Chicago Bears Week 14: Takeaways

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How much worse does it have to get before someone gets fired? I don’t care if it’s just special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who certainly deserves it, but someone needs to suffer the consequences of yet another embarrassing national TV loss by the Bears. This time it was a 41-28 home loss to the Cowboys that was nowhere near as close as the score would lead you to believe.

Like most weeks lately, there were massive failures in all three phases of the game for the Bears. The Bears were clearly between on the field and on the sidelines, like they have been almost every week of the season so far. It has reached a new low for the Bears and their fans. As a fan I’m sick of hanging my head when I walk into the office the day after a game. Waiting for comments about Cutler, Trestman, Tucker, Conte, or whoever else helped make a laughingstock of the Bears that week. As fans we deserve better and the players on the field deserve a more competent coaching staff that gives them their best chance to win every week.

With only four weeks to go in the season, firing a coach or two isn’t going to salvage the season but would send a message to the surviving coaches and the players that they are accountable for their actions and that there is a standard of at least competency that needs to be maintained if you are going to play for our beloved Bears.

As I said earlier, the game wasn’t close but the Bears did make a half-assed comeback attempt in the 4th quarter after giving up 28 unanswered points between the 2nd & 3rd quarters. Cutler, Martellus Bennett and a few other Bears put up big garbage-time stats, which was almost more painful to watch then their struggles because it gave a glimpse of what could have been this year.

It’s sad, but I almost wish the season was over already so I wouldn’t have to watch our once proud franchise get embarrassed on a regular basis. With a Monday night game coming up against an occasionally high-scoring Saints offense, I’m probably going to be feeling the same next week. Whether it’s Phil Emery or one of the McCaskeys, someone needs to at least try and stop the bleeding.

1.) So much for run / pass balance

Everyone in the Bears organization from QB Jay Cutler to GM Phil Emery was adamant that the Bears would run the football this week and have a better run/pass balance than the ridiculous 7 runs and 48 passes from the loss to the Lions in week 13. The Lions knew the Bears were going to come out running and of course they did with 3 runs on the first 5 plays of the game for a total of 4 yards. The Bears only ran the ball 10 more times all game and threw 46 passes. That’s balance?

2.) Don’t let the stats fool you, Cutler sucked when it mattered

Cutler’s final stat line for the game of 32/46, 341, and 3 total TDs looks like a Pro Bowl type performance, but it was the opposite. Cutler put up 183 of his passing yards and two of his 3 TDs in the 4th quarter when the game was long over. I’m not pinning this loss on Cutler, there are problems everywhere, but he wasn’t sharp early and by the time he got it together the game was already over. Cutler minimized his turnovers with only a late 4th quarter INT but the offensive play-calling was so cowardly that I don’t know if any QB could have had success. When a team runs a TE screen on 3rd & 16 at midfield on their first drive of the game… Do you blame the QB or the play-calling? I think they both might suck.

3.) The Bears front 7 got manhandled by the Cowboys O-line 

I knew the Bears defense was in trouble when Shea McClellin couldn’t get off a block by the TE on the first play of the game and then MLB D.J. Williams got driven back 3-4 yards by Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray on the 2nd play. It was like that all game. The Cowboys won the battle up and down the line of scrimmage. The front 7 was so bad that Cowboys blockers were getting into the secondary with regularity. The Cowboys rushed for 194 yards on the day and most of those (131) were right up the middle. It was one-sided and brutal, like watching a varsity team take on a JV squad.

4.) Rookie DTs Ego Ferguson & Will Sutton got dominated. 

I already mentioned the 131 yards the Bears allowed up the middle of their defense. With Jeremiah Ratliff out with injury, rookie Will Sutton got the start and was dominated by the Cowboys interior line. Sutton’s -6.3 score from Pro Football Focus was the Bears worst grade on a team full of failing ones. He played 47 snaps and his only contribution to the stat sheet was 1 QB hit. Ego Ferguson was even worse with only a missed tackle to prove that he played. He only played 18 snaps, but I could have sworn I saw him get pancaked at least that many times. Both guys were clearly over-matched on Thursday. Not a great sign for the future prospects of the Bears 2nd & 3rd round picks from this years draft.

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5.) Is embarrassment an injury? 

Cause that’s what Chris Conte left the game with Thursday after being dragged for three yards into the end zone by Cole Beasley. Chris Conte is 6’2, 205 pounds; Cole Beasley is 5’8, 180 (at most). That didn’t stop Beasley from treating Conte like the smaller man. It was pretty clear who wanted it more and just another in a long line of embarrassing events during Conte’s career with the Bears.

6.) The Bears D-line couldn’t get any pressure on Romo

Willie Young got a sack and occasionally got pressure on Tony Romo, but for the most part the Bears couldn’t touch him. Mel Tucker of course decided not to blitz much and leave the Bears in the zone that has been burned by every decent QB over the last two seasons. Even the announcing team, who don’t see the Bears every week (lucky them), noticed that the Bears seem to play better in a man coverage scheme than in the soft 5-6 man zone coverages that Tucker is so fond of.