By Ryan Bukowiecki (@ryanbski)
Whomp, whomp, whomp…
Oh, boy, was that an ugly defeat for the Chicago Bears to the Los Angeles Rams. Not even Hollywood’s finest could write something so horrid if they were charged to map out the 17-7 not-so slugfest between these two lackadaisical offenses, with only L.A.’s showing enough to warrant some sort of playoff ambition beyond this week.
Questions are the only thing fans are left with at this point in time. A season once bursting with playoff hopes has since withered down to a slim husk of what could have been. After Sunday night, that slim husk is not even capable of life support, its fully exhausted.
This team will not be in the playoffs in a year where the Bears were deemed “ready” to compete for a title, which means the final six games will be an observation in futility. One of Albert Einstein’s most famous quotes defined insanity as doing something over and over expecting a different result, as of this latest result the Bears can be considered certifiable.
The front office, from Bears’ ownership on down, need to take accountability. Bears brass has to come down from its perch and provide answers to the media and fans about what this hot garbage is and how long will the team be mired in it.
Essentially the Rams were the determined team to lose Sunday night by committing more turnovers, penalties, and a majority of the mistakes. Its one thing to not win the game but its another to lose a game with every break and having every opportunity to win but as a team you keep shooting your own self in the foot.
What a damning game for a lot of the personnel, coaches and players at the top of the Bears organization. Here are a few more observations from a virtual season-ending Bears defeat.
Someone Take Control
Right at the top of the concern list is finding out just who will lead the Bears out of this mess. General manager Ryan Pace was pictured during the game and he is the conductor of the train. Pace was the guy who hired head coach Matt Nagy and drafted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. On national display, the world saw explicitly what fans are suffering from in Chicago.
First off, the Rams are truly a mediocre team right now, yet the Bears scored seven points. Nagy is lost as a play caller and so many decisions are confounding. The blame for confounding decisions or simply bad decisions that don’t work goes to the head coach. Even when Nagy makes some good play calls, more often then not Trubisky comes in and fails in the execution. Sure it isn’t always Trubisky’s fault for the mess ups but blame for a bad offense falls to the quarterback.
With how bad the head coach and quarterback are right now, how in the world is Pace going to figure this one out? Here is a suggestion — ownership (also pictured during the game) should come down from the ivory tower and put some jobs on notice. Of course this option is unlikely to become reality because ownership rarely acts until after its too late. Pace is seemingly going to have a Santa Klaus-ian type list of problems to fix this mess in the off-season.
To make matters worse he will not have enough resources to fix everything. The Bears need to identify the “core” problems and fix them above everything else.
What are those “core” problems you might wonder? They are as follows: quarterback, play calling, offensive line and tight end. Only problem is the elephant in the room which is that these “core” problems were brought in by Pace himself.
The most significant part of the game came with 3 minutes and 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Bears trailing 17-7. Out came the offense with backup quarterback Chase Daniel and with no sense of why Trubisky was no longer playing.
Suddenly it seemed as if Trubisky had been benched and perhaps a milestone where the Bears said they were done with him. Immediately after the game the Bears said all the right things that Trubisky was injured with a hip and couldn’t finish. However, the optics made it look like a benching and that possibility is plausible. A strange decision by the Bears to want to bench him in that moment if it in fact was one. Looking ahead, is anyone really clamoring for Daniel?
Benching Trubisky for Daniel as a way to send a message to your starter isn’t a good idea. There is no doubt that Trubisky has already gotten that message and simply its looking like he just can’t play. Sure there are flashes of brilliance but he averaged a pass defense (aka pass breakup or deflection) once every five throws Sunday night. Thats a horrible ratio for a good NFL quarterback. If the Bears really wanted to bench Trubisky in a way with some upside then give someone else besides Daniel a chance.
Daniel was brought here more to be a coach than a player. He is not the future and isn’t even a stop gap quarterback. So if that was a benching where the Bears understand Trubisky isn’t the guy then great because they must come to grips with the plan to bring in another quarterback. Start Trubisky and figure out a hundred percent sold or a hundred percent done with him so the team can move forward in 2020.
Crucial Couple Weeks
Playoff hopes have for sure been dashed so this team is officially on shaky ground. The Bears play a murderous December where they likely will lose every game and probably not going to be too pretty either. November closes out with winnable games against the Giants followed by a trip to the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Imagine the Bears losing these next two games and then having to face the gauntlet the follows, which will likely include nothing but playoff teams in Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota — that’s a recipe for team dysfunction spreading to the point where it maybe spills out of the locker room and uncontrolled into the media’s roundhouse.
On the other hand a couple immediate victories might provide enough of a landing zone where the team doesn’t completely fall off the rails. A lot has been made of the culture Nagy has developed and that culture will be tested big time. The head coach and team leaders need to come together and figure out a way to keep this team’s morale above water.
These type of seasons are the worst to endure, when expectation is met with disaster. There’s enough writing is on the wall to read out a plan for the rest of this season. If this team keeps slipping lower and more embarrassingly, then something drastic has to be done sooner, not later.
Ryan Bukowiecki covers the Chicago Bears and professional football for WARR