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‘Highlight reel’ Justin Fields draws more praise — but Chicago Bears lose 7th straight. Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the draft order, Cairo Santos and more from Week 15.

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10 thoughts after the Chicago Bears showed a little spunk and put up a fight against the Philadelphia Eagles, owners of the best record in the NFL, before falling short 25-20 Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Eagles roster is superior at nearly every position, and a critical difference in playmaking skills ultimately showed as the Bears (3-11) lost their seventh consecutive game.

1. No one in the Eagles locker room is probably more qualified to discuss recent Bears quarterback play than Darius Slay.

Drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions in 2013, Slay went through plenty of NFC North battles against the Bears. When you prepare twice a season for a division rival, you get a pretty good feel for the opponent’s skills and weaknesses.

Slay intercepted Mitch Trubisky twice in a 2017 game at Ford Field and played 13 career games against the Bears before the Lions traded him to the Eagles in 2020. So I figured he would be a good guy to solicit for an opinion on the state of the Bears offense after Fields ran for 95 yards to become the third quarterback in league history to reach 1,000 yards in a season, joining Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick. Fields also completed 14 of 21 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

“Great player, man,” Slay said. “Tough dude. Great competitor. He’s a highlight reel. He can make a lot of plays with his feet and his arm. Chicago has got a good upside with him coming up. When his time comes, it’s not going to be a shock to me when everybody sees how good he is. He’s going to be a real solid kid and a real good quarterback.”

The Eagles did a pretty good job of beating Fields to the edge on running plays through 1½ quarters, holding him in check when he ran the ball or pulled it down to scramble. Then Fields spun out of a sack attempt by edge rusher Haason Reddick — who had two of the Eagles’ six sacks — and took off for a 39-yard gain down the Philadelphia sideline, narrowly stepping out of bounds at the 9-yard line.

“It was crazy, man,” Reddick said. “I was sick about that play because they ended up scoring (on the next play). I felt like that was a momentum boost for them and I didn’t like that being a factor. I was pissed off about that. It fueled me to keep going.”

Reddick figured he and his teammates were in for a full day based on what they saw on film. Seeing Fields in person solidified his opinion.

“He’s a great talent at the quarterback position,” Reddick said. “He’s out there, he’s making it happen with his feet. He’s trying to get it done any way possible, whether it’s using his arm, running — he’s just trying to get it done. He’s a great competitor, relentless competitor because he took some big hits and just kept going.

“When we were watching the tape, we knew we had a tough challenge, but you also knew we would have opportunities. It’s just about what happens once you get there. It’s a 50-50 thing. I could have had three, four (sacks). I got him twice. Twice he got away. You’ve got to look at it like that. He’s not a stationary QB. He can move well, and not only that, he’s fast as hell.”

Fields did a good job of diagnosing a blitz and almost sidearming a pass to David Montgomery for a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, he eluded pressure in the pocket to buy time and found Byron Pringle uncovered near the goal line, lofting a 35-yard pass for a score.

En route to reaching 1,000 yards, Fields surpassed Bobby Douglass for the most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback in franchise history. Douglass set the mark of 968 in 1972. The neat thing about Fields’ accomplishment in this game is he passed Douglass in 14 games, the length of the regular season in that era.

Now Fields has his sight set on Jackson’s NFL record of 1,206 yards in 2019. Make no mistake, he knows precisely what he needs at an even 1,000 with three games remaining.

“I’m already deep into this year,” Fields said. “Might as well just try to go get that record. I need, what, 206? Three games left, 70 yards a game. We’ll see what happens.”

Fields was short-handed. Chase Claypool (knee) and N’Keal Harry (back) were inactive, and Equanimeous St. Brown left the game with a concussion in the first quarter after his head was slammed down at the end of a 20-yard reception on third-and-10. That reduced Fields’ options at wideout to Pringle, Dante Pettis, Nsimba Webster and Velus Jones Jr.

“I feel like if they can get vet O-linemen … get some more weapons as far as receivers around him,” Reddick said. “David Montgomery, he’s a good running back. It’s about getting pieces. They’re rebuilding. We’ll see what happens in the next couple years.”

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni called Fields “special.”

