3 and out: Battling effort but Bears come up just short

It was another spirited showing from the Bears but ultimately they just fell short in New Orleans, as silly mistakes and a controversial call from the officials proved too much to overcome…

The defense showed up again….

They weren’t perfect and there are a few plays they’d like back, but overall the D put up a hell of an effort once again and kept the Bears in the game right up until Mitch Trubisky’s late pick ended it. It’s not often that Drew Brees is kept under 300 yards and without a passing TD, but this Bears unit is tough to play against, especially now they’ve begun to take the ball away.

It didn’t start well though, with Kyle Fuller lining up offside on a field goal try to put the Saints offense back on the field. They then immediately gave up a big run to Alvin Kamara to fall behind early. They also gave up a big play to Ted Ginn late on when Brees threw up a desperate heave into double coverage that somehow ended up in the arms of his receiver. That shouldn’t happen – Ginn isn’t exactly Jerry Rice – and it led to a field goal that put the Bears down by 8 with a minute remaining.

There were some missed tackles too but overall they hung in there and made big stops when they needed to. I love this defense, they’re fun to watch. Akiem Hicks dominated again, Leonard Floyd was disruptive, Christian Jones and Danny Trevathan were all over the field making tackles and Adrian Amos came up big when it was needed once again, stripping the ball from Mark Ingram to give Trubisky a chance to win it.

Just what was Dowell Loggains doing though?

I’m loathe to question NFL coaches who know a million times more about the game than I ever will, but there are times when even a bozo like me knows when something isn’t right (Marshawn Lynch not getting the ball on the goal-line in the Super Bowl for example).

For weeks the Bears have had the training wheels on Trubisky, leaning heavily on the run game to make his life easy and not really letting him try to do too much. So why then, with the game on the line and needing just a yard on two attempts to keep the drive alive, did Dowell Loggains call two straight passing plays?

I know it’s easy to second guess when things go wrong, and a lot of things go into these decisions that are way over my head, but it just seemed like a bad idea at the time and it was no surprise when it failed.

I mean, Jordan Howard is the strength of your offense and you need one yard to get a first down. Just run the damn ball, get the first down and then let Trubisky throw it when it’s absolutely necessary. This was just a real head scratcher.

I don’t know what to make of Loggains. I know that Vic Fangio is a great co-ordinator because he’s got a track record of results and the Bears defense have been good throughout his tenure. They are better than good now. They might even be approaching elite. So it’s easy to see Fangio is the business.

Loggains though? I don’t know what he is. I do know the offense has been hot vomit in a bag for most of the 24 games he’s been the OC, but given the lack of talent it’s hard to determine just how much of that is his fault. To my untrained eye though he’s not doing a particularly good job.

Carl Cheffers – Shame on you!

Leaving aside the question as to how much it affected the outcome of the game, the decision by referee Carl Cheffers to take a touchdown away from Zach Miller was inexcusable and the Bears should be demanding action from the NFL against him for that call.

Instead, John Fox simply said “it doesn’t matter what I think”. Actually, Coach, it does matter. Tell everyone just how stupid the whole ‘process of the catch’ thing is, and also how stupidly Cheffers interpreted an already stupid rule. Demand the NFL do something about it. If you get fined, so be it. You can afford it. Stand up for your guys. Stand up for poor Zach Miller.

I’m so angry about this. It might be the worst decision I’ve ever seen, in part because of the moral aspect of it. Not only did the officials blow that call, but they told a player who somehow managed to maintain possession of the ball even though his leg had snapped in half at the knee, that he didn’t complete the catch.

That upset me more than the points that were taken off the board. These players put their bodies on the line to play this game for our enjoyment, and what Miller did was a remarkable feat of bravery. That’s a play we should be talking about because of how tough Miller must be.

Try to imagine how much pain he must have been in when his leg bent like that, yet he still kept his concentration and held onto the ball to put points on the board for his team. To be there for his young quarterback. It was an incredible play and he earned that touchdown. For him to be sat there on the stretcher, with his season definitely over and serious doubts about whether his entire career is done, to then have to hear that announcement that the ruling on the field had been overturned and that he didn’t actually catch the ball…. I mean… it’s the very definition of adding insult to injury.

These refs are not only useless, they’re bloody heartless too. So shame on Cheffers and shame on the NFL for allowing this kind of crap to happen each week. No wonder ratings are down. Nobody wants to see plays like that overturned.

Get well soon, Zach.

The Extra Point

Connor Barth needs to go. He misses too many kicks, especially in the crucial 40-50 yard range. The Bears just can’t afford to have their kicker not making virtually everything he attempts. Points are at a premium with this team because they aren’t as talented as most of their opponents. This game ultimately came down to the refs robbing Miller of a TD and Barth not kicking as well as his opposite number for the Saints.

Barth wasn’t good enough last year and he’s not improved. Other teams have taken kickers off the street and seen them have great success (the Chiefs and Eagles for example), so why can’t the Bears?

What makes it worse, is Robbie Gould has been almost perfect since the Bears cut him. He’s missed just once. Barth does that every other week.

A game ball for….

Zach Miller. Incredible effort on that play and hopefully this isn’t the last we see of him, but sadly it does have that “Johnny Knox” feel to it. We all knew Knox wasn’t coming back from that sickening injury, but let’s hope Miller can. The Bears don’t have many weapons for Trubisky, and Miller was his most reliable target. The rest of the tight ends have been garbage, but someone will have to step up now. *looks accusingly at 2nd round pick Adam Shaheen*

Dave Usher

David Usher (112 Posts)

Day job is writing about footy for 'the Liverpool Way' and ESPN FC. Love the Bears and Bulls too though, which is why I'm here.

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