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Chicago Bears: Week One Slaughter

Week One Slaughter

The Bears were embarrassed by the Rams on Sunday Night Football

don’t know about you fellow Bears fans but I am sick and tired of seeing the Bears getting embarrassed on National TV. Whether it’s playoff games, hello embarrassing NVP Mitch in the Nickelodeon playoff game. Or it’s the Bears losing 41-25 against the Packers in a Sunday Night game last season. It seems as though every time the Bears are in the spotlight they aren’t only losing, they are getting embarrassed. The Chicago Bears were embarrassed Sunday night by Sean McVay and the Super Bowl contending Rams, there isn’t much to sugarcoat.

Em-Bear-assing

Losing 34-14 isn’t a good look in any game. Doing so against a fellow NFC team that has made all the right moves since 2018 is a terrible look. The Chicago Bears are a team going backward since 2018 with little hope except for Justin Fields. The Bears were never in this game. Wait I take that back. The Bears had a chance to be in this game but for some reason Matt Nagy committed a cardinal sin of coaching, using two QBs.

I absolutely hate the two QB thing. All NFL fans hated it when the Saints did it with Taysom Hill and Drew Brees. My hate started when the Bears did it way back in 1999 with Cade McNown. Either play the QB or don’t. I want to see Justin Fields as much as any other Bears fan but running him out there with seemingly no plan seems foolish. It’s amateur hour, high school football nonsense. only the Bears can look both bad and foolish. Either Fields is ready to be the starter and Dalton is relegated to the backup or he’s not. Don’t run Justin Fields out there, disturbing any offensive rhythm just to get him acclimated to the NFL. That’s silly.

Play the Kid

Fields isn’t Mitch Trubisky. He isn’t a raw prospect. He has as much experience as any QB prospect to come out in the last decade. Fields had almost 1,000 snaps at Ohio State. He played in the college playoffs twice and the college championship game once. Once he was up to speed with the Bears playbook he should have been named the starter. But no. The Bears promised something to Andy Dalton that shouldn’t be given anything other than his way above marketer value of $10 million. The fact remains the Bears are a bad organization. Their ownership is bad, their President is bad, their GM is bad and although I’ve defended Matt Nagy, he has handled the Justin Fields situation as bad as any coach has handled a top-level QB prospect. This is a bad football team that is poorly coached.

The Chicago Bears Good

I don’t want to berate how bad the Bears looked but there was little good. The only good I saw in the game was David Montgomery. There was news that David Montgomery worked with a speed coach and he looked improved in the speed department. The whole Bears game could have been different if they were able to capitalize on Monty’s early 41-yard run. Instead, the Bears bring in Fields who had a nice snap throw on a 9-yard hitch to Goodwin. But then the Bears shuffled in Dalton, there was a 5-yard penalty, and then Dalton was throwing to god knows who, the ball was tipped, and a tipped pass INT happened in the endzone. 3 plays later Stafford hits Jefferson deep and the rout was on.

Monty however continued to look impressive throughout the game. He had burst, he broke tackles, he scored on a terribly blocked goal-line run. Monty should be the highlight as long as Dalton is starting. If Nagy played to his team’s strengths he would use Monty as the Browns use Chubb or the Titans use Derrick Henry. Pound the rock, work in play-action, let Andy work his patented intermediate routes, and pray at eeking out a win. That is the only way I see the Bears being successful in 2021.

Chicago Bears Bad

Man, where do I start? The offensive line was bad, the secondary was bad, the coaching was bad. There was little good in this one. What’s frustrating is all the things the Chicago Bears fans worried about during the offseason. How will this offensive line hold up with a statuesque QB? Will the inexperienced and thin secondary perform well with the loss of Kyle Fuller? Does Sean Desai call games similar to Vic Fangio in his first year? How will Matt Nagy call plays now that he’s back at the helm? Well, good people, it was all bad. Everything Bears fans feared came to fruition and the Bears look like a bottom seven team.

For the bad, I’ll focus on the defense. The secondary is getting all the heat this week and rightfully so, but where the hell is Khalil Mack? Where is the 20th highest-paid player in the NFL playing against average NFL tackles for LA? I watched Chandler Jones get 5 sacks and completely take over a game on the road vs. the well-rostered Titans defense. I’d trade Mack for Jones in a heartbeat and Jones is dying for another contract well Mack is fat and happy.

