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Takeaways from Bears’ loss to Cardinals

Only 10 days after hurting his hamstring against the Lions, inside linebacker Roquan Smith started and led the Bears with eight tackles. He has been their leader in that category in all but two games this season.

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears
Roquan Smith led the Bears in tackles Sunday.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Three takeaways from the Bears’ 33-22 loss to the Cardinals:

Roquan plays

Only 10 days after hurting his hamstring against the Lions, inside linebacker Roquan Smith started and led the Bears with eight tackles. He has been their leader in that category in all but two games this season.

Smith — whose most memorable play was matching speedy quarterback Kyler Murray stride for stride to the sideline — said the wet playing surface didn’t hurt his hamstring.

“It was just a rainy day,” he said. “Didn’t feel too cold out there personally. Can’t speak for everyone else. That doesn’t play a part.”

Trick play!

The Bears’ longest play Sunday came on a trick play called “Atomic Bomb.” David Montgomery took the direct snap and handed off to Jakeem Grant on a fly sweep. He pitched to quarterback Andy Dalton, who had lined up at receiver.

Dalton ducked a tackler and threw it up the right sideline to Grant — who was the second option on the play — for 34 yards.

“All practice the ball hasn’t been going to me,” Grant said. “And then all of a sudden, [coach Matt Nagy] said, ‘Be ready. Be ready up the sideline.’ ’’

Why punt?

Rather than going for it on fourth-and-two from the Cardinals’ 49 with 1:21 left in the first half, Nagy decided to try to draw the Cardinals offside, then take the five-yard penalty and punt. He was down 14 points and could’ve been aggressive.

His explanation: After giving the Cardinals the ball inside the Bears’ 28 twice earlier in the half, he didn’t want to risk them taking over at midfield.

“We had been giving them a short field the whole half,” he said.