery with four carries for nine yards. The Bears certainly need to keep them involved as much as possible.

Wide Receivers A

The passing game was much better, so were the receivers. Allen Robinson missed the game with an injury and Marquise Goodwin — who had over 100 yards and a touchdown last game — left with an injury. Second-year wideout Darnell Mooney caught five passes for 123 yards, his second consecutive game over 100 yards. Jakeem Grant added two catches catch and a carry for 25 total yards, and Damiere Byrd had four catches for 42 yards. Isaiah Coulter also had a target. Best game from the receivers so far once again.

Tight Ends A

This unit certainly has talent and finally showed it on Thursday. Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham handled the tight end duties for this squad, and Kmet caught eight passes for 65 yards. Graham was targeted a handful of times, including two catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Jesse James was also targeted. I’d like to see more of this as the year progresses.

Offensive Line C+

The offensive line was much better, allowing just one sack of quarterback Andy Dalton but struggling to create holes in the running game all day long. This unit was frequently penalized, but they were overall pretty good on Thursday.

Defensive Line B

The defensive line was okay. They did a solid job stopping the run and getting pressure on Jared Goff but did not notch a sack, just a fumble forced and recovered by Trevis Gipson.

Linebackers A

Any unit that boasts Khalil Mack deserves some props, but Mack went down with an injury last Sunday and is out the rest of the year. Roquan Smith had three tackles and also exited with an injury. The rest of the unit was very involved — including a sack from Robert Quinn. Need this unit to continue to step up.

Secondary C

This unit was not great on Sunday. The Bears needed this unit to make a play to change the game, and they could not deliver. Eddie Jackson was back, but the Bears were not able to make the big play. Fortunate for this unit, though, they did not allow many big plays either.

Special Teams B+

Kicker Cairo Santos missed a kick but made three field goals and made an extra point. The Punt unit was active, punting the ball four times and landing inside the 20-twice. The return game was okay, including almost 100 total yards of return from Jakeem Grant.

Playcalling C

The play calling was fine, but there was just some overall discombobulation that I blame on a coaching staff that spent most of the week answering questions about job security.

Nonetheless, week 12 is in the books, and the Bears are 4-7. They continue the season next Sunday against the top-seeded and talented Arizona Cardinals.

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