So it has come to this.
The Chicago Bears have a big problem and it’s become more evident after the teams embarrassing performance against the Miami Dolphins at home Sunday. A game in which the Bears had to have before facing a two game stretch that features the Patriots and Packers on the road split between their bye week.
Well guess what? The Bears looked embarrassing and it all starts with coaching.
Sure you can blame the defense for allowing Ryan Tannehill to pick them apart all day long. The same Tannehill that was having Dolphins fans losing faith in any idea that he would turn out to be a star quarterback in the league. Well on Sunday, the Bears defense made Tannehill look like a star as he completed 78 percent of his passes and finished with a 123.6 quarterback rating. His highest of the year.
Yeah, I guess you can blame Jay Cutler and the Bears offense. It’s the cool thing to do these days. All sarcasm aside, they do deserve some blame.
After being shut out in the first half, the Bears offense only put up 14 points. The same Bears offense that was supposed to be one of the best in the league this seaspon. Well they aren’t and instead they are struggling through their first seven games.
But the blame starts on the shoulders of the coaching staff.
I’m looking at you Marc Trestman. The “quarterback whisperer” who had us all convinced we had a new and improved Cutler this off-season. In reality, we have “the same old Jay”.
The problems stem deeper than Cutler who has shown the ability to win the Bears a few games, yet gets criticized after every mistake. It’s so bad that it’s almost reached Steve Bartman level in Chicago. Some deserved and some probably not deserved.
But lets focus on Trestman who has been nothing but below average since taking over as head coach last season. The Bears are 11-12 in 23 games with Trestman as head coach. Even more staggering? They are 3-10 in games which they have trailed at halftime.
On Sunday, Trestman once again had questionable playcalling that was apparent right off the bat. On the teams first drive, Trestman called three straight pass plays including a pass on third and one. The result? A three and out. Sure Cutler took the chance deep for Jeffery, but why not call a run to Matt Forte? It completely changed field position and the Bears never recovered.
There have been plenty of times where Trestman has also tried to get “too cute” with the play calling. It showed during the week one loss against Buffalo where the Bears went away from the game plan and called some questionable plays. Now it’s week seven and Trestman hasn’t figured out how to make an explosive offense work.
That’s not a good thing for an NFL head coach who was supposedly an offensive genius.
One mind-boggling stat from today’s game was the limited touches Forte received in the first half. The Bears handed the ball off to Forte just twice in the first half. His lowest of the season and it hurt. Forte is one of the team’s top playmakers and there should be no excuse for not getting him the ball. That all falls on Trestman.
Those weren’t the only things I noticed during the first half on Sunday. In addition to Trestman’s poor calling, his management of the game continues to be poor as well.
A few times this season the Bears have mismanaged the clock before the end of the half. Today it returned when Trestman pocketed three timeouts at the end of the first half, while trailing 14-0.
The team shows no sense of urgency when behind. Instead they just play at normal speed and hope something good happens. They hope they can finally make a play to turn things around. It hasn’t happened yet.
While the Bears struggle, Trestman struggles to control the team as well. After the game the team’s locker room was filled with yelling and players had to be escorted out. Not a good sign for a team who is crumbling on the field.
Another problem the Bears have is the defense failing to stop offenses this season. While they have played well in some games, others they have disappeared, including today. The defense couldn’t stop the read option (again) and were lost all game.
That falls on Mel Tucker who has been nothing but bad since joining the Bears last
season. The defense doesn’t have playmakers outside of Kyle Fuller and Jeremiah Ratliff who have been the lone bright spots. Instead, the Bears are continuing to make the same mistakes every week. Biting on the read option a few times is one thing, but constantly doing it is another.
It’s another year of the same defensive struggles. Another frustrating year of bad tackling, players not being in their gaps and below average safety play. You would think one year of that is enough. Instead the Bears decided to give us another year of the same struggles.
You see the blame goes to a lot of people but as long as Trestman struggles to figure what the teams identity is, the Bears are who we think they are.
And that’s just a mediocre team.