Payton Presser: I can’t put my thumb on this Bears team
As I sit here and write this, I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that the Bears lost last night. On one hand, I’m wondering if I had a nightmare. On the other, I keep telling myself that it can only get better. If you read my Pressers religiously, you know that I always preach about giving this team time and that building this organization back to the top of the football landscape is going to be a process. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, I’m throwing all that out the window on this one. Last night, as I was watching the game live from the press box, I had no words for what I was witnessing on the football field. The reason I was so upset is because coming into this game I really thought that this would be the one time this team would enter the game as the better team. This was an opportunity for the Bears to bounce back after a tough week one loss and get things rolling in the right direction. Oh, how I was wrong. Not only are the Bears continuing to go in the wrong direction, they are driving on the wrong side of the road. I have to give the Eagles credit. Carson Wentz is a hell of a football player. But I think this was a game that the Bears should have won. My favorite team in the world on Monday Night Football for the whole world to see. All I can say is that I’m embarrassed that the world had to witness that last night. Everyone’s going to get another chance to watch the Bears in primetime next week on Sunday Night Football. It should be fun. Let’s get into my takeaways from the 29-14 beat down by the lakefront.
1. Cutler Being Cutler…Again.
The three things that I know for certain in life are death, taxes and that Jay Cutler is going to throw a pick to break my heart almost every game. It seems like just when he starts to give me that warm feeling in my heart and be in my good graces, he gives the ball to the other team and then we are at odds again. Early in the game, Cutler orchestrated a nice touchdown drive, but wasn’t able to get things going in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Cutler would be taken into the locker room with a hand injury and would not return to the game. He had been messing with his hand after a trip sack in the 3rd quarter. He would finish the night going 12 for 17 with 157 yards and 1 interception. This week, he can’t place the blame anywhere but himself. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt with the hand injury, but the ball security issues seem to find a way to surface. The truth of the matter is I like Cutler and I root for him to be successful, but I also understand he is part of the problem. The problem I have is there is no QB in waiting. Cutler’s hand injury is serious and now the Bears have to be preparing for life without him for an extended amount of time. What happens if Cutler’s last pass as a Bear is an interception?
2. 1-8 at Home Under Fox.
Not sure what John Fox needs to do, but something is not working at home. That is so strange because home field is supposed to be a place where teams ball out. You know, they have the crowd behind them and they thrive off of the energy in the stadium. That hasn’t been the case for this team under Fox, with their record at Soldier Field a miserable 1 and 8. What boils my blood is last night was the perfect opportunity to start a new beginning down by the lakefront. Bears fans are very loyal, but you can’t expect them to keep coming out with what they had to endure last night.
3. Former Bears Ballin’.
This past weekend I kept seeing former Bears balling on other teams. I’m always happy for them, but it hurts my heart to watch guys produce that would definitely make this roster so much better. Marty Bennett is doing work with the Pats, Matt Forte is putting up vintage fantasy numbers with the Jets, Brandon Marshall 6 catches for 101 yards, and Greg Olsen 122 through the air and 1 TD. I understand you can’t keep them all, but some of the guys were keys to the offense here in Chicago. It’s just hard when you get rid of guys that put up stellar numbers but you don’t have players on your roster to equal what you let go.
4. Injury Report.
The Bears can’t afford to be banged up and now it’s to key members on both sides of the football. The list is long so let’s take a look at it.
Jay Cutler (Hand)
Lamarr Houston (Knee)
Eddie Goldman (Ankle)
Adrian Amos (Concussion)
Bryce Callahan (Concussions)
Ka’Deem Carey (Hamstring)
Danny Travathan (Thumb)
5. Another 2nd Half No Show.
The theme of the season so far has been this Bears team is nowhere to be found in the second half. It really has become the tale of two teams. That was the case last week in Houston, right? The Bears would end the half with a solid drive and a TD by Eddie Royal. Then, at the start of the 3rd quarter, Cutler throws an INT that would end up with points going up on the Texans’ side of the scoreboard. This week the Bears were down just 9-7 heading into break. Philly would get the ball to start the half and they would go three and out. The Bears got the ball back and 4 plays later Cutler would get sacked, lose the ball and Philly would recover it. The next two drives in the 2nd half would consist of 8 plays, punt and the interception. It’s not just the offense that needs to get it together, but the defense needs to show up as well. They get a little bit of a pass because they were on the field and ran out of gas in the 2nd half. I feel like I should insert a milk carton joke right here. Nope, I’m good.
6. Who Runnin’?
One thing that drives me crazy about this team is there inability to establish the run. Not just establish, but a full out commitment to the run as well. What baffles me is during training camp and preseason I watched this team run the football. I thought that would be the calling card of this team. Question for Dowell Loggins: Where is the running game and better yet where is the running back by committee? Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey and Jordan Howard haven’t really had a chance to make things happen. Through two games, the Bears RB’s have 38 carries for 137 yards. Of course, one of the biggest problems with the running game stems from the ineffectiveness of the O-Line. This part of the offense has to get going if you want to see the passing game get off the ground. With all three backs you could really keep defenses off guard. Control the game on the ground and good things will come from it. Trust me, I know.
The simple fact is this Bears team will not be a favorite going into many games this season. Last night’s game was an opportunity for a team that was in need of a win and a much needed win at home in front of the best fans in the NFL. The reason why I’m so frustrated is looking ahead at the schedule over the next few weeks. It consists of a Rookie QB, a Lions team that doesn’t know who they are, an Indy team that is just as aggravating as the Bears and a Jags team. I thought that if this team could beat the Eagles, it would be a great foundation for the next couple of weeks. After being beat by a respectable rookie QB, now we match up with one of my favorite players from the 2016 draft that is a straight baller. The Bears have to dig deep and find out who they want to be as a team. Everyone on the outside is sounding the alarms, but the guys in the locker room have to shape how the rest of the season will go. Anything is possible in the NFL. I watched the Rams not score against the 49ers and then turn around and beat the Seahawks. It will be very interesting to see how this team will play versus the Cowboys on a short week at Jerry’s World. The world will get a chance to watch the Bears on Sunday Night Football. Another chance to erase the visual they saw on Monday night. I’m not giving up and throwing in the towel, I just want to see this team bounce back. Watch the film, correct the mistakes and try hard to right the ship. #Beardown
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