3 and out: Deja vu as late drops cost gritty Bears

Last year the Bears regularly found ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and they were at it again on opening day in a loss to the Falcons. Dave Usher reports on an agonising finish in Chicago…

So yeah, Tarik Cohen is dynamite

May as well start on a positive note. Pint sized running back Tarik Cohen was the player I was most looking forward to watching, and he didn’t disappoint. He looks like a star. Whenever the ball is in his hands you’re thinking something memorable is about to happen. He’s a tough little guy too, he took some big hits but just bounced straight back up for more.

He’s super quick, he makes people miss, he wriggles out of the grasp of tacklers and he made a one handed catch a couple of inches off the floor that was incredible. It only went for a gain of about two yards so it kind of got overlooked, but it shows he’s got great hands.

He’s going to be fun to watch this year, even if the Bears probably won’t be.

Big Mike Glennon was ok, all things considered

Mike Glennon started slow, but the conservative gameplan was probably the reason for that. The Bears wanted to control the time of possession with short throws and the running game, and they had only limited success with it.

At one point Glennon had seven completions for 40 something yards, which says it all. When the Bears needed to chase the game in the 4th quarter and he was asked to move the ball down the field, he actually did it pretty well. He completed 26 of 40 passes for 213 yards, a TD and no picks.

You also have to factor in who he is throwing to and compare it to the array of weapons opposing QB Matt Ryan has at his disposal. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s no Julio Jones on the Bears. Hell, Jerry Jones might make their roster at wideout.

So all things considered, there’s not really much more we could expect from Glennon and if either Josh Bellamy or Jordan Howard had pulled in those passes in the dying seconds of the game, Glennon would have been celebrating a W on his first start as a Bear.

Austin Hooper? Are you kidding me?

The Defense played well most of the day, but two inexplicable brain farts allowed Falcons tight end Austin Hooper to pull in a pair of catches that went for 128 total yards and led to 10 points.

That’s hard to take. You keep Julio Jones, Davonta Freeman, Taylor Gabriel & co in check but you get burned by some fella who nobody outside of Atlanta could even pick out of a line up. Really frustrating, and despite the money spent in that area, the secondary continues to be by far the weakest part of an otherwise solid defensive unit.

The Extra Point: Don’t wanna hear sad songs anymore

“Oh well, at least they kept it close, didn’t they do well?”. Sorry, I don’t want to hear it. It’s no consolation. It may have been a year ago, but not anymore. Bears fans had seen this movie before, more than once in fact. It’s an all too familiar story, the Bears somehow hanging in there against teams with superior talent, keeping it close and having a great chance to win only to fall just agonisingly short.

This was so reminiscent of that game against the Titans last year when Matt Barkley did a great job to get the Bears down to the goal-line on the last possession of the game, only for his receivers to drop two (or was it three?) clear TDs.

Glennon couldn’t have done any more, but Bellamy dropped a difficult one and Howard dropped a simple one and the Falcons escaped with a W they didn’t deserve.

Don’t give the Bears credit for coming close, there are no participation prizes in this game and it actually hurts a lot less when it isn’t close. There are just the worst types of losses.

The Bears should have won this game, but they didn’t. The end.

A Game Ball for…

Tarik Cohen, although Akiem Hicks was a monster and probably deserves one too.

 

Dave Usher

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David Usher
Site Editor / Bears, Bulls & NFL Correspondant
Day job is writing about footy for 'the Liverpool Way' and ESPNFC. Love the Bears and Bulls too though, which is why I'm here.
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