Letting a bad team hang around is exactly what the Chicago Bears did on Sunday at Soldier Field in a 26-20 overtime loss to the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
Yes, the Bears aren't a very good team overall, but they had endless chances to go up big early and put the game away late. Two first quarter drives in 49ers territory stalled ending in six points total while a rare Robbie Gould miss on a game-winner from 36 yards out forced another quarter of play.
There's no need to recap what happened after the third drive in overtime, but what we witnessed is flat out embarrassing. With just one win in six games on their home grass, the Bears are now 5-7 and are far from the playoff conversation despite such a promising nine-game stretch after going 0-3.
Bad coaching, predictable play calling and poor execution all played into the Bears' inexcusable loss on Sunday.
Here are some notes from the overtime tilt.
-The Bears generated four sacks on the day with Eddie Goldman had two upping his total to 4.5 on the year. Willie Young had 1.5 sacks, giving him 4.5 as well. Jarvis Jenkins had a half of sack as well. The best part was that the Bears got consistent pressure with just a four-man rush.
-Linebacker Shea McClellin had a team-high nine tackles as he had a couple of nice open field stops. He continues to play solid football as an inside linebacker. He should get a contract extension this off-season.
-Even though he caught only four passes on 12 targets, Alshon Jeffery had 85 yards and made some big plays for the struggling Bears' offense.
-Matt Forte had 21 carries for 84 yards and a rushing touchdown and five receptions for 39 yards. He averaged four yards per carry and really looked himself while Jeremy Langford had 12 carries for 59 yards. Don't forget Ka'Deem Carey had five carries for 17 yards and his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter.
-Deonte Thompson had a huge 74-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter prior to a Gould field goal that sailed wide left and could have put the Bears ahead. Thompson is a keeper after a couple of good returns.
-It's quite strange to see Robbie Gould miss two field goals in a game, especially a 36-yard game winner that had a good snap and a good hold. He's usually automatic in those situations. But, Gould has had two games with two missed field goal tries and is on his second long snapper.
-The Bears ran the ball a whopping 42 times and completed only 18 passes on the afternoon. The Bears converted 8-of-17 third downs, but much too often the Bears chose to run and the 49ers weren't falling for it. Yes, the gameplan was run heavy since the wide receiver core was thin, but Adam Gase should have been much more creative.
-A 44-yard touchdown run by quarterback Blaine Gabbert tied the game up late in the second quarter. Yeah, the Bears let a former first round bust in Gabbert break down the middle of the field for a huge score. The defense was on the field much too often in this one and they failed to make stops in key situations.
-Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee didn't make much of an impact with only one tackle and no sacks and just one quarterback hit. He could have brought down Gabbert late, but failed to do so.
-Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller combined for only four receptions for 20 yards on the afternoon as the Bears didn't get much play action passing going with the focus on the run.
-Jay Cutler's pick-six in the first quarter was flat out bad. He saw the blitz coming and should have either thrown it away or taken the sack. He knew immediately that he made the mistake. He had a so-so game with no touchdown passes, completing 58 percent of his passes.
Overall, it was an atrocious game for the Bears. With a win needed to get to .500 and stay in the thick of things in the playoff run, they faltered. John Fox and his staff need to take a good hard look in the mirror after this one.
The Bears will host Washington next Sunday in a game that doesn't mean much after a seventh loss this season.
Thoughts on the Bears' loss to the 49ers on Sunday. Make sure to weigh in below.
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