The Chicago Bears had their second true test against an elite NFC opponent. Although Chicago has tried to make some offensive strides, particularly by getting the run game into second gear, they are still a few floors below the upper echelon.
The team showed several flashes of offensive firepower, such as the fifty-yard pass completion to Darnell Mooney during a second quarter scoring drive. That was the Bears’ longest play from scrimmage this season.
David Montgomery’s 89 rushing yards were his highest total of the season. Matt Nagy has stressed all year that the team needs to get more yards on first down, which they did. Chicago also had much better field position that the Rams, game giving them much needed breathing room.
Matt Nagy assressed the run game afterwards. “I think when you look at the run game, and I thought — it felt better today. It did feel better, and that team is pretty good against the run. It did feel better in the run game, so I was happy in that aspect. You know, and we were able to have — I think we had a couple double-digit drives with plays, 13-play drive, a couple other ones, and so the rhythm of being able to get into a rhythm was good. We did have a couple of those three-and-outs where that’s hard, and then again, the start of that third quarter I didn’t like, I don’t like, and it’s been a theme. Trust me, we’re looking at it. We’ve done different things in how to adjust that, and it’s weird that it just keeps happening. But yeah, I did feel better about a lot of stuff, but none of that matters because you want to win.”
It was tough, it was challenging for sure.– kicker Cairo Santos on the wind conditions during the game.
Nick Foles finished 28 of 41 for 272 passing yards, to go with two touchdowns, one interception and five sacks. Drew Brees went 31/41 two TD’s, no interceptions, and a single sack.
Brees was asked about the key to so many close wins he’s been a part of over the past four years. “First off it’s just belief,” he said. “It’s belief that we put ourselves in a position to win the game and we’ll win it. It takes everyone, it takes, obviously, defense coming up with a big stop, offense putting us in field goal range, and then special teams kicking it through and winning the game. But when you look at just the larger scope of an entire game it’s always ebb and flow, there’s back and forth, there’s momentum changes.
We knew this was going to be a battle coming up here. Playing Chicago on the road, tough conditions, them coming off the tough loss from Monday Night Football, so we knew they were going to be ready to play, we knew it was going to be a tough physical game, it was, it was every bit of that and you just find a way. We got down by ten points I think early, but just continued to stay the course and stay with the process and the outcomes will come as a result.”-Drew Brees
Folds acknowledged the loss is tough, but also noted the progress made in this game. “You know what, it’s a step along this journey, this NFL season. Obviously you want to win, but we didn’t win today. I look at it as it’s another step along this journey of building this team and building this culture of what we want to be, coaches and players, and sometimes it’s tough, and this is a tough one to lose, but at the end of the day I believe the people in this organization are going to approach this the right way, in a positive way, and move forward because there was things — there were good things tonight, and we were very close.”
“Yes, we lost and that is unfortunate, but I think the only way to be in this situation is positive and learn and be there and believe because when you do those things, amazing things happen, and you look back at moments like this where we lost some tough ones and you say, you know what, in those moments that’s where we built this culture.-Nick Foles
Foles continued, “So that’s how I’m looking at it is believing that we’re building something. We’ve done some good things this year. We haven’t made it easy for ourselves, but I do believe this is a really great locker room and a special locker room, and we’re bonding and we’re growing, and you can do something with that. So I’m excited for what the future holds for this team.”
Well it was a hard fought game. I think the second half we played better football, in the kicking game, we changed field position like we hoped to. Defensively we made good stops. And it’s good. When you win an overtime game like that, it’s the second one I think this year, there’s a little bit of grit and toughness and it’s something that you begin to build on. I don’t think you just start with it.– Sean Payton
Nagy on Monday reiterated his concerns. “Situationally there was some good, and there was some bad.” He singled out the poor third quarter. “We were backing ourselves up. Getting into a hole. We lost our field position. Not being able to finish in overtime. I would like to see us improve in that area. We know what we see on tape, and we are able to evaluate what we see, and make judgements off of that.”
The Bears next game doesn’t get any easier. They travel to Nashville to face a Tennessee team that lost a tough game to undefeated Pittsburgh. Akiem Hicks offered his thoughts, “You don’t work all week to come in on Sunday and not perform the way you want to perform. The goal of the performance is to get a “W”. We didn’t get that, so it’s gonna hurt. We have a group of guys that are ready to work. Whether we’re five and one or five and three, that’s what we do this week. We will work. There’s a certain amount of humbleness, You never get down. you acknowledge your weakness, and you attack that.