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Chicago Bears: 3 Big Takeaways From 24-17 Loss To Saints

CHICAGO BEARS: 3 BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM 24-17 Loss To Saints

CHICAGO BEARS: 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM 24-17 LOSS TO SAINTS – NOVEMBER 7, 2023 – If it is Tuesday morning, it means that we are talking about another loss for the Chicago Bears. To be objective, the Bears played well for various stretches of the afternoon.

Stop me if you heard this story before, but with several opportunities to win the game, Chicago faltered down the stretch. Once again, the ending was an all-too-familiar one as the Bears dropped their second game in a row, and are now 2-7 on the season.

So, without further ado, here are the biggest takeaways from the Bears’ 24-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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Takeaway #3: Could Matt Eberflus Be On The Hot Seat?

To say that the Bears have not fared well with Matt Eberflus at the helm would be an understatement. During the 2022 campaign, the Bears were 3-14 and concluded the season with a 10-game winning streak.

Chicago had the fifth-worse offense in the league at 307.8 yards per contest, and they ranked 23rd in scoring with 19.2 points per contest. From a defensive perspective, the Bears were 29th in total yards per outing (375.9), and they gave up a league-worst 27.2 points per contest.

This season has been “somewhat” better as Chicago is ranked 19th in both total yards per game (325.9) and points per game (20.9). On the other side of the football, the Bears are ranked 19th in total yards allowed per contest (336.6) and 28th in scoring defense, giving up 26.9 points per contest.

Eberflus’ 5-21 mark is abysmal at best. And while the team’s lack of success is not entirely his fault, it would be difficult to foresee a scenario in which he returns for a third season.

Takeaway #2: Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney Turn In Solid Performances

Last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, Kmet had 10 receptions for 79 yards. And he was an integral part of the offense against the Saints as well.

He had six catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 16 catches totaling 134 yards over the last two weeks.

Another player who had a noteworthy performance was Darnell Mooney. When the Bears acquired DJ Moore during the offseason, the consensus was Mooney and Moore would provide the team with a formidable duo on the perimeter.

Unfortunately, for Mooney, that strategy has not come to fruition. Coming into this Week 9, he had just 15 catches for 225 yards. Against the Saints, however, he was targeted six times and finished with five catches for a season-high 82 yards. To gain a better appreciation of his production against the Saints, it is worth mentioning that Mooney had a combined total of five catches for 73 yards in the last two games.

Just me thinking out loud here, but perhaps the coaching staff should implement more plays for Mooney going forward.

Takeaway #1: Tyson Bagent, Offense Played Well…Until They Didn’t

Tyson Bagent and the offense got off to a nice start. Yes, there was a missed field goal that could have given the Bears a 17-14 lead at the break. Yep, there was also two turnovers that led to 10 points for the home team. Despite these factors, though, the offense played well enough through the first three quarters as the game was knotted at 17. But the fourth quarter proved to be the Bears’ undoing.

The Bears failed to make it past their 35-yard line in the final 15 minutes. This was because Bagent threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble. Through the first three quarters, Bagent was 15-of-19 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, he completed just three of his 11 passing attempts for a total of 19 yards.

All in all, the Bears had a total of five drives in the fourth quarter. Three of those possessions ended with turnovers while the other two possessions were three-and-outs.

Bagent finished the day 18-of-30 for 220 yards with two touchdowns and a total of four turnovers. In a game where Chicago outplayed New Orleans in nearly every statistical category, multiple miscues in crunch time proved to be the difference. And accumulating eight penalties for a total of 71 yards did not help the team’s cause, either.

Overall, the Bears lost the turnover battle 5-0 and amassed 66 more penalty yards than their opponent. The fact that the final margin of victory was only seven points can be considered an accomplishment.

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