Mack is a Bust

The sad truth is that Khalil Macks has been a bust for this Bears team. When he first arrived Bears fans believed they were getting a top 3 defensive player in the league and now 3 years later he isn’t that and hasn’t been that in his Bears tenure. The first month of 2018 was a storybook for the Bears and Khalil Mack but since that time he has been a whole lot of miss, with little hit. On top of Macks’s performance, Robert Quinn’s ludicrous contract looks even more ridiculous in year two. The fact is the Bears have the most expensive defensive line in the NFL and they have played like a bottom-five unit for almost two full seasons now.

I understand the secondary is bad, but the best way to hide a bad secondary, get some pass rush. Stafford had his best game ever as a pro. He was 20 of 26 and not one Bears player sniffed Stafford for the majority of the game. There was one sack and very few pressures. This isn’t a new problem. Go back to the Lions game at Soldier Field last year, the same issue. No pass rush. There were rumors that the Raiders wanted Mack back and a good GM would have granted them their wish. He is simply to pricey for the lack of production. He looks great for a game or two but makes little noise in all other games and oh, by the way, he’s 30 years old and has 3 more seasons of $25 million a year left on his contract.

We can bemoan the secondary for blown coverages and a poorly called game by Desai but this Bear’s pass rush is awful and it’s costing the Bears success. If any team wants Mack, the Bears would be smart to cut losses, depending on salary negotiations, and trade Mack now before he is worth absolutely nothing. The future belongs to Justin Fields and the Bears can’t be a contender with an aging, expensive, unproductive Khalil Mack.

The Chicago Bears Ugly

The Chicago Bears had one of the worst game plans I’ve ever seen against the Rams. The Rams notoriously keep everything in front of them and let their staunch front four wreak havoc and their talented, physical corners play downhill. The way to counteract that kind of defense, get to one on one matchups and take shots. They are looking to move forward, play two deep, and run downhill. The Bears brought in a track team of wide receivers that all run sub 4.4 forties only to run 6-9 yard hitches all game. It was a scared gameplan executed poorly and it was a terrible look for Matt Nagy and Andy Dalton.

Nagy needs to play to his player’s strengths and stop force-feeding his bad offensive scheme. I know the scheme has had success in the NFL but Nagy’s offense looks lost and out of place. Nothing builds off of anything. There is no identity, it looks discombobulated, clunky, and unorganized. The truth of the matter is this is nothing new and Matt Nagy and his boss Ryan Pace should have been bounced last season. They haven’t performed. Nagy is somehow 28-21 with Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniels, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton. The same uninspired, boring, bad offense that lead to Nick Foles losing 6 games in a row and being benched has shown up once again.

Rock and a Hard Pace

It’s a tough spot because the Bear’s defense has aged quickly and has become a bottom ten unit. So it’s hard to say run the ball, use play-action, play field position and try to win close low-scoring games. Nagy was brought in to change Bears football of the last 40 years. His offense has been a bottom feeder since he got here and his ridiculous game plan to rest Fields will be his undoing. Between a terrible defense, bad offensive line, poor game planning, and awful play-calling, this Bears team may end up with a top 5 pick. Which wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact they don’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 draft. That of course was the cost of Justin Fields to be a Bear.

Hope Springs Eternal

All hope isn’t lost and fans and writers and analysts alike shouldn’t overreact to one bad week one game. The Bears could come home and triumph against an up-and-coming Bengals team that found a way to win ugly last week. Or the Bear’s flaws may show up once again. The leaky secondary may blow coverages, the old, unproductive defensive line may get manhandled by the Bengal’s offensive line. The offense may average 4 yards a pass and the Bears may find themselves 0-2 headed to Super Bowl contending Cleveland with rabid Bears fans foaming at the mouth.

Truth be told, from what I saw on Sunday night and again watching the tape (I love to suffer), I’d lean to the Bears being in a 0-2 hole heading to Cleveland with the odds on favorite coach to be fired; Matt Nagy, seat burning a hole in his trousers.

This Bears team is bad and even Justin Fields can’t save it. The calls grow louder by the day to play their prized draft pick and fans see how much teammates love the kid by the excitement the entire team had when he scored his 3 yard TD run. The Fields era should already be upon us and if the Bears play like they did Sunday Night, Justin Fields may make his debut in the dog pound.

Written by Keith James

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