The Chicago Bears fell to 1-4 on the season after today's 29-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Offensively, the Bears tallied 522 total yards, with 397 passing yards and 125 rushing yards. The Colts had a good day on offense as well, nearly posting 400 total yards (396), with 298 yards through the air and 98 yards on the ground.
For the first time all season the Bears won the time of possession battle (30:05 to 29:55). Chicago had 10 penalties for 80 yards, while the Cowboys had 9 penalties for 68 yards.
Here are five Bears who shined in the Week 5 loss, and five Bears whose performances left a lot to be desired.
RB Jordan Howard
The Bears had no trouble moving the ball on the ground against Indianapolis' soft front seven. Jordan Howard ran the ball 16 times for 118 yards (7.4 avg.) with a long of 57 yards. He also added 3 catches for 45 yards and a TD. Howard again showed power at the point of attack, good hands out of the backfield and outstanding vision as a runner. Yet even more impressive was his prowess in pass protection, where he was able to consistently pick up the extra rusher. Howard has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his first two NFL starts. He's the first Bears ball carrier since Matt Forte in 2013 to accomplish the feat.
The Colts do not boast a top-notch defense or pass rush, yet give Chicago's offensive line credit for the dominance they showed in Indianapolis. The front five opened up huge holes in the run game and QB Brian Hoyer wasn't sacked all day. The offensive line has allowed just three sacks the last three contests combined, due in large part to the play of guards Josh Sitton and Kyle Long, as well as rookie C Cody Whitehair, who gets better by the week.
OLB Willie Young
Willie Young had 1.0 sack through the first four weeks of the season. He finished Sunday's game with a career-high 3.0 sacks. Young took advantage of one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, consistently collapsing the pocket on passing downs. He's been invisible for most of the season, so Sunday's breakout outing could propel Young forward.
DL Jonathan Bullard
Third-round rookie Jonathan Bullard had his best game as a pro. He finished with 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 QB hit and 1.0 sack, the first sack of his career. Bullard was disruptive in the passing game but was also very stout against the run, helping hold the Colts to less than 100 yards rushing.
QB Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer completed 33 of 43 passes for 397 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs, good for a 120.0 QB rating. It was the third straight week in which Hoyer has passed for more than 300 yards, and he didn't turn the ball over the second game in a row. Yet the numbers skew some of his struggles, particularly on 3rd down, in which the Bears converted just 2 of 9 attempts. Hoyer also missed a wide-open receiver on the final offensive play of the game, which ultimately cost the Bears the game. His numbers and efficiency with the football have been outstanding but the Bears are only 1-2 with Hoyer under center.
WR Alshon Jeffery
Hoyer ignored Alshon Jeffery for most of the day and targeted him just once in the first half. Jeffery finished with 5 catches on 6 targets for 77 yards but he was an afterthought during the biggest plays of the game. That includes the aforementioned final play of the contest, during which Jeffery beat the corner in man coverage and was open for an easy game-winning score. Jeffery has been banged up all season but the Bears need to make a more concerted effort to get him the ball when the game is on the line.
PR Cre'Von LeBlanc
LeBlanc struggled as a defender in the slot and was beat multiple times by WR T.Y. Hilton, who ended the game with 10 catches for 171 yards and 1 TD. Yet LeBlanc was also a liability on special teams. In his first game as the team's starting punt returner, he let two balls hit the ground. The first fell dead at the 2-yard line yet the Colts stupidly knocked the ball into the end zone. The second was downed at the 3-yard line.
CB Jacoby Glenn
Glenn was benched after a spotty performance last week but saw the field in the second half after starting CB Bryce Callahan left with a hamstring injury. Glenn then gave up the game-winning touchdown on a deep post route by Hilton, in which Gleenn was beat almost immediately. He's shown a lot of promise this year but Glenn still makes a lot of mistakes.
WR Cameron Meredith
Meredith was outstanding all day, catching 9 passes for 130 yards and 1 TD. Yet his fumble in the fourth quarter was costly, essentially turning a three-point deficit into an insurmountable six-point deficit. Meredith could be the future of Chicago's passing attack and should learn from today's big mistake.
TE Logan Paulsen
Paulsen once again struggled as a blocker, couldn't track down a punt returner before a 20-yard return, and was called for two penalties, one of which took a touchdown off the board.null