Bears Blown Out Again As Playoff Chances Officially End
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 5, 2014 5:10PM
Photo credit: David Banks/Getty Images
It was another disappointing performance from the Chicago Bears before a nationally televised audience Thursday night. The Bears lost 41-28 to the Dallas Cowboys in a game that wasn't as close as the score suggested. While the broadcasters noted that the Bears are technically still alive in the playoff hunt, those of us who have watched this team know they've been finished for weeks.
DeMarco Murray - The Bears defense had trouble with the Cowboys star running back all night long. Murray rushed for 179 yards on 32 carries (5.6 yards/carry) and a touchdown, slicing his way through the Bears line time and again. Murray also caught 9 passes for 49 yards, giving him 228 total yards of offense for Dallas.
Martellus Bennett - The Bears tight end caught a career-high 12 passes, for 84 yards and a touchdown. With 77 receptions for 821 receiving yards on the season, the Black Unicorn broke Mike Ditka's team record for receptions by a tight end in a season and has a chance to rack up over 1,000 yards receiving—especially if the Bears are without Brandon Marshall (more on that later).
Alshon Jeffery - Jeffery led the Bears with 95 yards receiving on six catches. The highlight was his pretty 27-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter. But that score was too little, too late to help the Bears get back into the game.
Bears Defense - The Bears defense allowed a bushel of points yet again. DeMarco Murray had his best game of the season. Tony Romo completed 21 of 26 passes for 205 yards and three TDs (138.0 rating). Dez Bryant had six catches for 82 yards, while Cole Beasley caught two touchdowns. The game was close at halftime with the Bears down just seven. Then Dallas scored 21 points in the third quarter to blow the game open. The Bears defense is allowing a league worst 29.1 points per game. Yet Mel Tucker is still employed.
Bears Offense - A late rally when the Bears were already down by 28 points masked the true ineffectiveness of the offense against a defense that wasn't much better regarded than their own. Marc Trestman finally tried going with a more balanced offensive attack, but Matt Forte was unable to get going on the ground. He rushed for just 26 yards on 13 carries. Most of Jay Cutler's 341 yards passing came once the game's outcome was already determined. He lead the team to three 4th quarter touchdowns, but the rally came too late to matter and ended with another Cutler interception in the end zone. He added to his league-high 21 giveaways.
Brandon Marshall's Injury - Marshall looked better than he had most of the season, with 61 yards receiving before being forced from the game. Moments after a circus catch for 41 yards, Marshall took a knee to the back/ribs catching a pass for a first down. After being examined in the Bears locker room, the Bears wideout was taken to the hospital by ambulance for further assessment—never a good sign. If Marshall's injury is serious enough to place him on IR, he'll join a growing list of Bears starters off the field for the season's duration.
Chris Conte's Injury - We're fairly certain the Bears safety is nothing but chewing gum and duct tape at this point as he left yet another game due to injury. For those playing Conte Injury Bingo, his back was the culprit this week. He has also suffered an eye injury, multiple shoulder injuries, and a preseason concussion. Even as he's playing much better than in 2013, the team cannot depend on him because he can't seem to stay on the field an entire game.
The Bears lost season gets yet another national audience next week, when the Bears host the 5-7 New Orleans Saints. Bet the league's wishing they could flex teams off of Monday Night football about now.