ABOUT THE BEARS
• The Bears (5-4) have lost three in a row. In a 24-17 loss in Tennessee in Week 9, Chicago’s 29th-ranked offense didn’t score until the fourth quarter. The Bears haven’t topped 23 points in the past six games.
• Another top-10 Bears defense has stopped opponents from topping 26 points this season, keeping all but one game — a 24-10 loss to the Rams — from being decided by one score. Defenders Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn front the NFL’s No. 1 red-zone defense.
• Quarterback Nick Foles hasn’t really sparked Chicago’s offense after replacing Mitchell Trubisky in Week 3. But coaches are giving Foles chances. Chicago’s 41.2 throws per game trail only offenses in Dallas and Cincinnati this season. Allen Robinson, with 712 receiving yards, is the top target.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT | LB Roquan Smith
• Smith, the eighth overall pick in 2018 , is reaching lofty expectations in his third NFL season. Only one defender, Pittsburgh’s Vince Williams, has more tackles for losses than Smith (12).
• Smith, like star Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks, can make life hard for opposing running backs and play-action passing games because of his versatility as a hard-nosed run defender with athletic range to cover just about anybody downfield.
• Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano on Smith: “His preparation, his leadership have been off the charts. The guy watches a ton of film. When he hits the practice field and walk-throughs, he’s like a magpie out there. He’s always talking. He sets the front, he makes all the checks, communicates so well.”
COACH SPEAK | Matt Nagy
• Nagy is in his third season as Bears head coach with a 25-16 record (. 610) in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs. He has a 10-3 record against NFC North opponents, including 4-0 against the Vikings.
• As the Bears offense struggles for a third season under Nagy, he decided this week to delegate offensive play-calling duties to coordinator Bill Lazor. But Nagy stopped short of saying it’s anything more than a one-game trial.
• Nagy on the Bears run game without David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen: “Ryan Nall and Cordarrelle, these guys that have been on the roster, I think you see, ‘Hey, it’s the next-man-up mentality.’ It’s all of us working together and saying, ‘Hey, I don’t know how it’s going to go, but we’re going to need you guys.’ ”