The Chicago Bears seemed poised to pull off an incredible comeback victory on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, but it wasn’t meant to be as they fell 24-21 and went into their bye week on a sour note.
The Bears are now 3-2 on the season and are faced with some serious questions as they head home for a week away from the football field. Before they get there, here are the winners and losers from Week 5:
Allen Robinson has another great day
The Bears’ offense sputtered to a halt in the first half as they managed just 44 total yards, but they came alive in the second half of the game, and Robinson was largely responsible for sparking things, catching seven passes for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the contest.
Even as Chase Daniel and Mitchell Trubisky have struggled this season, Robinson has continued to make some incredibly athletic plays for the Bears, more than earning the free agent contract he signed with the club prior to the 2018 season.
Robinson’s touchdown catch that put the Bears in front was a thing of beauty, as he won the vertical battle to the football near the sideline and managed to corral the ball and keep his feet in bounds. It didn’t ultimately result in a win, but it was a great representation of what he’s been able to do this season.
The Bears’ interior linebackers
The Bears’ defensive line was a no-show for the game Sunday (more on them in a minute), but the team’s linebackers did a strong job in limiting the Raiders throughout the second half of the contest. Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith combined for 20 tackles and had a busy afternoon trying to corral Josh Jacobs on the ground and Darren Waller through the air, as he was targeted five times and caught four passes.
The Bears’ offensive line
There has been a constant push for the Bears to run the football more, but it’s hard to do that when the offensive line was as porous as they were on Sunday.
The Bears only managed 42 rushing yards on 17 carries in the game, and they allowed Chase Daniel to be sacked on four different occasions. Add to that the frequent penalties for holds and false starts, and you have a surefire recipe for disaster.
Left tackle Charles Leno, who was a frequent target of penalty flags, and Kyle Long, who was routinely beat off the snap as he continues to make his way back from a hip issue, were especially noticeable in the loss.
Overall team defense
The Bears were excellent against the Vikings’ rushing offense last week in Chicago, but they couldn’t put a lid on Oakland at all in this one, allowing 169 rushing yards in the defeat.
Add to that the 229 passing yards that Derek Carr racked up, and the Bears’ defense had by far its worst afternoon of the season on Sunday.
The Bears’ front three was especially silent, although it didn’t help that the team lost Akiem Hicks to injury on the first series of the game and didn’t have Bilal Nichols for the third straight week. They weren’t able to get any pressure on Carr during the contest, and Chuck Pagano was too slow to try to provide them additional help with blitzes.
In total, the Bears got just one quarterback hit in the game and didn’t manage a single tackle for loss in one of the worst performances of the Matt Nagy era.
Chase Daniel’s decisionmaking
One of the big benefits of having Daniel in the pocket is that he’s willing to take safe throws instead of forcing the ball into tough spots, but that caution was nowhere to be found on Sunday as he threw a pair of interceptions, including a late one that cost the Bears a chance to come back and win the game.
With a good drive going late in the fourth quarter, Daniel appeared to target Anthony Miller down the field, thinking that his receiver was going to break off and go deep on a route. Instead the ball found its way into the hands of Gareon Conley, and the Raiders took over the ball in a key moment.
The pass ultimately should have gone to Javon Wims, who was wide open underneath, and Daniel instead tried to go for a big throw when the Bears still had a minute and a half remaining, with two timeouts in their pockets.
Daniel also failed to get rid of the ball on a few occasions where he had time to make the decision to do so, and as a result he was pounded for four sacks in the defeat.