Chargers 17, Bears 16: Whose arrows are up and down after Bears ugly loss


Well, feel free to panic! The Bears have now dropped three in a row, the latest a 17-16 loss to a Chargers team that was 2-5 coming into Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. The loss moves them to 3-4 on the year, and it’s feeling like another long week at Halas Hall is about to begin. Here’s whose arrow is up and whose arrow is down after another dispiriting loss: 

ARROW DOWN – Matt Nagy (in the first half) 

What is going on? After a number of puzzling decisions in the Bears’ loss to New Orleans, many of Nagy’s choices on Sunday … weren’t any better. The Bears ran 12 – twelve! – plays inside the Chargers’ 10 yard line in the first half and didn’t score a touchdown. After they found success running the ball throughout much of the first half, they almost completely abandoned the ground game in the Red Zone. The only ran it once on their first trip inside the 20 and didn’t run it at *all* on their second. Their third trip featured three runs, but couldn’t find the end zone after seven tries and almost a minute taken off the clock. Nagy deserves credit for committing to a more-balanced game plan that put Bears players in better positions, but his clock management was embarrassingly sloppy. 

ARROW UP – David Montgomery 

It only took half the season, but he’s arrived! Montgomery got over 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career on Sunday, finishing with 27 rushes for 135 yards. He even broke the first long run of his NFL career! 

As their Red Zone performance showed, the Bears could still badly use a bigger, downfield back that doesn’t move side-to-side as often as Montgomery or Cohen do. That said, you could feel the pressure on the Bears’ offense being relieved from up in the press box – that’s how important getting the run game going is to this offense. It wasn’t the Packers or Vikings, but Sunday against the Chargers was a big step in the right direction for the rookie. 

ARROW DOWN – Tight Ends 

Putting Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen on this list feels kind of pointless, given how little is expected from them on a week-to-week basis at this point. Still, Burton finished the day with one catche for 16 yards (though to his credit had a big-time catch in the 4th), and Shaheen had no catches. For being one of the important driving forces of the Matt Nagy offense, the tight ends continue to go silent on Sundays. JP Holtz was the “best” tight end against the Chargers, like he’s been the “best” tight end on the Bears since being signed a week into the season. 

ARROW UP – Anthony Miller 

Miller gets a lot of flack from Bears fans, and some of that is justified. After a promising start to his NFL career, injuries and inconsistencies have caused people to sour on the second-year wideout from Memphis. Miller was every bit as advertised on Sunday, though, catching three balls for 67 yards. What’s equally as encouraging is that he didn’t commit a single penalty, and seemingly passed the blown-assignment eye test too. Connecting on deep plays – there was a 24 yard cross in the 1st quarter and a 35 yarder in the second – looks great, but it was Miller’s 3rd quarter reception in the slot, on 4th-and-1, that highlighted how valuable he can be to Trubisky and Co. 

ARROW DOWN – The Orange Jerseys 

They’re just not good. Sorry. Wear them at home, wear them on the road, wear them at night or wear them during the day – it doesn’t make a difference. Arrow down. 

Arrow Up Hon. Mention: Eddy Pineiro, Allen Robinson, Inside LBs. 

Arrow Down Hon. Mention: Trubisky (that 4th quarter YIKES), Rashaad Coward, Eddie Jackson

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