For the second straight game, the Bears’ pass rush failed to generate much discomfort for the opposing quarterback, as the Minnesota Vikings went on to beat the Bears, 23-20, at Soldier Field.
The defense had its moments, in fairness. In the fourth quarter, after the Bears had just taken a 20-13 lead, the Vikings were backed up inside their own 20. Pernell McPhee, as he has done most games this season, finally found a way to get past his blocker and sacked Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for a seven-yard loss.
With a seven-point lead and the Vikings facing a second-and-17 from their own 9-yard-line, the Bears looked poised to force a punt and close out the victory, right?
Wrong. On the next play, Bridgewater scrambled for 19 yards and a first down, giving his offense new life.
Such was a microcosm of the game, as the Bears were unable to generate consistent pressure on the quarterback. And in the NFL, when your pass rush does not get to the quarterback on a consistent basis, you’re doomed for failure, even against a quarterback of the caliber of Bridgewater.
It’s still early in the Ryan Pace rebuilding process, so it’ll take some more time to bring in talent that can rush the passer. But the need to get McPhee some assistance has never been more evident.