It looks like I’ll be starting my 2017 NFL Draft coverage a little early this year after the Bears pathetic 17-16 loss to the Jaguars crushed their already slim hopes at a competitive season. The Bears lost at home to a Jags team that was 1-16 in their last 17 road games. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bears had a 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
In a season of embarrassing losses, this one was the worst yet. It feels like the Bears have hit a new low. I’m not sure what can be worse than blowing a two touchdown 4th quarter lead at home to one of the worst teams in the NFL.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the loss and I’ll cover it in detail below, but the main culprit was an ultra-conservative coaching staff. Fox and his staff coached the team like the Bears had a three TD lead instead of being up just 10-0 at the half. It was frustrating to watch and it’s tough to make an argument that the Bears aren’t the worst team in the NFL right now.
Bears Takeaways: Week 6
1.) John Fox conservative (cowardly) coaching cost the Bears the game
The Bears had a 10-0 lead with 1:47 left in the half, the ball at their 22-yard line, and all three timeouts remaining. Seems like a good chance to score right? Apparently not for John Fox and the Bears, who showed no urgency to put points on the board. Instead they seemed more concerned with not leaving any time for the Jags to score.
Fox was coaching like the Bears had an insurmountable lead instead of just ten points. Unfortunately it was a sign of things to come in the 2nd half, as the Bears had an ultra-conservative game plan on offense. They stopped throwing to Alshon Jeffery, who had 90 yards in the first half. They benched Jordan Howard for most of the half, despite the fact that he’s the only Bears back to have any success running the football this year. They continually threw short of the first down marker on third downs. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Fox and Loggains seemed content to run a vanilla offensive scheme and hope the defense could keep holding the Jags scoreless. It was a gutless display by the Bears coaching staff and reflects poorly on the quarterback and entire offense that they aren’t trusted enough to run thier normal offense without turning it over.
2.) I’ve seen enough of Dowell Loggains
The Bears have been able to rack up impressive amounts of yardage in the last three weeks, but their inability to find the end zone is keeping them from winning games. The Bears outgained the Jags by 72 yards and had the ball for over 11 more minutes(!) but the Bears found a way to lose again.
Field goals don’t win games, but Loggains seems content to settle for them whenever the Bears get into the red zone. Loggains’ dink & dunk scheme has been successful moving the ball between the 20s, but when the field shortens he hasn’t been able to find the plays to get the Bears in the end zone.
More importantly, Loggains doesn’t seem to be able to adjust to defensive changes in the 2nd half. For two weeks in a row, the opposing defense has adjusted to what the Bears did in the first half and took away plays that were working. Instead of making counter-adjustments or god-fordid trying something new, Loggains stubbornly keeps trying the same plays that worked in the first half. Maybe the Bears don’t have that many plays they are comfortable with, but that reflects badly on Loggains as well.
On Sunday the Bears went 7-10 on 3rd downs in the first half, but in the second half they went 0-7. Alshon Jeffery had 90 yards in the first half, but in the 2nd half he had just one catch for three yards. The Bears defense forced three consecutive three & outs to start the 2nd half, but Loggains’ offense couldn’t string together any first downs and eventually the defense wore down.
It was like the Fox and Loggains thought the Bears job was done on offense after scoring a whopping ten points in the first half. Their delusional confidence wasted a good day by the Bears defense and cost the Bears a victory.