Most Bears fans have had enough of the conservative playcalling by Luke Getsy once the Bears take a lead against their opponents. Getsy seems to operate in a “prevent offense” type of mode in those instances, and it cost him dearly in losses to the Broncos, Lions, and Browns. He was also considerably gun-shy during the 4th quarter in a loss at New Orleans.
Bears fans aren’t the only ones confused by Getsy’s lack of killer instinct. Chicago’s players are upset, and comments by Darnell Mooney and D.J. Moore won’t take the offensive coordinator out of the crosshairs.
“I didn’t like how we just like we felt comfortable in the third quarter,” Mooney said after the 20-17 loss. “Just lackadaisical and just conservative. Everybody was just happy that we were winning. You have to be aggressive and continue to put the foot on the pedal and just go out there and punch them. Can’t get too comfortable in the third quarter. That’s what kind of bit us. Tried to switch gears in the fourth quarter once they scored and it’s hard to do that.
“I was just thinking during the third quarter, in my head, ‘We don’t need to get comfortable. But, I understand we’re up and they are not doing very well on offense and our defense is doing very well.’ We’ve just got to continue to stay focused and get unsatisfied with what we are doing. Stay foot on the pedal.
The wide receiver could be talking about his teammates, but Getsy is responsible for keeping his offense motivated. Moore agreed with Mooney’s assessment.
“There was kind of a lull in the third quarter,” Moore said. “We didn’t really have [any] explosive plays. I don’t even think we had more than four first downs. It was a little lull, and we can’t be like that going against a defense like that. We’ve got to go in and also make sure that doesn’t happen again because we definitely should have won that game.”
Both receivers didn’t mention Getsy specifically, but it would be out of character for either to fingerpoint. Still, the beleaguered OC had no answer for a Cleveland defense that was forced to rely on the deep end of its roster due to a massive amount of injuries.
The crew was perplexed by Luke Getsy and his decision-making throughout the game, specifically on short yardage situations. pic.twitter.com/S4LK8NNE24
— CHGO Bears (@CHGO_Bears) December 18, 2023
Getsy needed eight plays to score from the one-yard line, though four plays were nullified by penalties. A third-and-3 sweep to Tyler Scott later in the game went nowhere. A fourth-and-1 run by Fields was stopped for no gain. Mooney also missed a block that prevented Fields from getting to the first down marker. The Bears went three-and-out on their first drive after Cleveland tied the game.
These are regular occurrences for Getsy’s offense whenever Chicago has a lead. The Bears have three games to correct that flaw, whether it’s scheme- or personnel-related. If Getsy goes down, he could end up taking Matt Eberflus with him.
Here’s what Chicago did after taking a 17-7 lead with 7:07 left in the third quarter.
- Three plays, nine negative yards (punt)
- Seven plays, 32 yards (turnover on downs)
- Three plays, six yards (punt)
- Six plays, 14 yards (punt)
- Three plays, two negative yards (punt)
- Five plays, 30 yards (Hail Mary interception to end game)
The Bears’ biggest play was a 30-yard pass to Tyler Scott with 25 seconds left in the game. 14 of those 27 plays resulted in no gain or negative yardage. The defense is taking the bulk of the blame for the loss, but Getsy didn’t do a very good job of keeping his offense on the field. The offense gained two or fewer yards on 16 of their 24 first-and-10 plays. They went backward on six of those plays. Three of the final six drives clocked in at less than two minutes.
That type of consistency tends to indict the coaching staff instead of the personnel. Getsy isn’t doing much of anything to help his offense succeed. The players aren’t outright blaming him, but they won’t be scapegoats, either.
“Three-and-outs are the things that are more glaring,” said Cole Kmet. “If we’re able to execute a couple of first downs here and there instead of three-and-outs, we win that game with how our defense is playing.”
“We’ve got to do our jobs,” Moore added. “Coaches have to do their jobs, especially us because we’re out there playing the game. We have to go out there and make something shake.”
Matt Eberflus was also a little more critical of the playcalling than he usually is.
“We’ve got to have some sustained drives there to get in scoring position,” said Eberflus. “We were always behind, whether it was TFLs or they found a way to get us behind. Felt like there were a lot of third-and-longs in the fourth quarter there. We have to do a better job there, for sure.”
The Bears are favored by 4.5 points over the hapless Arizona Cardinals for Sunday’s Christmas Eve tilt. Eberflus probably needs to win two of the final three games to save his job. Barring a miracle, it may already be too late for Getsy.