The Bears are a disaster, frankly speaking.
But I thought we’d stop talking about the 13-game losing streak, the front office and coaches, Alan Williams’ issues, the poor play by Justin Fields, or Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift. Let’s find some positives in the Bears’ organization this morning and focus on those. Chicago may be 3-17 under Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus, but some good things are happening over at Halas Hall.
Chicago’s First & Second Year Players
Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon, Darnell Wright, Roschon Johnson, Tyrique Stevenson, and Tyler Scott are bona fide building blocks. Braxton Jones deserves to be included, but he’s injured and could miss the rest of the season. The Bears also have a couple of comers in Terell Smith, Noah Sewell, Ja’Tyre Carter, and Elijah Hicks. Rookies Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens could be good ones but need some polishing. Jack Sanborn is an impact player who could be a star as soon as next year.
That’s a decent, young nucleus, at least on paper. We can’t judge a draft class until those players have three years under their belts, however.
Matt Eberflus Believes in This Team
“I think we’re real close,” Coach Flus said Monday at Halas Hall. “I really do, and I know a lot of people say it’s far way away, but I don’t believe that. It’s more about the details of the individual person. If we just keep doing that right, right things are going to happen.”
Eberflus pointed to his previous experience in these types of situations.
“Because I’ve seen it before,” he said. “Like I said, back when I was with the Colts when I was the DC at Missouri, the first two years we weren’t very good and that was hard. It was hard business. At the Colts, we were losing to teams we probably shouldn’t have lost to begin with. Same thing when I was back at Missouri. All of a sudden, if you just keep doing right, OK, and keep your head down and focus on what matters. Good things happen.”
Fields Can’t Get Any Worse
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 24, 2023
Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy seem to have differing opinions as to the type of offense the Bears have run. The starting QB pointed out the coaches for his failures this season but quickly walked it back. He may have a point, however. Chicago’s offense looks nothing like the one that led the NFL in rushing in 2022 while also putting a few points on the board.
The third-year quarterback looks like he’s regressing in this year’s version of Getsy’s offense. He’s holding the ball longer, ignoring open receivers, and he’s averaging just 6.0 yards per passing attempt. He’s also averaging just 4.5 YPC, with only 109 rushing yards through three games.
For what it’s worth, Poles still believes in Fields.
“I can’t be more clear than this,” Poles said. “No one in our entire building, none of our coaches, see Justin as a finger-pointer at all. That kid is always taking ownership of anything that has happened on the field. He takes it head-on. He works, he grinds, and he puts his head down. [Fields] works with his teammates, and he works with his coaches to find solutions.
“You got a young quarterback trying to figure it out. You have a guy who hasn’t had the cleanest start to his career, who last year with the roster had to put the team on his back and do some unbelievable things athletically. Now, he gets talent around him and has to figure out and balance when to do those cool things athletically, and when to lean on others, and that is sometimes a gray place to live in. That takes time. That takes time on task for him to take that next step, and everyone is on board helping him get into that place for him to be successful.”
Neither Can Getsy
Getsy is not playing to Fields’ strengths, but then again, maybe he just doesn’t believe in his QB1. The Bears should have traded Fields in the offseason if that was the case. His value was never higher, and though it’s still too soon to give up on Fields, his time is running out. Poles could decline Fields’ fifth-year option, making 2024 a prove-it-or-beat-it season for the young man.
The #Bears are running a 4-3 defense rooted in Tampa-2 without the necessary star 3-technique DT.
They’re running a zone-heavy defense with two press-man CBs.
They’re running a rigid offense with a QB who’s better out of structure.
It’s like the staff is trying to get fired.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) September 25, 2023
That said, the Bears should be in the business of winning games while getting the most out of their players. If Fields is past the evaluation period, and the team is prepared to move forward without him, at least make him a tradeable asset. The Bears don’t have the defense to stop anybody, so they can still put points on the board without winning too many games. That allows the team to protect their draft pick, and get the most out of Fields while improving his value.
2024 Draft Picks
The Bears have two in the first round, and they’re on a pace to land in the top five with both picks. Carolina, who traded their top pick along with D.J. Moore to the Bears, is also 0-3 so far. Bears fans, particularly those opposed to Fields, will be happy to see Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison in Chicago’s sights.