“He’s got some special abilities,” Sirianni said. “I know our quarterback (Jalen Hurts) is special as well. But give Justin Fields a lot of love right there because you see him — you see it on tape and how good he is — and you see it up close and personal and he’s special. It’s good for the NFL that two young quarterbacks going at it today are going to be good quarterbacks in the NFL for a while.”

Slay believes the Bears finally could be on to something with Fields, and he has a perspective that goes back to the Marc Trestman era, when the Bears weren’t doing a whole lot right besides moving the ball and scoring points.

“Some of the quarterbacks have been good,” Slay said. “Some have been bad. I’ve been in the division when Alshon (Jeffery and Brandon Marshall) were here. They won the division before (in 2018). So I have seen the good and the bad. They have finally invested in a quarterback that is very talented. They’ve got a good chance with this one.”

2. The maligned defense really gave the Bears a chance to hang in this game.

Some of the numbers don’t look very good, and a couple of plays were flat-out busts. Jalen Hurts passed for 315 yards as the Eagles rolled up 421 yards of offense, and as usual the Bears were poor on third down as Philadelphia converted 9 of 16 attempts.

But a defense that will look significantly different in terms of personnel next season produced three takeaways: interceptions by cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety DeAndre Houston-Carson and a fumble that defensive tackle Mike Pennel forced and Gordon recovered. That’s notable as the Bears produced a grand total of two takeaways in the previous six games.

The shame of it is the Bears got only one score out of the three possessions they stole. Houston-Carson’s interception set up the offense on the Eagles 25-yard line with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter. After an 11-yard Justin Fields run moved the Bears to the 14, a botched handoff between Fields and Trestan Ebner set the offense back 6 yards. Then Haason Reddick’s first sack dropped Fields for a 10-yard loss to the 30.

With winds at 16 mph at kickoff, that was out of Cairo Santos’ range and the Bears elected to punt, netting only 21 yards on Trenton Gill’s kick. It’s the first occasion I could find on Pro Football Reference — going back to 1994 — of a Bears punt from that deep in the opponent’s territory. The closest was a Brad Maynard punt from the Green Bay Packers 32 in the third quarter of a Dec. 9, 2001, game at Lambeau Field.

The Bears did a solid job of corraling Hurts as a runner, with the notable exception his 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams dialed up a blitz on third-and-8 and strong safety Jaquan Brisker went through the wrong gap. That left a hole large enough for Hurts to drive a truck through. He zipped through it to the end zone with no defender in the middle of the field.

“Safety is supposed to be in the other gap,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “We should have had that. That’s unfortunate. Alan called a great pressure there in that situation.”

The Eagles netted only 99 yards on their first 19 plays, and save for Hurts’ touchdown run on the busted pressure to cap a 91-yard drive in the second quarter, it was a pretty solid first half. The Bears also stopped the Eagles on downs in the third quarter when Hurts’ fourth-and-6 pass fell incomplete.

“I thought the guys had passion, had energy,” Eberflus said. “I thought we tackled well overall as a group. I was pleased with that for sure.”

Ultimately, with hardly any Bears pass rush to speak of, the Eagles got it done through the air. A.J. Brown caught nine passes for 181 yards and DeVonta Smith had five receptions for 126 yards. The Eagles figured they had mismatches with great protection from their offensive line and wanted to give Hurts a chance to throw against a secondary missing free safety Eddie Jackson.

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson had three of the Bears’ six pass deflections. More on him in a minute. I thought fill-in cornerback Jaylon Jones battled. Eagles running back Miles Sanders was limited to 42 yards on 11 carries.

I’m not suggesting the defense’s performance was anything special, but Williams did a solid job with what he had to work with. The Bears were going up against the No. 1 scoring offense in the league, and Hurts had thrown only three interceptions through 13 games. It has been easy to pile on the defense this season — and the personnel department has major work to be done in the offseason — but this was a credible effort.

3. Many players had already been in and out of the shower when Jaylon Johnson, with much of his gear still on, asked an athletic trainer to assist him in removing his socks.

The Bears cornerback was hurting after leaving the game with a rib injury he suffered on A.J. Brown’s 68-yard reception. The Bears tasked Johnson with following Brown around the field. He was in coverage when Brown was lined up on the outside on either side of the formation.

Brown’s final numbers — nine receptions for 181 yards — suggest the Eagles won the battle, but I think the Bears learned something positive about their third-year cornerback. For starters, Brown was targeted a season-high 16 times (tying a career high), and Johnson had three pass deflections, including one on the fourth-and-6 stop.

