Film study: Kindle Vildor torched, Bears’ defense breaks down on final drive

Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley picked on Vildor, as other teams have in recent weeks.

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Bears cornerback Kindle Vildor covers Ravens receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

Bears cornerback Kindle Vildor covers Ravens receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cornerback Kindle Vildor sat on the bench with his head in his hands in the final seconds of the Bears’ 16-13 loss to the Ravens. He had good reason to: The Ravens’ 72-yard, 89-second touchdown drive to win the game had his fingerprints all over it. 

“I’ll tell him what I told the whole defense: ‘Pick your head up.’ ” cornerback Jaylon Johnson said.

Johnson was targeted only once Sunday. Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley — Johnson’s friend and former Utah teammate — picked on Vildor, as other teams have in recent weeks.

“Man, it’s definitely tough,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. “There’s not a lot you can say to an individual after, if a play is on him like that. . . .

“It’s tough to say anything to anyone on defense when you know your guys just had it in our hands and we lost it like that.”

On Monday, coach Matt Nagy said Vildor was responsible for the biggest error in a drive full of them — a broken coverage on third-and-12 that gave the Ravens the ball at the 3-yard line with 25 seconds to play.

When the Ravens dropped back, they had a 35.9% chance to win the game, according to When they completed the pass, it went up to 80.6%.

There were other plays, too. Here’s a look at three big gains the Bears allowed on the Ravens’ final drive:

First-and-10 at the Ravens’ 28, 1:33 to play

Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman lined up tight to the right and ran outside toward the numbers on the right before turning his route upfield. Vildor got turned the wrong way — right before Huntley threw, he was actually facing the right sideline — but ran step-for-step with Bateman. Safety Deon Bush was waiting for him at the top of the route, too.

Bateman slowed down with the ball in the air, though, and Vildor actually grabbed the front of his jersey from behind, causing him to stumble. Bush dropped what would have been an interception, but it didn’t matter. Vildor was flagged for an obvious pass-interference penalty. The Ravens gained 21 yards.

“Bush was playing over the top,” Nagy said. “You’ve just got to be able to trust where you’re at and position for that throw. He put one up for us to be able to get it. That’s definitely one we want back.” 

First-and-10 at the Ravens’ 49, 1:27 to play

The Ravens lined up in a bunch formation right, with tight end Mark Andrews at the line of scrimmage, receiver Devin Duvernay in the slot inside of him and Bateman off the line of scrimmage on the outside. 

At the snap, the Ravens released running back Devonta Freeman into the right flat. The Bears were playing cover-4 on that side of the field. Marqui Christian, playing nickel cornerback, made contact with Duvernay as he ran a wheel route up the right sideline, then broke toward the flat, ostensibly passing him off to Vildor.

Vildor didn’t close in time and was left to graze Duvernay, who was wide open along the right sideline, as he ran out of bounds for a 21-yard gain.

Third-and-12 at the Bears’ 32, 0:33 to play

The Ravens threw incomplete on third-and-two, but an Alejandro Villanueva holding penalty pushed them 10 yards back. Facing third-and-12, they again lined up in a bunch formation right. This time, Andrews was in the near right slot, Sammy Watkins had his toe on the line and Tylan Wallace was on the outside of him, just off the line of scrimmage. 

The Bears were playing man coverage.

At the snap, Wallace — a rookie with zero career catches — ran a shallow cross underneath, from right to left. Safety Tashaun Gipson and Vildor both ran toward him, though they were unable to sink down underneath Andrews, who ran an over route. Christian ran with Andrews as he went right to left. 

Inside linebacker Roquan Smith blitzed. Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson did, too, once he realized his man — running back Latavius Murray — was staying in to block.

Watkins ran a seam route straight up the field — and no one covered him. Seven yards into the route, he waved for the ball. He was outside the right numbers. When Huntley threw the ball, only one Bears defensive back — Bush — was even on the right side of the hash. Watkins caught a 29-yard pass, and Bush shoved him out of bounds at the 3.

Nagy said Vildor should have covered Watkins.

“We have our own little rules, and they have communication tools that they use within the bunch sets, so there’s a little bit of details that go into that,” Nagy said. “It looks like it to all of us, yeah, it’s on Kindle. But they have their own set of rules of communicating and who has what with the way they defend the bunch set.”

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