Final Thoughts: Bears fall flat in the second half in Week 1 loss

Final Thoughts: Bears fall flat in the second half in Week 1 loss
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) attempts to throw the ball while being sacked by Houston Texans outside linebacker John Simon (51) during the second half on Sunday Sept. 11, 2016 at NRG Park, in Houston, Texas. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

The first half there was hope and promise for the Bears, but all of that faded over the final 30 minutes in a 23-14 loss to Houston on Sunday.

Jay Cutler stood tall in the pocket while completing 10-of-13 pass attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown over the first two quarters. He had big passes (29 and 54 yards) to Alshon Jeffery on two separate touchdown drives while finding his buddy Eddie Royal for a 19-yard score on a dart.

But after that, it wasn’t pretty for the Bears quarterback as he connected on 6-of-16 pass attempts for 60 yards and an interception in the second half. He nearly lost a fumble in the final half as the offense stalled time and time again with poor offensive line play, ugly drops and inefficient play. Cutler was sacked five times and hit 13 times in total.

On the day, the Bears finished 4-of-13 on third downs. After all the success in the opening half where the defense held tough without much pressure, the offense did a 180 in the second half beginning on a bad route by Kevin White leading to a Cutler interception on the first play of the third quarter.

The biggest moment in the game came on a 4th-and-1 from the Houston 31-yard line on the team’s second drive. Up 7-0, John Fox decided to be aggressive, but a poor snap by rookie center Cody Whitehair gave Cutler little time to sneak past the line for a first down.

From that point on, the Bears were outscored 24-7 in the game and the momentum disappeared until the Royal touchdown late in the first half.

Key stats

Jeremy Langford – The new Bears running back totaled 63 yards on 19 touches and a touchdown. Langford averaged 3.4 yards per carry on 17 rushes and outside of a couple of nice runs, he didn’t do much in the 54 offensive plays the team had.

Jerrell Freeman – With a team-high 17 tackles (9 solo), I thought Freeman played an active game. He’s going to be a ferocious hitter all season for the Bears, especially against the run.

Alshon Jeffery – It was a fine afternoon for Jeffery as he reeled in four receptions for 105 yards on six targets. He won his one-on-one battles throughout this one and looked unstoppable at times. Strangely enough, the Bears fell to 4-9 in games where Jeffery adds 100 or more yards receiving.

Leonard Floyd – The Bears’ first round rookie played much more than I thought and held his own for the most part. He had six tackles, a half of a sack and a quarterback hit. Floyd looked speedy off the edge and wrapped up tackles near the line of scrimmage. Eddie Goldman led the team with two quarterback hits.

Danny Trevathan – The other inside linebacker had the team’s lone full sack on the day. He totaled 11 tackles (7 solo) and did everything he could against a playmaking Houston offense.

Tracy Porter – His interception on the game’s opening drive was a thing of beauty. He ripped the ball away from Texans’ top wideout DeAndre Hopkins and gave the Bears a ton of momentum. Porter had four tackles and a pass breakup as well.

Key stat

The Bears surrendered 131 yards on the ground and failed to get off the field on the money down, allowing Houston to convert 12-of-20 attempts on third down. The run defense didn’t look much better than a year ago and that is a glaring concern as the pressure up front was almost impossible to find on the afternoon.

Next up

The Bears welcome Philadelphia (1-0) to Soldier Field next Monday night. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz will come to town after beating the Browns on Sunday.

Thoughts on the Bears Week 1 loss in Houston?

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button to get all the latest Bears Backer articles sent directly to your inbox.

Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.

Leave a comment