3 Bears takeaways from brutal Week 1 loss to Rams
The Chicago Bears were embarrassed by the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night with a final score of 34-14. Despite that, there were a few takeaways for the Bears, including one self-explanatory one. The loss hurts, but they’re playing in a seemingly weak NFC North with the Lions and the confusing Vikings and Packers. Hope is not lost for a playoff push, but facing the Rams and getting ripped apart by former division foe Matthew Stafford can’t be fun. Let’s find some takeaways for the Bears.
Bears takeaways from loss to Rams
#1: Quit with the Andy Dalton experiment and let Justin Fields play
The strategy of handing Andy Dalton the reigns to be the starting quarterback while throwing Justin Fields in some weird Taysom Hill role doesn’t make any sense. Just let Justin Fields play. After all, it’s not like Andy Dalton is a great franchise veteran. He’s a below-average 34 year old playing his first season in Chicago. Playing him over Justin Fields is just a head-scratcher all around. Everyone wants to see Fields play.
It’s not like putting in Fields dramatically decreases your chances of winning. In fact, it might be the other way around. From what we’ve all seen of Field in training camp, preseason, and even the glimpses in the regular season, he looks more than ready to step in. The first two drives for the Bears on Sunday went exactly as expected with Dalton. First, he threw an interception and then he took a strip-sack before settling in. Meanwhile, Justin Fields played occasionally and went two for two on passing attempts with a great rushing touchdown. It’s time to let him play.
#2: David Montgomery is ready to break out
Running back David Montgomery is entering his third season with the Chicago Bears after being drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft and he looks great. The hopes for Montgomery to become the lead back have always been high in Chicago, but if he can consistently perform as he did on Sunday night, then the Bears have an elite back. Montgomery ran the ball 16 times, and it would’ve been more if the team didn’t fall so far behind and ran for 108 yards. That comes out to 6.75 yards per carry, an unreal game that even saw him score a touchdown. The stats are great, but they don’t even tell the full story.
DAVID MONTGOMERY IS LOOSE 💨 pic.twitter.com/hCQIRSV98G
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 13, 2021
If you were watching the game, then you probably noticed how good Montgomery looked. He fought for every yard and absolutely refused to go down on first contact to the point where it looked like the Montgomery from his college days. He averaged 5.1 yards after contact, which is absolutely absurd. These numbers are unsustainable for Montgomery, but if this is close to his ceiling that he can get to a few times every year, then he’s going to be really good. Field and Montgomery could be an elite duo.
#3: The elite Chicago defense is no more
Just a few years ago, when the Bears traded for Khalil Mack, the defense was among the best in the league. Some time has passed since then and the Bears haven’t won a single playoff game since that trade. Now the defense seems to be more in the middle of the league and in danger of falling further,
Safety Eddie Jackson is the perfect example of what’s happening to this defense. He was drafted in 2017 and, in the 2018 season, was among the best safeties in the league. Since then, he has only gotten worse to the point where he helped allow a couple of wide-open passes to the Rams wide receivers. The elite impact players that were around in 2018 aren’t the same. Maybe Khalil Mack can be the saving grace and get back to his best form, but the hope for building around the defense is fading quickly.
This is just more reason to get Justin Fields in the games. The Bears have an opportunity to completely shift their identity into an offense-first team led by Justin Fields, David Montgomery, and Allen Robinson. Take advantage of the situation presented before you, Chicago. If things break right then, the Bears could be set on offense with players to build around for a long time.