Three Takeaways from Bears loss to Vikings
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports

Three Takeaways from Bears loss to Vikings

by - Senior Writer -

Despite being short-handed in virtually every way possible, the Chicago Bears still managed to give the Minnesota Vikings a fairly good battle for roughly three quarters. That has been a common theme all season as the Bears tend to hand with their opponents for most of the game, but fall apart in the final quarter.

The final score will show 29-13, and realistically it could have been worse had Nick Mullens not been intercepted in the fourth quarter. However, that happens when Justin Fields is not playing, your top WR was lost for the season, and you have a defense that can't stop a cold if they tried. Throw in two interceptions by Tim Boyle, and the Bears did themselves no favors.

This was different from the kind of year that first-year GM Ryan Poles and first-year head coach Matt Eberflus wanted, as they have faced a ton of criticism all year. Eberflus has taken more criticism, and rightfully so when you look at some of his coaching decisions, but he is a first-year head coach that was given a patchwork roster to work with. Here are some takeaways from the game.

Franchise futility

It is hard to believe that this Bears team was at one point 3-4 this season. Yes, 3-4 and were sitting in second place in the NFC North. Apart from their win against Houston, the Bears had wins against New England and San Francisco as both teams went on to battle for playoff spots, with San Francisco winning 10-straight to make the playoffs.

Since their win over New England, things went South and South in a hurry, as the Bears never tasted victory again during the season. Trading away pieces like Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn didn't make things easier, but apart from Fields, this offense had no identity and continued to hold this team back.

With their loss on Sunday, the Bears set new marks for franchise futility, which is not something to be proud of. The loss marked their 10th consecutive loss, the longest losing streak in franchise history, while the 14 losses are the most in one season in franchise history.

Keep in mind this is a franchise that has been around for 100 years, so setting marks like that shows you how bad it was this season. This was the worst season of Chicago Bears football in franchise history, and the fans expect better from this team.

Extend Cole Kmet

Entering the season, there was a lot of talk surrounding Kmet and if he was the TE of the future for this team. After a rough rookie season, Kmet started to show the Bears something in year two, but the jury was still out in year three.

If this season indicates what Kmet can become, the Bears need to extend this man before his rookie deal is up, as he is the perfect TE for this system. We saw the connection that Darnell Mooney and Fields developed in 2021, but for whatever reason, that connection wasn't there in 2022. Fortunately, Kmet built that connection with Fields this season and became his most trusted option.

If Mooney can come back healthy next year and Kmet continues to play at the level he played at this season, Fields will have two trusted options to count on next season, which will help this offense reach new heights. Now it is up to Poles and the front office to get this team more help so they can start contending again.

Thank You, Lovie Smith

Who would have thought that a former Chicago Bears head coach would play the most critical role in the game? After falling to the Bears earlier in the season, the Houston Texans occupied the No.1 in the NFL draft for the first 17 weeks. After picking up a surprise win against the Titans a few weeks ago, the Bears had an opening to get that no. 1 pick if the Texans could lose another game.

Throughout their game against the Colts yesterday, the Texans dominated the Colts, and you could see the excitement starting to build with the Bears fan base about the possibility of getting that No.1 pick. Then came the fourth quarter when the Texans began to fall apart, and the Colts grabbed a 31-24 lead.

In the end, Smith and his team made the plays they needed to make and went for the two-point conversion to win the game and came through with a 32-31 win. The win by the Texans moved them to 3-13-1, which is a better record than Chicago. That means the Texans get the No. 2 pick, and the Bears officially end up with the No. 1 pick. Smith would end up getting fired after the game, but at least he managed to help out his former team first.

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