One thing that has impressed me about Johnson this season is I haven’t heard him lodge one complaint about the lack of a pass rush. Pass coverage is the combination of a rush on the quarterback and coverage on the back end, and the Bears have been woefully deficient in the first area all season. Johnson wouldn’t be out of line to point out quarterbacks have had far too much time week in and week out to pick apart the secondary. He hasn’t used that as a defense mechanism, instead talking about his own play and looking forward to elite matchups on a weekly basis.

“I thought the matchup went really good,” Johnson said. “To a certain extent, there’s not too much I can do. I know I was in position every play. Sometimes it’s just a good ball and then sometimes I won. I feel like the matchup was pretty even. Heck of a battle.”

Johnson, who was on the injury report last month with what the team termed an oblique issue, called the new injury an “abdominal” problem and acknowledged he was still in pain. What does he feel the matchup versus Brown showed?

“That I’m a dog, I’m a fighter, I’m a competitor,” he said. “If you ask me, I still didn’t play up to my standards. I don’t give up big plays and I gave up a few. At the end of the day, it happens. (Shoot), I’m going to be in his face, I’m going to challenge him, I’m going to be there every time. Sometimes it goes my way.

“It’s tough when you’ve got a good quarterback dropping dimes. Hey, at the end of the day, I’m playing monkey in the middle, but I know damn well he’s going to work for every catch. And I feel that’s what I did. I competed. I made some plays and I gave up some. That’s the life of a cornerback.”

Jalen Hurts made a perfect pass on the 68-yard play, and that wasn’t the only ball to Brown that was perfectly thrown. Johnson challenged Brown and got physical with him, especially on the fourth-down play when everyone knew where Hurts would be looking. Johnson didn’t give Brown any depth and got his hands on him.

Brown can play through contact at all three levels of the field and plays bigger than his 6-foot-1, 226-pound frame. One difference in the two passing offenses is Hurts trusts his receivers to win down the field. He has high-level targets he can rely on to win contested catches. The Bears don’t, and that’s why examples of Justin Fields challenging tight windows are harder to find.

Johnson didn’t win every rep — no cornerback in the league does — but he won some, and when you look ahead to the offseason, I think this reinforces the idea the Bears should consider extending his contract. When you look at the pressing needs on the roster — defensive front seven, offensive line, wide receiver — the Bears need to solidify the positions they can with players who are already in house.

The Bears always will play more than 50% zone coverage in this scheme, and Johnson profiles for that while also being able to play man coverage and be physical. If the Bears don’t have Johnson at cornerback, what do they have?

“Jaylon did a really good job,” Matt Eberflus said. “Made a lot of competitive plays where he knocked the ball off No. 11 (Brown). There (were) a lot of plays too. He was very competitive against them at the end of the day.”

4. Matt Eberflus didn’t hold back when asked about Velus Jones’ fumble in the third quarter.

The Bears were trailing 17-13 and had moved to the Philadelphia side of the field when Jones took a handoff on a jet sweep and encountered a trio of Eagles defenders near the sideline. Cornerback Avante Maddox knocked the ball out with Haason Reddick recovering.

“I don’t like that,” Eberflus said. “I don’t like it. I don’t like when guys lose the football. It’s not good. Guys have to do a better job securing the ball. … When you’re in traffic, you have to have five points of pressure on the ball. That’s an important piece to it.”

It’s the third turnover by Jones, who muffed punt returns early in the season against the Washington Commanders and New York Giants to lose that job. He had five returns and one fair catch before being benched. He has 13 kickoff returns, seven rushes and four receptions. (He also dropped a deep pass against the Dallas Cowboys.) That’s a total of 32 touches on special teams and offense and three turnovers.

“I am an aggressive runner, so you know I’m going to fight for extra yards instead of running out of bounds and I had one block out there,” Jones said of the fumble. “There was like three of them and I tried to split ‘em. Just got to put two hands on the ball. I think somebody had ripped it out from the back. Just focus on that ball security. The ball is everything. Put two hands on it, I’ll be fine.”

Frustration has to be mounting, though, as the mistakes add up, right?

“I mean, nobody would be happy over a turnover or anything,” he said. “It’s a part of the game. A lot of things are going to happen as you play this sport. And a lot of things don’t go your way. It’s all about how you come back and prepare for the next. That’s behind me now. There’s nothing I can do about it now. Just keep a positive attitude. Keep coming back to work.”

