LOS ANGELES – One of the humbling parts of the NFL is the ability for fortunes to flip very, very quickly. The teams playing on this Sunday night are a perfect example of this thought.
When the Bears and Rams met in Week 14 of the 2018 season, they did so as two of the best teams in the NFL. The former was headed towards an NFC North title, and they got a boost from a 15-6 win over Los Angeles. The latter would bounce back after the loss and make their first Super Bowl since the 2001 season where they fell to the Patriots.
This year it’s different.
A disappointing second season under Matt Nagy has the Bears at 4-5 while the Rams are struggling for consistency at 5-4. As each play in competitive divisions, the teams are in need of winning on Sunday night in order to keep their playoff chances within reasonable reach.
Over the course of 60 minutes, neither team really did a lot to win the game on offense, but it was the Rams that did a little more. From two early missed field goals to ineffectiveness outside of one drive to Mitchell Trubisky getting replaced late in the game, the Bears added another bad chapter to a disappointing 2019 season in a 17-7 loss to the Rams Sunday night at the LA Coliseum.
They fall to 4-6 on the season as their postseason chances dwindle away by the week. Officially, Trubisky was taken out with a hip injury in the final drive of the game and replaced by Chase Daniel, but that should provide another storyline as the Bears host the Giants next week.
Something will have to change with the unit which gained just 267 yards for the game and scored single-digits in points for just the second time this season. The Bears’ defense did what they could, holding the Rams to 281 yards and forcing a pair of turnovers. But it wasn’t enough as they wore down late in allowing a game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter.
An old problem crept back up for the in the first quarter as Eddy Pineiro’s aim was far from true on two of the first three offensive possessions. A well-balanced offensive push on the opening drive got the Bears to the Rams’ 29 yard line, but Pineiro missed the kick to the left. After Eddie Jackson forced a fumble on the first Los Angeles play from scrimmage, the Bears’ didn’t trust the kicker from 48 yards and went for it on 4th-and-9 but couldn’t convert.
After an interception by Roquan Smith deep in their own territory, the Bears drove again to the Los Angeles 29-yard line but Pineiro missed from 47-yards to the right to keep the game scoreless.
The Rams offense picked up some momentum in the second quarter as they got on the board with a 38-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. After an interception of Trubisky that went off the hands Anthony Miller and into those of Troy Hill, Los Angeles got in the endzone four plays and 56-yards later on Todd Gurley’s one-yard touchdown run to make it 10-0.
Optimism returned for the Bears to start the second half as the Bears’ offense put together one of their best drives of the season. They marched 80 yards down the field with a heavy emphasis on short passes and got in the endzone when Trubisky found Tarik Cohen out of the backfield around the pylon for a 14-yard score to make it 10-7.
Yet the Bears offense stalled through the rest of the third and much of the fourth quarter, and finally the Rams put together a drive midway through the fourth quarter. Despite having a 51-yard Jared Goff to Josh Reynolds touchdown get called back on a formation penalty, Los Angeles still finished off an eight-play 71-yard drive that was completed a Malcolm Brown five-yard touchdown run to make it 17-7.
When the Bears came out for their next drive, it was Chase Daniel that took the snaps at quarterback as Trubisky was on the sidelines with what was announced as a hip injury. The backup couldn’t do much in his place as he turned the ball over on downs to finish off another bad night for the Bears’ offense.