What's Wrong with the Chicago Bears?
“Our plan will start being put into place to get the Chicago Bears back to the sustained success this city deserves.” If what Ryan Pace meant by sustained success was back-to-back winless Septembers, he sure hit the hammer on the nail. To be fair, I think everyone and their mother had the 2015 Bears pegged at 0-3 right out of the gates last year. Hell would freeze over before that team beat either Green Bay, Arizona, or Seattle at that particular moment in time. The John Fox ship was just about to set sail, there were new faces everywhere running around Halas Hall, and there was supposed to be a restoration of culture within that organization.
And here we are, September 26, 2016, as the laughing stock of the National Football League. We’re three weeks in to the season and this team is already unwatchable. There really hasn’t been one positive in the 180 minutes of Football this team has played. The guy that scheduled this team on national television two weeks in a row should absolutely not have a job right now. Of the 53 guys on the roster, only 19 were drafted by the organization, 8 of which were Phil Emery picks. There’s no developed talent and this team is going nowhere fast. I’m ready to blow this whole thing up, watch it all burn to ashes, and then rebuild it from the ground up. Here’s all my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far from this team in all phases of the game.
Here’s what John Fox had to say about this offense following the game last night: “At this stage, all I know is that it’s not going well,” Talk about some deep, intellectual thought from the head honcho right there. There is no scenario where Dowell Loggains is calling plays week 1 in 2017. Through three weeks, this team ranks 30th in points per game, 27th in yards per game, and 26th in 3rd down completion percentage. The one number that bothers me the most is 28th in total rushing yards. This offensive line features two Pro Bowl guards and there’s been no commitment to establishing any sort of run game. The best play in the playbook right now is a 50/50 ball to Alshon. No flow, no creativity, no identity, and that’s all blood on Loggains’s hands.
The clock has officially struck midnight on the Jay Cutler era in Chicago. What was a 25 year old promising franchise quarterback once upon a time, has turned in to a 33 year old injury ridden game manager. I could go in to depth about all of the coaches, all the different systems, all the different offensive lineman, all the different receivers, but I don’t want my heart to hurt any more than it currently does. Nowadays, you’ve got to move heaven and earth and turn over every stone to find a Jay Cutler supporter. I’m one of those guys. I’ve never seen a more over-analyzed professional athlete in Chicago, and I’ve never seen someone take more of the blame for other people’s problems more than Jay. But, this is the National Football League, and at the end of the day, an overall record of 50-47 is not going to cut it in this city. I think Jay Cutler is an above average NFL quarterback, it just never worked out for him here in Chicago. So let’s enjoy Kristin Cavallari while we still have her, and let’s keep watching guys like Deshone Kizer and Deshaun Watson on Saturdays to see whose turn it is next.
For a defense that has faced 205 plays from scrimmage through three weeks, 5th most in the NFL, this defense has not been that atrocious. Not good by any means, but not atrocious. They’re 17th in yards allowed per game and 21st in 3rd down efficiency. If you want to point the finger at anyone here, it’s Vic Fangio. For as highly regarded as he is in terms of defensive minds, there is no excuse for allowing 60 total points to two rookie quarterbacks this early in the season. This defense just made Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott look like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in back to back weeks. I understand that not having Trevathan and Goldman hurts, but there were no adjustments made for what either the Eagles or Cowboys were doing offensively. This team continues to show signs of an inability to tackle guys in space, and nothing was done to create more pressure from a schematic point of view. I think that the back end of this defense plays hard, but from a technique standpoint they were sloppy all over the place last night. Defensive backs were getting turned around way too much, and they did a poor job leveraging the football in the run game, allowing 6-7 yard runs to become 12-13. Jerrell Freeman has emerged as the leader of this defense in my eyes, and I like what I’ve seen from Leonard Floyd so far. Use a baptism-by-fire approach with him and let him see as many pass sets as he can, and then put 20 pounds on him this off season. I think that the main goal this off season is improving the back end and finding more pass rushers, because I think this defense can be good when healthy.
Also, where are all of these special teams upgrades we were promised? I can’t remember a game that this team won because of special teams ever since they let Dave Toub walk out the door. There’s no threat of a homerun on any special team, which is a problem that needs to be addressed.
In my opinion, we’ve got thirteen weeks left to see who stays and who goes next year. Whether it be any coach, executive, or player, these upcoming three months are extended tryouts for next season. I will lose my mind if this team somehow finds a way to win 6 meaningless games and moves down in the draft order. If you’re going to be bad in this league, be pathetically bad. Purgatory in professional sports may as well be hell. It’s time we accept the fact that this team needs an extreme makeover and it needs to happen now. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy these next thirteen Sunday’s ladies and gentleman, and let the countdown begin until we Make the Bears Great Again.
Thank God we have the 2016 Chicago Cubs.