Eberflus indicated he’s hopeful Chase Claypool (knee) and N’Keal Harry (back) can return soon, maybe this week. Even if Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) is out, that could limit Jones’ opportunities or perhaps make him a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Jones really has to turn his game around in the offseason, training camp and preseason. Otherwise, the third-round draft pick will have difficulty finding his way onto the roster. Coaches aren’t interested in giving repeated chances to players they don’t trust.

The scouting point here is one I have mentioned before: Jones was drafted in the third round after a six-year college career. When a player isn’t good enough to be drafted after three or four years (or even five), you have to wonder if the investment makes sense after six.

Eberflus could have softened his comments about the turnover but he didn’t, and that’s noteworthy for this week as well as next summer if Jones remains mostly a gadget player on offense.

5. Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne would make a fortune in free agency, but he has to make it to the open market.

The 2018 first-round draft pick from Alabama has played so well this season, there’s a growing chance the Commanders will secure him with the franchise tag. Payne, who had two tackles in a 20-12 loss to the Giants on Sunday night, always has been regarded as a rugged run defender. He has taken off as an interior pass rusher this season and entered Week 15 third among defensive tackles with 8½ sacks, trailing only Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs and Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets (11 each).

Payne was tied entering the week for the most tackles for a loss by an interior lineman with teammate Jonathan Allen at 15. He was fourth with 16 quarterback hits behind Williams (23), Jones (18) and Allen (17). He was tied for third with five passes deflected behind Jeffery Simmons of the Tennessee Titans (seven) and Derrick Brown of the Carolina Panthers (six).

“I used to always just do the dirty work,” Payne said last week in an appearance on Michael Silver’s podcast, “Open Mike.” “I was a real good run (defender) but I really ain’t have the pass rush to come with it. Everyone always said that was the only flaw in my game, so I just went hard at it and it’s been paying me off good.”

Payne, who is playing on the fifth-year option in his rookie contract at $8.529 million this season and has missed only one game in his career, told Silver he has not begun to think about what could be ahead in the offseason.

“I wasn’t upset (at not getting a contract extension),” he said. “It’s just another opportunity because the market ain’t doing nothing but going up and up, so I might as well go put me together a great year like I’ve been doing and dip into it.

“Right now, I am just trying to make as many plays as I can. Just keep on balling. That’s my only focus.”

The Commanders are slated to have $19.6 million in salary-cap space for 2023, which ranks 15th in the league, but that number is fluid. The team doesn’t owe any more guaranteed money to quarterback Carson Wentz, so if it moves on from him or restructures his contract, that could free up a lot of extra room. Wentz is due a little more than $26 million next season. Dumping him would more than double the team’s cap space.

The strength of the roster is the front seven, specifically the defensive line, and that could lead coach Ron Rivera and staff to decide the Commanders are best keeping a strength a strength and securing Payne with the franchise tag, which is expected to be about $18.9 million.

“I’ve got a lot of things to think about,” Payne said when Silver asked him about the franchise tag. “Like I said, I’m just going to keep on balling. Keep making plays and try to finish this year out great.”

For an insider’s perspective on Payne in Washington, I chatted with Donnie Warren, who retired as a senior pro scout for the Commanders in May. Warren was a trusted voice for Rivera, having served as a pro scout with the Panthers when Rivera was their coach.

“Watching Daron the last two years before this one — I have not seen him much this year — he improved dramatically when I was watching film and I was grading him at the end of the year,” said Warren, a tight end for Washington for 14 seasons from 1979-92. “The guy is phenomenal as a defensive tackle, his strength, his quickness. He would be one of those guys as a player on the other side of the ball, it would be a nightmare going against him and Allen for four damn quarters.”

One question any team would ask about Payne is how much of his production is a result of playing alongside Allen and defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young (when healthy).

“I would say that would be a fair thing to wonder, but you’re going to have that discussion whether the guy is a badass or not,” Warren said. “That goes for any player you’re looking at in free agency. It’s not going to matter with Daron whether you’ve got another badass next to him. I am sure what you said (Payne playing next to Allen) does make a difference, but having guys of that caliber disrupting on defense up front, I would love to be a linebacker. I think even I could play linebacker playing behind those guys.”

