CHICAGO – Perhaps an off week would be the trick? Maybe the return of Mitchell Trubisky would bring some life to the Bears’ offense and the quarterback himself? Could a defense motivated by an off day against the Raiders bring more fire to their effort?
None of it mattered. In fact, the Bears got worse after two weeks off.
The offense has nothing going at Soldier Field and a tired defense was allowing plays like they haven’t before against a Saints team that came in on a four-game winning streak. All of these made for a forgettable afternoon on the lakefront, with only a late run by the Bears’ offense making the score look more respectable in a 36-25 loss to New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.
For a second-straight season, the Bears are at 3-3 after six games, but that mark is quite disappointing for a team that doesn’t look close to living up to their preseason hype at the moment.
The usually reliable Bears’ punt team got things off on the wrong foot as Pat O’Donnell had his kick blocked by JT Gray. As it went into the endzone, the punter had the awareness to bat it out before a defender recovered, keeping the damage at just a safety. A shaky offense had their first turnover of the day later in the quarter as Anthony Miller had the ball popped out on a run and the fumble was recovered by New Orleans.
Teddy Bridgewater got the Saints into the endzone on the short field with a touchdown pass to Josh Hill to make it 9-0.
Cordarrelle Patterson had his best moment as a member of the Bears on the ensuing kick off as he took it 102-yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to two. One of the few sustained drives for Trubisky on the day (39 yards) led to the Bears grabbing the lead for a bit as they got Eddy Pineiro in position for a 46-yard field goal to put the Bears up 10-9.
That would be the high point for the contest as New Orleans began to build its lead over the next two quarters. A 52-yard drive by Bridgewater helped the Saints get the lead back as Will Lutz hit a 39-yard field goal to put them up 12-10. The sputtering Bears offense would finish with just 81 yards in the first half, and nothing got better in the second half.
Bridgewater led a 75-yard drive to start the second half for the Saints, who got in the endzone on Latavius Murray’s three-yard run to make it 19-10. The Saints would go a yard longer on their next scoring drive later in the third with Bridgewater hitting Taysom Hill on a quick out for a four-yard score to make it 26-10.
A fourth quarter brought more of the same – a struggling Bears’ offense and plenty of Saints offense. Another Lutz field goal pushed the lead to 19 points and Murray’s second score of the day to finish a 55-yard drive made it 36-10. Once again, the Bears defense yielded significant yardage on the ground as New Orleans rushed for 151 yards on the day.
At last, the Bears’ offense showed life as they went 75 yards for the score as Trubisky hit Allen Robinson on fourth down for a touchdown and Adam Shaheen for a two-point conversion to make it 36-18. After recovering an onside kick, the Bears scored again as Trubisky hit Javon Wims for another touchdown which with an extra point made it 36-25.
All it did was slightly sugar coat what was an effort that’s one of the worst of the Nagy era, and sheds doubt on the team’s ability to make a run for the playoffs in 2019.