The Chicago Bears could not capitalize on a Daniel Jones injury as they lost on the road against the New York Giants, 20-12, in Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season. Here we’ll look at some takeaways from the Bears’ Week 4 loss.
With Giants quarterback Daniel Jones out with an ankle injury and backup Tyrod Taylor out with a concussion midway through the fourth quarter, the Bears had a wonderful opportunity to win at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants’ rush game, however, proved to be too much for the Bears to handle. Saquon Barkley, New York’s star running back, finished a 146-yard rushing effort by running a last-ditch wildcat offense that guided his team to their third victory of the season. The Bears simply couldn’t stop him in the fourth period.
Here are our four takeaways from the Chicago Bears’ Week 4 loss vs. the Giants.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 2, 2022
4. The Bears’ ground D is atrocious
As of this writing, no club in the NFL allows more rushing yards than the Bears. To illustrate, they’ve allowed a league-high 183.3 running yards per game through four games. That was a big reason for their loss to the Giants.
New York relied heavily on Barkley, who gained 146 yards on 31 carries. Jones also rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns before suffering an ankle injury. The Giants totaled 262 running yards on 44 attempts (an average of 6 yards per carry).
Barkley will do Barkley things of course. However, the Bears also need to do a better job of making life tough for him.
“It was definitely a challenge,” Chicago linebacker Roquan Smith told Larry Mayer of chicagobears.com. “[Barkley] came out and played a great game. There were a lot of mistakes on our behalf. We’ve just got to get better from it, grow from it. He’s a heck of a player, but that’s no excuse. We’ve just got to all get better and look ourselves in the mirror, including myself.”
At this point, the Bears’ defense is a glaring weakness — maybe their biggest. Opponents certainly know to target them on the ground, and they’ll continue to get run over if their ground problems remain unaddressed.
3. Bears need to finish with TDs
The Bears scored a total of 12 points but did not cross the goal line once. Michael Badgley (filling in for Cairo Santos, who was unable to play due to personal reasons) kicked four field goals, accounting for all of Chicago’s points on the board for Week 4.
That kind of framework just won’t win them many games. Take note that the Bears went three times into the red zone and still couldn’t score.
“We definitely have to punch it in in the red zone to win the game,” Chicago wide receiver Darnell Mooney told Tom Canavan of the Associated Press.
Despite this, the Bears still had a chance to tie the game when the Giants were forced to punt with 2:13 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, Chicago rookie Velus Jones Jr. botched the return, and by the time the Bears regained possession, there were only 16 seconds remaining.
2. All hail Eddie Jackson
Bears safety Eddie Jackson is legitimately playing great. It’s not just a great start for him. He is really playing terrific football again. Jackson had his third interception of the season, but he was also the most consistent and best defender on the field for the Bears.
Jackson finished second on the team with nine tackles, six of which were solo, and also had a pass defensed to go along with his pick. He was the final line of defense several times when everyone else was duped by bootlegs and kept everything in front of him. He’s accurately assessing plays and using the innate instincts that made him so dangerous a few years back.
With the way he’s been playing, there’s no reason to expect Jackson will become a burden like he was in the previous two years. He’s officially returned to being a secondary threat, and the Bears are better for it.
1. Justin Fields got a bit better
Justin Fields has appeared to deteriorate as a quarterback since Week 1. The good news is that Fields’ decline seems to have come to an end, as he looked better in Sunday’s game. The bad news is that it wasn’t enough to propel the Bears to victory.
Fields completed 11-of-22 throws for 174 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns. His highlight was a 56-yard bomb to Darnell Mooney, the rookie quarterback’s longest play of the day.
Darnell Mooney Weeks 1-3: 27 yards
Darnell Mooney on this catch: 56 yards
— Sam Choudhury (@SC_FFB) October 3, 2022
Fields’ game still had concerns from the previous couple of weeks, but he was under siege for much of the day thanks to the Giants’ pass rush. Fields has used his legs to avoid pressure several times, but if he can’t get a clean pocket, he’ll start seeing ghosts.
Progress must continue and there remain areas for improvement. However, if Bears fans are seeking for signs of growth, they certainly saw them in Week 4.