What does Warren believe the Commanders will wind up doing with Payne?

“I would hope they do something to keep him,” he said. “I don’t know their money situation exactly, but I think they would do anything they could to afford him. That’s just my opinion.”

When teams swing big in free agency, Payne is the exact kind of player they seek. He’s entering the prime of his career and will turn 26 in May. What would a long-term contract look like for Payne if he’s on the open market or if the Commanders look to sign him to a multiyear deal? Big. Allen signed a four-year, $72 million extension ($18 million average) in 2021, and the market has shot up since with Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams getting a three-year, $95 million extension ($31.7 million average) over the summer.

Here are the top six defensive tackle contracts in annual average:

  1. Aaron Donald, Rams: $31,666,667
  2. DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts: $21 million
  3. Chris Jones, Chiefs: $20 million
  4. Jonathan Allen, Commanders: $18 million
  5. Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $17.75 million
  6. Kenny Clark, Packers: $17.5 million

Donald reset the marker for interior linemen, and while his deal might not be surpassed right away, there’s a canyon between him and Buckner and other players will begin filling that gap. Payne might find himself in that territory with a strong close to the season.

If the Commanders wind up keeping Payne, that would remove the top name from the list of impact interior linemen the Bears could consider to revamp a front seven in serious need of a makeover.

Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave will be positioned to cash in too. He had two of the team’s six sacks Sunday to run his season total to a career-high 10. He has aged really well as his previous career high was 7½ last season. Of course, being surrounded by good linemen helps.

The difference is Hargrave will turn 30 in February, and with where the Bears are in their rebuilding effort, I’m not sure sinking big money into a veteran of his age makes a lot of sense. Hargrave will have a robust market for sure, and the Eagles surely would want to bring him back if they can afford to after paying Jalen Hurts.

6. Matt Eberflus delivered positive news regarding right guard Teven Jenkins.

Jenkins was injured on the fourth play from scrimmage when he pulled on a running play and was hit by defensive end Josh Sweat. Jenkins was carted off the field and taken to a hospital with a neck injury.

“He was responsive,” Eberflus said. “We could see him moving his hands out there. … They just told me it’s encouraging. That’s all I’ve got from the medical staff right now.”

We’ll see if the team provides more information on Jenkins in the days to come. It’s possible he suffered a stinger, an injury that knocked him out at the beginning of the Week 16 game in Seattle last season. Jenkins has played very well this season after moving inside to right guard, but he missed two games in November with a hip injury and durability is a concern for a guy who required back surgery after the Bears drafted him in the second round a year ago.

Hopefully he checks out fine and is back on the field soon. It was a rough day for the offensive line, which struggled to handle twists and stunts up front by the Eagles. The plan was to rotate Riley Reiff and Alex Leatherwood at right tackle. Leatherwood, who made his Bears debut in the game before the bye week with 10 snaps against the Packers, came in for the third offensive series. That’s similar to how the Bears rotated Jenkins and Lucas Patrick earlier in the season, giving each player two series before switching.

Leatherwood played three consecutive series — a total of 17 snaps by my count. The last two plays were bad. Haason Reddick beat him badly on second-and-16. Leatherwood didn’t get out of his stance fast enough, and Reddick immediately swiped his right hand down. At that point, Leatherwood couldn’t punch and a soft edge was there for Reddick to win. He easily pressured Justin Fields, who threw incomplete to Dante Pettis.

On the next snap, Leatherwood didn’t get enough depth in his drop. He was forced to open his hips, and Reddick was by him in a flash for an 11-yard sack. There was another snap in which Reddick came off the offense’s right side and beat tight end Cole Kmet. I don’t believe Leatherwood was guilty of missing his assignment on that snap, but he was playing slow and that’s a problem for the Bears.

As I have written previously, if Leatherwood had looked good in practice, he probably would have been on the field before the Packers game. The Bears took a flier on him when they claimed the 2021 first-round pick off waivers from the Las Vegas Raiders — also assuming $6 million guaranteed in his contract — and the results to this point are not encouraging.

7. The Bears have to be concerned about Cairo Santos’ ongoing issues kicking extra points.

He sailed an attempt wide left in the second quarter after the first touchdown, his fourth missed kick in five games.

Santos attempted the PAT from the right hashmark — you can have the ball placed wherever you want — and that has been his preferred location for some time. The next time out, the ball was placed in the middle of the field.

