Thu, 20 Jan 2022

Quick Hits: Mooney reaches 1,000-yard milestone

Chicago Bears
11 Jan 2022, 00:37 GMT+10

Larry Mayer

With an 18-yard reception early in the second quarter of Sunday's season finale in Minnesota, Darnell Mooney surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in two seasons with the Bears.

Entering the game needing 71 yards to reach the milestone, Mooney was targeted twice on the Bears' first three plays, catching passes of 14 and 16 yards from Andy Dalton. The 2020 fifth-round pick from Tulane followed with receptions of 5 and 19 yards, putting himself in position to record the 18th 1,000-yard receiving season in franchise history.

The only Bears receiver to record 1,000 yards in a season who was drafted lower than Mooney-who was selected with the No. 173 pick-is Harlon Hill, who was chosen at No. 174 in 1954.

"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. A lot of receivers tell me it's a very big thing, so I take credit for it. But I definitely have more to show than just 1,000 yards, and we lost."

Game Recap: Bears drop season finale to Vikings Chicago Bears 2022 opponents Every Darnell Mooney catch from 126-yard game | Week 18 Darnell Mooney on 126-yard game | Press Conference Highlights: Bears at Vikings | 2021 Week 18 Matt Nagy on loss to Vikings | Press Conference

Mooney established career highs Sunday with 12 catches and 126 yards-his fourth 100-yard game of the year-and finished the season with 81 receptions for 1,055 yards. His 142 catches are the most by any Bears player in his first two NFL seasons.

Piling on: Robert Quinn extended his Bears' single-season sack record to 18.5, splitting a sack with Bilal Nichols midway through the third quarter. Quinn registered at least a half sack in the Bears' final nine games, generating 12.0 sacks in his last eight contests.

In last Sunday's 29-3 win over the Giants, Quinn eclipsed Richard Dent's single-season team record of 17.5 sacks set in 1984. Quinn's 18.5 sacks this year were the second most of his career, trailing only the 19.0 he compiled with the Rams in 2013 when he was named first-team All-Pro and selected to his first Pro Bowl.

Strong finish: Second-year outside linebacker Trevis Gipson continued to excel, sharing a sack with Mario Edwards Jr. and forcing a Kirk Cousins fumble on the play that the Vikings recovered.

Gipson created two takeaways a week earlier against the Giants with a pair of strip/sacks of quarterback Mike Glennon.

The 2020 fifth-round pick from Tulsa finished his second season with five forced fumbles, the second most by a Bears player since 2013, trailing only Khalil Mack's six in 2019. Gipson also ended the year with 7.0 sacks, including 4.0 in the final five games.

Kicking it: Cairo Santos made all three field goals he attempted Sunday from 43, 46 and 42 yards. He finished the season 26 of 30 (86.7 percent) after making 30 of 32 (93.8) last year.

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