In my prior two Chicago Bears posts, I first took a “wait ‘n see” approach after the Week 1 disaster, but realized after my Week 3 check-in that there was no hope for this season. All the draft and rebuild and star QB hype was an illusion, thanks mostly to incompetent coaching.
The two games where the offense showed signs of life, against Denver and then Washington, could have gone either way. Denver vs. Chicago was the gutter bowl. Chicago vs. Washington would have played out much differently if not for the Commander’s missed 40-something yard field goal that would have made it a one-score game with ~4:30 left. At least the Bears were on the good side of goal post fortune for once.
Consolation mention to the Bears defense against Minnesota this past Sunday. They made the game almost competitive. A marginally average offense would have had a decent shot at putting them over the top, by a field goal.
Some may say this is premature but the next 4-5 months for the Chicago Bears will play out like this:
- Finish with a record between 1-16 and 4-13; three additional wins feels generous.
- Head coach Matt Eberflus and most of his staff will part ways with the Bears immediately following their Week 18 loss against Green Bay in early January.
- General manager Ryan Poles and his new head coach will move on from Mitch Trubisky 2.0. At best, MTII needs a reboot of his own elsewhere to have a second and final chance at being a successful QB.
- Poles leverages one of his two high picks in the 2024 draft (Chicago’s, plus Carolina’s via this year’s #1 pick trade) to select their next attempt at a Bears franchise quarterback.
Note that Poles did not select Eberflus to be his head coach. General managers always get a second chance, and his current performance as GM warrants trying to get it right, I think. Ignoring the Chase Claypool debacle and senior manager accountability for this season’s awful coaching, other GMs have been given second chances with far worse accumulated on their resumes.
A final note on Justin Fields. It may be obligatory but I do feel sorry for him. It has been painful to watch his struggles, sacks, and injuries. The anguish was already there late last season as he played in futile games before sitting the final game due to mounting physical injuries, if I recall. The same frustration re-emerged and has been on network display these past six weeks. I don’t think it is unfair to say Fields needs to get out of Chicago as soon as he can.
In the limited time I have followed American Football, I have become convinced that success, particularly QB success, is 70%+ organization and coaching, and 30% individual talent. If Chicago had drafted Patrick Mahomes in 2017 with their #2 pick and Trubisky 1.0 fell to be Kansas City’s much later pick, it would be Mitch today in all of those annoying insurance and deli shop commercials played during the NFL’s 30-second breaks.
But that also begs the question, why are the Bears so bad at organization and quarterback success when other teams like Kansas City and Green Bay seem so lucky?
Now if you will excuse me, I need to switch my insurance to State Farm while chewing down this Subway footlong.
Thank you for reading my article. Donec deinde tempum.