Caveat Emptor: Fields and Williams, the consensus draft-eligible top quarterback, share the same weaknesses, so be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.
— Michael Canter of Cubs Insider ✨ (@MEdwardCanter) September 25, 2023
Bears News & Notes
- Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Alan Williams resigned due to “inappropriate activity.”
- Pete Martuneac of Bears Talk handed out blame balls instead of game balls after Sunday’s ugly loss.
- Mike Martz said that the poor play by Fields has demoralized the rest of the team and that the Bears should therefore bench their starting quarterback.
- Fields sounded like a broken quarterback after Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs.
- The Bears are 29th in passing offense, and second-to-last in scoring. Individually, Fields is dead last among quarterbacks who have started three games this season.
- Eberflus feels that Fields teammates are very supportive, and that the beleaguered quarterback is about to turn a corner along with the rest of the team.
- Moore believes Chicago’s entire season hinges on their next two games. Wins against the Broncos and Commanders would put the Bears at 2-3, while losses would drop them to 0-5.
- The head coach also said they’ve put Sunday’s loss behind them and are focused on beating the Broncos on Sunday.
There’s a Flag…On the Play
The Chicago Sun-Times pulled no punches with their Bears coverage Monday morning.
The Chicago Sun-Times was not too kind to the Bears this morning 😬
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) September 25, 2023
- The Broncos had no answers for the Dolphins on Sunday. In one of the most lopsided games in NFL history, the Broncos gave up 726 yards at an average of 10.6 yards per play. Miami became the first team in NFL history to record five passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns in a game.
- Broncos head coach Sean Payton said that the tape of Sunday’s 70-20 loss to the Dolphins “was a tough film to watch.”
- Payton said he’s not firing any of his assistants in the aftermath of the 50-point loss.
- Denver’s new head coach isn’t doing much to help fans forget Nathaniel Hackett.
- Fans in Denver are as angry at the Broncos as most of Chicago is with the Bears.
- Like the Bears, the Broncos are struggling with a defense that can’t stop its opponents, and with no quick-fix in sight.
It’s difficult to see without doing a very deep dive, but Chicago’s defense started to show some signs of life this week. They’ve got to find a way to generate more sacks, however.
.@JackSanborn79 gets the takeaway
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 24, 2023
- Green Bay (2-1): Fans are calling for the Raiders to send WR Davante Adams back to the Packers.
- Detroit (2-1): Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has at least five catches in each of the Lions’ first three games. That’s an NFL record.
- Minnesota (0-3): A trade between the Jets and the Vikings sending QB Kirk Cousins to New York to replace Aaron Rodgers makes a lot of sense for both teams.
- Chicago (0-3): The Bears are three-point underdogs at home to a team that lost by 50 points on Sunday.
Around the NFL
Raiders star pass rusher Chandler Jones has claimed he was taken against his will to a mental health hospital by the Las Vegas fire department last week and “injected” with an unknown substance.
Eberflus isn’t the only head coach drawing the ire of a fanbase. Chargers fans want their team to fire Brandon Staley because of a pattern of poor coaching decisions.
Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust
- The Browns have allowed 491 total yards this season, the fewest allowed through three games by any NFL team this century.
- The Bears-Broncos game will be the first contest in NFL history between two teams who combined to allow 110+ points and 1100+ yards the previous week.
- Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has 12 touchdown passes of 25+ yards downfield since the start of last season, the most in the NFL.
From the Podium
- “This is a new football team. We’ve got 30-some new guys that are coming together, that are playing the game together for the first time for three games. So [there’s] a process to that. [We’re] certainly not where we want to be but to get there, we’re going to have focus, we’re going to have to have to fight, and we’re going to have to be resilient. We’re going to have to block out outside noise.” – Eberflus
- “The biggest thing is chemistry now. There’s only so much … you could do. There are only so many reps, and so many plays you could call before a game. Now it’s about everybody being on one page. Chemistry, in my opinion… I feel like that’s the last thing we have to do. Coaches trust the players; players trust the coaches. but it’s got to be 50/50. It can’t be 60/40, 70/30. Everyone has to be on the same page.” – DeMarcus Walker