Chicago Bears Takeaways: Week 16

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 5
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

4.) Tracy Porter was awful (and has been for a few weeks)

I resisted the urge to rip on Porter in my takeaways the last couple of weeks, but he was so bad this week that it has to be mentioned. Looking back over my notes, “Porter burned by…” is listed five times in just the first half!

The Bears secondary got noticeably better early in the second half while Porter was sidelined with an injury. I was hoping that he was done for the day, but sure enough as soon as he was back in I added another “Porter burned by…” to my notes.

The stats aren’t available yet to show how many catches Porter gave up, but I’m sure it will be at least double any other Bears corner. Porter was a liability on Saturday and really has been the last few weeks. If he’s injured, then he shouldn’t be out there, since Porter was only hurting the team this week verse the Skins.

Porter has been the Bears most reliable corner this season, despite fighting through an injury seemingly every week, but he’s gotten steadily worse the last few weeks. Whether he was covering DeShaun Jackson or Pierre Garcon, both players were wide open consistently. I’m sure the Bears incompetent safeties were at fault as well, but if Porter can’t stay within five yards of the man he’s covering than he shouldn’t be on the field.

The Bears are extremely thin at corner, but I don’t see the purpose of putting Porter on the field if he’s not close to 100%. The Bears need to figure out if players like Deiondre Hall and Jonathan Banks can contribute next season. They couldn’t have played any worse than Porter did on Saturday.

5.) Ted Larson is deadweight

Unlike Porter, guard Ted Larson isn’t a key piece of the Bears immediate future, so why was he playing this week? Larson was the worst linemen on the field for the Bears this week, getting beat for a sack early and getting knocked on his backside by a defender who blocked the Bears first field goal attempt.

I live in Arizona, which means I see the Cardinals play more than any team but the Bears. I bring that up because last year Ted Larson played for the Cardinals. He was so bad in 2015, that the Cards not only made no effort to bring Larson back but head coach Bruce Arians went out of his way to tell the media that he had zero interest in bringing Larson back.

He’s just not a good offensive linemen. His versatility to play center or guard is useful I guess, but if he’s bad at both, how useful is that? My long-winded point is… why is Larson playing in a meaningless game at the end of the season?

Shouldn’t these games be used as a tryout for young Bears? Rookie G/C Eric Kush has played well in limited chances this season and G/C Cornelius Edison was just activated from the practice squad Why not see what one of those young players can do? It makes no sense to me to play Larsen, when he’s not going to be part of the Bears future.

If Larson was good, I could understand, but he’s clearly not and probably won’t even be a Bear next season. It’s another in a long string of questionable decisions by John Fox and his fellow coaches.

6.) Injuries continue to hurt the Bears

The Bears have a league leading 19 players on the injured reserve this year. You would think that eventually the Bears would get through a game without losing any players, but alas the Bears had a few more injuries on Saturday.

Most importantly Leonard Floyd got hurt in the first half and didn’t return. It’s the third time this season that Floyd has suffered an injury. That is troubling.

In other injury news… Pernell McPhee left the game for an extended stretch but eventually returned. Rookie Deon Bush was hurt early in the first half, while getting roasted by DeShaun Jackson, and never returned.

The way things have gone this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Floyd, Bush, and even McPhee are done for the season.