1. Remember why the Bears took Carson Wentz? He’s about 90 percent of what he was as a rookie, we thought.
Sure, he’s lost some of his wiggle. One easy example is his ability to extend plays. A year ago he didn’t have to be that elusive, but now that the Bears spread the field, he needs the kind of patience they expect from him. But he missed open targets too often on Sunday. Worse, when he did look to find an open receiver he often failed to see them. (My bad. We were watching some steady NFL Network in the West Loop on Sunday and Tom Welling and Sterling Shepard reported that Wentz still not looked at his other options until the fifth or sixth yards.)
2. This was a crucial time for Cam Meredith to come out for the first play of the game, no doubt. The Bears were five seconds from a 41-17 lead and sent back Mewelde Moore, who now has one catch in his last 24 career games. I’m not sure if Moore was a veteran target or the best backup, but I want to see more of this from the rookies. Until those guys get comfortable playing with the big guns it’s going to be next to impossible to stop those key plays.
3. I feel sorry for Kevin White. That double bump in the first quarter was downright shameful. He was clearly fouled by Jimmy Smith and it doesn’t sound like he’s the kind of guy who would challenge the officials. There were a bunch of refs inside the tunnel and not one saw any more eye contact than the two players. Until the NFL installs cameras in every one of those tunnels, the players are going to be fighting over the calls.
4. This defense continues to show a lack of consistency, which hurts the overall vision. Smith looked like the same old Jimmy Smith on Sunday. The offense is having no problem scoring. The defense isn’t.
5. This offensive line is a mess. The shaky protection was a big reason why the Bears were flagged for sacks six times (the Ravens had eight). Right tackle Bobby Massie’s eyes looked the way of tunnel rats when he was at least a third of the way downfield in the fourth quarter.
6. You feel awful for Taylor Gabriel after he almost literally threw away a win. He led off the series with a failure to catch a short pass and then went to pitch the ball but the receiver never even went out of bounds. The ball squirted out. Chicago’s defense got the ball and Baltimore needed just 23 seconds to drive down the field. That drive ended with the only play that matters: a touchdown.
7. Brad Biggs: “I’m worried about having a beatable defense on the field at the end.”
Ken Lombardi: “Don’t worry, Brad. Just give us that game.”
8. Jordan Howard has been dealing with ankle soreness, but he battled through it for most of the afternoon. His fumble was his lone big mistake. It’s a shame. What else?
9. It’s not like the Bears put up a big number, but they did move the ball. The defense played well on key downs, even if the Ravens drove for a touchdown as time expired.
10. So there we are. The Bears are totally out of it in the NFC North. I have a feeling Pat Shurmur will like his situation a lot better if the Bears implode even further.