“There’s a glitch,” Santos said. “I have done it and felt comfortable with it for eight years. Today I decided to make a change and kicked them from the middle. I think I needed a change of scenery. To be honest and fair, I’m not missing them in practice. I don’t feel there is a technical problem. But for some reason when the visuals with the right hash aren’t clicking, I changed it to the middle at halftime and felt really good about it.

“It’s a wrinkle. It bugs you. Every miss frustrates and annoys you. Eats me alive. It doesn’t become a mental lack of confidence. Like I said, there is a mental bug about the right hash that I felt it was time to make a change, and I think the change of scenery put me in the field-goal mindset. I feel that locked me into the kick more. It’s something I am going through.”

Santos made his next two extra points but is tied with Greg Joseph of the Minnesota Vikings with five missed PATS, the most in the NFL. Santos has made 90% of his field goals this season but only 82.1% of extra points.

The Bears chose to punt from the Eagles 30-yard line instead of attempting a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter. Santos said the swirling wind at Soldier Field was blowing in the kicker’s face in both directions. He was short from 46 yards in warmups each way and also hit from 50 in each direction.

“(Eagles kicker) Jake (Elliott) came up short from 46, 47 in warmups,” Santos said. “In that situation, we were still worrying about field position. It just wasn’t a kick we were willing to risk.”

Hopefully the adjustment on extra points works for Santos; otherwise, the Bears could have some concerns in the offseason.

“It’s a good feeling that I am excited to work on moving forward,” Santos said of the shift to the middle.

8. One benefit the Bears got from not trading Robert Quinn before Oct. 26 was the impact he had on young players.

Quinn missed Sunday’s game after suffering a minor knee injury in practice early this month. The Eagles announced Dec. 6 he underwent arthroscopic surgery with the hope of getting back in time for the playoffs.

I know the chance to experience postseason success would mean the world to Quinn. In a conversation in mid-October, he noted how his longtime friend and former teammate Chris Long was a part of two Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots and Eagles after they played together with the Rams. Quinn has played in two playoff games — both losses.

I think at least part of the reason Bears general manager Ryan Poles held on to Quinn after trading Khalil Mack, whom the Bears knew they could get much more for in return, was Poles knew Quinn would be a good player for a locker room and roster that rapidly was getting younger. It’s a shame the Bears didn’t get more production from Quinn before he departed — he had only one sack — but he certainly wasn’t the only player in the front seven struggling to produce.

Poles shipped Quinn to the Eagles for a fourth-round draft pick. The Bears also paid down Quinn’s contract by about $7 million to facilitate the move. That’s a hefty price to essentially buy a Day 3 pick, but Quinn’s market wasn’t robust.

Here is how Quinn benefited two Bears rookies:

  • Defensive end Dominique Robinson laughed when recalling the spring. Quinn did not participate in the offseason program, but defensive line coach Travis Smith had a cut-up tape of all of Quinn’s sacks — 101 entering this season — and they watched it in meetings. A lot.

“His approach is almost sideways,” Robinson said, twisting his upper body to mimic how Quinn is able to bend on the edge as he turns the corner to the quarterback. “He sits like this. And then it’s a cross chop.”

When Quinn is flying off the edge, it almost looks like he’s running on his ankles as he attacks the offensive tackle. He looks like a muscled-up Gumby in shoulder pads.

“I have not been able to accomplish his approach,” Robinson said. “I have been working on the cross chop. His angle and his bend is insane, especially for his age. To do it at this level that long, it’s amazing. He is definitely blessed. I think wrestling (Quinn was 86-0 in high school and a three-time state champion in South Carolina) helped him out too. You can see some of that stuff, the way he is able to get down so low and remain powerful.

“I think it was before the Browns (preseason) game, I would watch tape and take notes and I would notice certain things. I was talking to somebody and I mentioned something that the tackle was doing and Rob kind of looked at me and said: ‘I see you’ve seen that too. You’re watching tape, young buck.’

“He was here on time every day. He never missed. I was blessed to be able to sit behind him, watch, learn, witness some of the magical things he was doing. He was hurting too. He would be in the training room all the time, a lot of body stuff. He had a routine, but he was always in the training room.”

  • Left tackle Braxton Jones was not in the same meeting room as Quinn, but he gained wisdom from reps against the veteran in practice.

