The Chicago Bears are losers of five straight, in a development just about everyone outside of Chicago could see coming. After unconvincing wins over the Lions, Giants and Falcons, just about everyone could see that the 3-0 house the Bears had built was made of cards. And when the tough stretch of games came calling, it all came crumbling down.
So while the Bears are currently sitting at 5-6, just a single game out of the extra playoff spot, talk in Chicago is no longer on postseason dreams and Lombardi Trophies. Rather, they could be staring down the barrel of a rebuild similar to the Detroit Lions. Detroit hit the big red button a few days after Thanksgiving, while a Sunday night dragging at the hands of the Green Bay Packers wasn’t enough to kick Matt nagy out of town... yet.
Let’s take a closer look at the Bears to see if they’re truly nearing a rebuilding point in their franchise.
2020 season thus far (5-6)
Week 1: Defeated Lions, 27-23
Week 2: Defeated Giants, 17-13
Week 3: Defeated Falcons, 30-26
Week 4: Lost to Colts, 19-11
Week 5: Defeated Buccaneers, 20-19
Week 6: Defeated Panthers, 23-16
Week 7: Lost to Rams, 10-24
Week 8: Lost to Saints, 23-26 (OT)
Week 9: Lost to Titans, 17-24
Week 10: Lost to Vikings, 13-19
Week 12: Lost to Packers, 25-41
- 29th in points scored, 8th in points allowed
- 19th in DVOA: 28th on offense, 4th on defense, 12th on special teams
I don’t think this season could have played out any more predictably for the Bears. Their offense—having done next to nothing to fix it in the offseason—still stinks. Their defense—having lost almost no key players—is still very good. Put it together, and you’re left with the same Bears team we’ve seen for years: iconic defense that has become the long-term image of this franchise with an offense that can’t move the ball.
Much like Matt Patricia, we’re in Year 3 of the Matt Nagy era, and he hasn’t shown any improvement on the side of the ball he’s supposed to be a “guru” at. They even gave him a quarterback he had a history with and strong belief in with Nick Foles, and it hasn’t gotten any better.
And blame the quarterbacks all you want, but the offense is failing at every level. The offensive line is one of the worst in the league. They’re one of eight running games in the NFL not averaging at least 4.0 yards per carry. Put it all together and only the Giants, Broncos and Jets have scored fewer points this year than the Bears.
And it all seemed to come to a head on Sunday night, when absolutely nothing was working. The Bears just looked completely toast by the fourth quarter, with some believing that the defense had actually given up. It resulted in a fiery outburst from Nagy on Monday morning.
“Every freaking coach on the staff, every player, better wake up and start understanding where we’re at. Have some personal pride. Have a freaking sense of urgency. Know where we’re at. Have some pride into who we’re playing for and why we do this and then go find a way to win as a team. That’s my challenge to every single person in that building this week, is that. Yesterday was flat-out embarrassing and our guys know it.”
Whether that quote becomes the final nail in the coffin or a waking-up point for the Bears is up to everyone in that building, but it sure does feeling like the foundation is starting to crumble in Chicago. The calls for both Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace’s jobs have never been louder.
IR: RB Tarik Cohen, RT Bobby Massie, DE Roy Robertson-Harris, K Eddy Pineiro
Current injuries: QB Nick Foles, DT Akiem Hicks,
The Bears can’t use injuries too much as an excuse this year. While losing Tarik Cohen certainly takes some explosiveness away and right tackle Bobby Massie was one of their better offensive linemen, the offensive problems go well beyond that. Last week’s poor effort against the Packers has been blamed on the absence of Akiem Hicks—who, admittedly, is a top-two important player on that team—but, again, that only provides a partial explanation for Sunday’s disaster.
At this point, it’s unclear what Hicks’ status for the Lions game will be, but it appears Foles will continue to be out, so it’s Trubisky Time again this week.
Biggest strength: Defensive line
With or without Akiem Hicks, this defensive line is as scary as it always seems to be. Khalil Mack is still playing at an elite level, but they’ve also been getting solid play from their interior defenders. Mario Edwards Jr. and Bilal Nichols have done a good job, and when Hicks plays, there’s no one better.
Statistically, the numbers speak for themselves. They’re allowing just 4.1 YPC this year (10th) and only 23 percent of rushes are earning first downs against them (seventh).
Biggest weakness: Quarterback
Mitchell Trubisky's statline vs. past 6 non-Lions opponents:— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) December 2, 2020
108/220 for 1258 yards (5.7 Y/A), 7 TDs, 7 INTs, 64.2 passer rating
Trubisky's statline in all 6 games vs. Lions:
137/203 for 1601 yard (7.9 Y/A), 14 TDs, 4 INts, 106.0 passer rating
Vegas line for Sunday: Bears -3