Against the Minnesota Vikings this afternoon, the Chicago Bears played their worst game of the season. The 38-17 final score correctly reflects the one-sided nature of today's game, one in which the Bears struggled in all three phases.
The Vikings scored on their first two possessions in the first quarter, while Chicago managed just 10 total yards in the first stanza. Minnesota then scored with 26 second left in the first half, giving them 17 points, which was more than enough for the victory.
The Bears managed just 293 total yards on offense and turned the ball over twice, while the defense made Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater look like a Pro Bowler, as he finished the game with 5 total TDs and a 154.4 QB rating.
OLB Willie Young
Young had two tackles on the game, both for loss, as well as a sack. He now has a sack in five straight games and has emerged as Chicago's most consistent edge rusher. He also played very well against the run.
ILB John Timu
Christian Jones was a healthy scratch this week, which thrust Timu, a UDFA out of Washington who has not played a snap on defense, into the starting lineup. Timu responded by leading the team with 9 total tackles, one for loss. He showed the power and aggressiveness against the run that has been lacking from Chicago's inside linebackers all season.
DE Mitch Unrein
Unrein is a lunch pail player who does the little things very well. He was stout against the run today and consistently two-gapped at the point of attack. He finished with three total tackles and was the only defensive lineman who played well against the Vikings' rushing attack.
K Robbie Gould
Coming off two games in which he missed game-tying or game-winning field goals, Gould converted a 51-yard attempt and successfully executed the first onside kick of his career.
RB Matt Forte
Forte averaged 5.9 yards per carry and led the team with 6 catches for 57 yards and a TD. Forte finished with 114 yards from scrimmage and was the lone bright spot on offense.
OT Kyle Long
It might be time to end the experiment of Kyle Long playing right tackle. He has struggled much of the year at his new position and played his worst game today, giving up three out of Minnesota's five sacks - a single-game high for the Bears' offensive line - today. Long was a two-time Pro Bowl guard who was exploited around the edge by Brian Robison, which one time resulted in a sack, a forced fumble and a turnover. Long needs to slide back inside.
Alshon Jeffery had one catch in the game, a 10-yard score in the second quarter. He then left the game with a hamstring injury. As a team, Chicago's wideouts combined for just 79 receiving yards. Eddie Royal and Marc Mariani both had 31 yards, while Josh Bellamy added one catch for 7 yards. This is a unit that has been hampered by injuries and underachieving play all season.
ILB Shea McClellin
McClellin finished the game with 8 tackles, second most on the team, but his overall impact was minimal, as most of those tackles came five yards down the field. He was not strong between the tackles and was repeatedly attacked by Bridgewater in the passing game. McClellin is dealing with a knee injury that has sapped him of his quickness, while his lack of power at the point of attack has been a problem the entire campaign.
S Chris Prosinski
Prosinski had two crucial missed tackles, both of which led to touchdowns, and was spotty in coverage all day. He's not an NFL starter and should be relegated to special-teams-only duties.
C Hroniss Grasu
Grasu was a turnstile for most of the afternoon. He was dominated inside by Minnesota DT Sharrif Floyd and gave up a sack. Grasu showed well at the second level, which is the strongest area of his game, but his lack of push and awareness up front is dragging down Chicago's front five.