Saints Edge Bears in Another Heart-Wrenching Defeat

Free+image%2Fjpeg%2C+Resolution%3A+1365x1024%2C+File+size%3A+330Kb%2C+Chicago+Bears+logo+on+a+black+background

Pixy.org via creative commons license

Free image/jpeg, Resolution: 1365×1024, File size: 330Kb, Chicago Bears logo on a black background

Colin Hegener, Writer

The Chicago Bears would end up blowing a 13-3 2nd quarter lead last Sunday night, eventually losing to the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in overtime on a Will Lutz field goal. 

The game started ominously when Bears tackle Bobby Massie went down with a knee injury halfway through the first quarter in Sunday’s contest and would not return. This would leave the Bears with only two starting O-linemen, making quarterback Nick Foles even more uneasy in the pocket.

Then came the backbreaking play came at the end of the second quarter, which led to the Saints gaining momentum heading into halftime. 

From the Bears 16 yard line with 8 seconds left in the first half, Drew Brees somehow found tight end Jared Cook wide open in the end zone, scoring and cutting the lead to three. Bears linebacker Robert Quinn postgame said, “To be a great defense, we can’t give up plays like that.”

The Bears were yet again held scoreless in the third quarter of this week 8 contest, making it the 7th game this year for that to happen. The third quarter was also when a key moment in the game took place. 

After a first down run, Bears receiver Javon Wims punched Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson twice in the helmet leading to a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty, as well as to Wims getting ejected.

This penalty would kill the Bears’ spirits.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said after the game that he was, “looking down when I heard about it. But what I did hear is what it looked like, which is completely unacceptable.”

The ejection call may have been over the top, hurting the Bears chances to win. This was not the only event in the game that hurt Chicago’s chances, however. 

On their next offensive play, quarterback Nick Foles threw an interception, further dampening their spirits. 

The Foles interception would lead to three more points for the Saints, with them taking the lead 16-13. Then, early on in the fourth quarter, Brees would connect with Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill on a 20 yard strike, giving New Orleans a 10 point cushion with 9:57 to play.

Chicago would not go down without a fight, however. 

With 3:32 to play, Foles connected to up-and-coming rookie receiver Darnell Mooney on a 3 yard pass cutting the lead back down to three. Later in the fourth, Foles would lead a shaky two minute drill, leading up to a possible Cairo Santos 51 yard clutch field goal to send the game into overtime. The Saints called timeout right before Santos kicked it, which he ended up making. 

Santos said after the game that he “got the chance to see the first one go in pretty well. I knew I could repeat it. I’m lucky I got the chance to do that. But I think it helps when a team does that.” Reassuring words from a shaky position of the Bears in the last few seasons. 

Santos’ efforts would not be enough however, as the Bears offense could get absolutely nothing going in overtime, eventually falling to the Saints 26-23 in a hard fought defeat.

Consistency has been an issue with this Bears team this season, and the players have grown aware of that as well.

Defensive Tackle Akiem Hicks stated,‘‘We’re an elite team, and we can play at a high level. The consistency behind that is something we need to improve throughout the course of the game.’’

If the Bears want to continue their Super Bowl hopes in the playoffs, they need to be consistent in all four quarters, not just three.