There were occasional bright spots for the Bears, but in the end their 26-23 overtime loss to the Saints on Sunday was deflating.
As they’ve dropped from 5-1 to 5-3, their historical chances of making the playoffs have fallen from 83% to 64%. A loss to the Titans next week would plunge them to a 47% shot based the last three decades.
That’s sobering, even for irrepressible optimistic Matt Nagy. There’s a lot for him to sort through after the loss, but here are three key takeaways:
Clutch kicks. For all the kicker trouble the Bears have had since cutting Robbie Gould and the questions swirling around their plan for this season, Cairo Santos has given them tremendous stability. He made a 51-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime and is now 14 for 16 on the season.
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Trevathan comes up big. The Bears ultimately came up short, but they likely wouldn’t have had the chance to force overtime if not for a huge play by linebacker Danny Trevathan. Drew Brees threw a short pass to Alvin Kamara near on third down with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, and Kamara had a shot the first down until Trevathan dragged him down for a three-yard loss.
Nothing from Graham. Bears tight end Jimmy Graham did little to make his old team jealous. Nick Foles targeted him seven times, and Graham caught two passes for 13 yards.