Three takeaways from Bears loss to Saints
Stephen Lew - USA Today Sports

Three takeaways from Bears loss to Saints

by - Senior Writer -

The Chicago Bears simply can't buy a win right now, as they fell to 2-7 with their loss to the Saints on Sunday. Even with some improved play from Tyson Bagent, he still turned the ball over four times, with three coming as interceptions. That makes seven interceptions in his three games this season, as that continues to be an issue for him under center.

Apart from that, the Bears have improved in many areas, especially the defensive side of the ball. Sure, they'll still give up points, but at least they are doing it at a far less frequent rate and are starting to get to the QB more consistently than earlier this season. Once Montez Sweat gets fully acclimated into the defensive scheme, the Bears pass rush will get even better which could lead to more sacks and more turnovers. Here are some takeaways from the week nine loss.

Too many turnovers

For a team that has struggled to not only get after the QB the past two seasons, but has also struggled to force turnovers protecting the football is crucial to the Bears success. When they win games, which is rare right now, they do a great job protecting the football while the offense does most of the work. However, if we go back to their last two games since their previous win, it has been the turnovers that have cost the Bears too many points, and that is a significant issue right now.

No one is gonig to play perfect, but when you rookie QB is picked off three times and puts the ball on the ground another time wins are going to be hard to come by. The Bears are fortunate that this game wasn't worse than it was, as five turnovers tend to lead to a blowout. However, when Bagent did take care of the football, the Bears offense was moving the ball much better and they were getting down the field with relative ease. With a short week coming up, it will be interesting to see if Matt Eberflus sticks with Bagent one more week or returns to Justin Fields.

Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet stepped up

Before the Bears acquired DJ Moore this past offseason, the Bears passing attack relied a ton on Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. However, after Mooney missed half of the 2022 season with a foot injury and Kmet struggling to find consistency this season, the Bears passing game has primarily been Moore and no one else.

That isn't always a bad thing when you look at the numbers Moore has put up and will most likely put up every season; Moore remains the primary option but will need more help along the way. Sunday saw Moore get the help he needed as Mooney led the way with 82 yards receiving while Kmet added two TDs for his first Multi-TD game of the season.

No one expects those two to put up those numbers every week, but the more they do, the better off this offense will be. Mooney was Fields favorite target when Fields was a rookie with Kmet taking over that role last season. This season, Moore has been the favorite target for everyone, but it is still essential to get everyone else involved. A game like this may be the key to getting everyone else involved more consistently.

Move on and prepare for a short week

The best way to get over a loss and wipe it from your memory is to get back on the field as soon as possible. The Bears are in the perfect situation for that this week, as they will have their second shortened week of the season when they host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

This is a must-win game for the Bears should they want an opportunity to keep the No. 1 overall pick. Remember, with the trade of Moore from last season, the Bears also acquired the first-round pick from Carolina for the 2024 NFL draft. With a 1-7 record, Carolina is neck and neck with Arizona for the No. 1 overall selection, which would be huge for Chicago.

A win by the Bears puts them two games up, technically three with a tiebreaker, and gives them a great shot at landing the No. 1 pick. A loss to Carolina moves the Panthers ahead of Chicago in the draft order, but would still keep Chicago in the running for the top pick, although several other teams have two wins, which would make things a bit tricky.

If there were another game for the Bears to win on their schedule, this one would be one of them. They can't lose this game at home in primetime on a short week. Should the Panthers find a way to knock Chicago off, it could be a long mini-bye week for this team, with potential coach firings coming along the way.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!