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Pompei: Observations From Bears-Giants

By Dan Pompei--

(CBS) After two games in which the Bears zigged when they were supposed to zag, they went back to being a predictable team in their 22-16 loss to the Giants on Sunday. And it's going to be difficult for them to be anything but predictable moving forward, as they are losing the battle of attrition.

My other observations:

1. When your best performer in the game arguably is the punter, your chances of winning aren't good.

2. It was a smart defensive game plan by Vic Fangio to allocate extra resources to contain Odell Beckham Jr., but the inexperience in the Bears secondary allowed the other Giants receivers to make big plays.

3. The defensive backs had no help from the Bears' pass rush.

4. Pernell McPhee reminded me a little of someone who had a lot to say about the election beforehand but then didn't vote.

5. It's a relief to hear Leonard Floyd is doing OK. What happened to him should be a teaching moment. Every football player at every level needs to see what he hits.

6. Tracy Porter understands that availability is as important than ability. You have to admire the way he plays through injuries and refuses to sit out.

7. The Bears aren't good enough to fail to capitalize on takeaway opportunities as Adrian Amos did. It's one thing to be unable to make a big play happen. It's another thing to let a big play slip through your hands.

8. For the better part of three quarters, it was an impressive performance by the offensive line interior of center Cody Whitehair, left guard Josh Sitton and right guard Ted Larsen. In August, no one could have guessed those three would have been lined up at those positions Sunday.

9. Come back, Bobby Massie. All is forgiven.

10. Given the absences of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, this team is going to especially miss Zach Miller.

11. Between injuries and elements and controversy, Jay Cutler was in a really tough situation. He handled himself like a pro.

12. Cutler's arm strength never is more evident than it is on a day like Sunday, when the winds made tailgaters tie down their grills.

13. Whether it was by holding, fumble, illegal shift or interception, the Bears appeared much more determined to beat themselves than beat the Giants on their last drive with the game on the line.

14. This team is surviving on grit early in games. But the longer it's on the field, the more the truth is exposed. By the fourth quarter, the Bears can't compete anymore.

15. Given the number of injuries and the players who have been hurt, it really is almost impossible to judge this team or this regime based on wins or production.

Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670's Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.

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