About 20 minutes after the Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney already was prepared to talk about offseason plans.
He’ll go to exit meetings Monday at Halas Hall and then head to Florida to work out with quarterback Justin Fields, who missed Sunday’s game because of COVID-19.
While Bears nation waits to hear the team’s plans for its front office and coaching staff over the next 24 hours, players such as Mooney and Fields can march on knowing they’re likely to be a part of the team’s future no matter who is in charge.
For that reason, Mooney’s big performance in the loss was among three significant takeaways from the game between two losing teams that missed the playoffs. Since we didn’t get one more start to examine from Fields, here’s what we should remember from Sunday’s loss.
1. Darnell Mooney’s 1,000-yard receiving season
With 8 minutes, 16 seconds to play in the second quarter, Mooney faked like he was cutting inside against Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and then turned outside to the left sideline to catch an 18-yard pass from quarterback Andy Dalton.
The catch pushed Mooney over 1,000 receiving yards in his second NFL season. He finished the game with a career-high 12 catches in 16 targets for 126 yards.
In a year in which Allen Robinson had performance, injury and COVID-19 issues, the growth of Mooney, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick, was important. He had four games with more than 120 receiving yards.
Also significant was Mooney’s attitude after the game when asked about hitting the milestone. One season with 1,055 yards is not enough for him.
“At the beginning of the season I wanted to be dominant,” Mooney said. “I was not as dominant as I wanted to be. A lot of the guys congratulated me. The receivers tell me it’s a very big thing. So I take credit for it, but it’s not my biggest, and I definitely have more to show than just 1,000 yards. And we lost.”
2. A future with David Montgomery running on fourth-and-1?
Montgomery stood on the sideline early in the second quarter with a blank expression and shook his head ever so slightly.
The Bears had just run a fourth-and-1 play from the Vikings 13 without him on the field, and Dalton took a sack on the pass play.
Montgomery was on the field in the third quarter when the Bears had fourth-and-goal at the 1, but he blocked as Dalton looked to pass — and was sacked again.
Dalton threw it a third time on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, when Peterson intercepted and returned it for a touchdown and a 31-17 Vikings lead. That play had Fox announcers Gus Johnson and Aqib Talib ranting about the unacceptable fourth-down play calls from Nagy and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
The Bears were 1-for-6 on fourth down, with Dalton getting sacked on three of the plays and throwing the pick-six …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
Marvel Studios & Disney+ | SUPER BOWL 2021 | Promo