“The biggest thing about Robert is he never took it easy on me, a big brother where he’s going to take it easy on me for a snap,” Jones said. “Every play was 100%. I never got less than that from him and that is the biggest lesson I learned. He always gave me a good look and he really helped me grow as a player, learning to play the play longer than your defender, stuff like that. He beat people because he is always finishing toward the quarterback.

“Robert was a good guy. He didn’t go out of his way to coach me up or anything but I learned from him. His motto was, ‘My job is my job.’ That’s how he became who he is, and him challenging me every day was the biggest thing. He was super cool. When the regular season started, he said, ‘Just go out and do your thing.’

“Trust me, his pass rush is nuts. I was watching film, we had a protection meeting this week, and he got the edge and literally slid to the quarterback. I looked to my right, Ja’Tyre (Carter) was sitting there because we’re always looking at the left tackle, and we’re like, ‘Oh (crap)!’ It’s just crazy. It’s the nuttiest stuff. The wrestling move where a guy shoots, that’s what it looks like. He’s shooting, dipping that shoulder and then he explodes to the quarterback.”

9. The loss was the Bears’ ninth straight coming off a bye week, starting with a 55-14 beatdown from the Packers in 2014 at Lambeau Field.

It’s the longest active streak for losses coming off a bye and the second-longest in league history, according to Pro Football Reference. The then-Oakland Raiders lost 10 consecutive post-bye games from 2003-12, a span in which they rolled through seven head coaches: Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson and Dennis Allen.

The Jets also have an active streak with eight consecutive losses coming off a bye. There have been six streaks of six consecutive losses but none is active.

There isn’t any common denominator for the Bears’ struggles. They ran into a juggernaut this week — the Eagles are positioned to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. They’ve played good teams coming off the bye previously, including three meetings with the Packers during the streak. But one of those was the 2017 game at Soldier Field when the Bears were a 4½-point favorite and lost to quarterback Brett Hundley, who was filling in for Aaron Rodgers. The Bears have been a favorite in four of the post-bye games, losing as a 7½-point road favorite in overtime to the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

Coach Andy Reid has a 21-3 record coming off a bye week during his career with the Chiefs and Eagles. Reid has generally led pretty successful teams, so it stands to reason he would have a solid record. The overarching theme for the Bears over the last nine years has been mediocrity, with the exception of the 2018 season.

10. It was a big day for the Bears when looking ahead to the April draft order.

The loss moved them back into the No. 2 position — they had dropped to No. 3 last week — because the Denver Broncos defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-15 to improve to 4-10. The Cardinals are also 4-10 and the Bears would lose a tiebreaker with both of them. But with three games remaining, the Bears have a one-game lead for the No. 2 selection.

The Rams (4-9) are also in the mix entering their Monday night game in Green Bay. The Bears also would lose a tiebreaker with the Rams. The Houston Texans (1-12-1) have a 1½-game lead for the No. 1 pick.

Keep in mind that the Vikings, the Bears’ Week 18 opponent at Soldier Field, likely will have little and perhaps nothing to play for in that game. It’s possible the Vikings would rest key players in preparation for the playoffs.

10a. With three games remaining, the list of 2023 opponents is coming into focus. The Bears will play eight home games and nine on the road, which means there will be two preseason games at Soldier Field and one on the road.

The Bears will play home games against their NFC North rivals along with the Atlanta Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders and the corresponding finisher from the NFC West. The Bears are last in their division, meaning right now they would host the lower finisher between the Cardinals and Rams.

The Bears will play road games against their division rivals plus trips to face the New Orleans Saints, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and the corresponding finishers in the NFC East and AFC North. Right now, that would mean road games against the Commanders, who are a game behind the Giants, and either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Cleveland Browns, who are tied at 6-8 at the bottom of the AFC North.

10b. Middle linebacker Jack Sanborn left the game with a left ankle injury, and Matt Eberflus said the rookie is scheduled to have an MRI.

10c. The CBS crew of Greg Gumbel, former Bears safety Adam Archuleta and A.J. Ross will call the Bills-Bears game Saturday at Soldier Field.

10d. The Bills opened as a nine-point favorite over the Bears at Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. It’s a short week for the Bears, but the Bills will have normal rest after defeating the Dolphins 32-29 on Saturday night on the game’s final play.

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