Payton Presser: The Bears need change
Another week passes by and another “L” in the loss column. I’m not surprised by Sunday’s outcome. Asking John Fox’s squad to get back on track, in the middle of a three-game losing streak, against the best team in the NFL was a tall ask. Fox’s squad couldn’t get anything going on Sunday and it is evident by the final score. The Eagles would Electric Slide all over the Bears Sunday, embarrassing them 31-3. After the game, I sat and tried to figure out what my takeaways would be from this game. You guys watched what I watched so there’s not much to break down. The Bears played badly in all three phases of the game. The biggest question on Bears fans’ minds is, “When will the Fox experiment be over?” Once again, the Bears looked unprepared and unmotivated. Something has to change.
The offense started off the game with a bit of trouble. They couldn’t get anything going all day. In the first half, the offense gained 34 yards on 16 plays. They were 0-5 on 3rd down. The game plan was to run the ball and control the clock. The run game was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Jordan Howard ended his day with 7 carries for 6 yards on the ground. Opposite of last week, Tarik Cohen was once again nonexistent. He had 2 carries for -11 yards and 2 catches for 8 yards. Their 6-yard rushing output was the Bears’ worst since 1952. Not good at all.
One thing that I’ve been able to fall back on was the progress of Mitchell Trubisky. Not this week. Trubisky had a rough outing going 17 of 32 for 147 yards and 1 INT. Nothing to get nervous about, but nothing to get excited about either. The rookie was bound to have a game like this at some point this season. When you’re a one-dimensional offense, with a lack of playmakers, days like Sunday aren’t uncommon.
The defense, on the other hand, had their hands full with Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense. Wentz and company didn’t struggle in the contest. The Bears defense gave up 420 yards on 73 plays. All season long, the defense’s strength has been slowing down the opponents’ run game. On Sunday, the Eagles ran for 176 yards. Vic Fangio’s defense hasn’t been the same since Danny Trevathan has been out. From the beginning of the season, I’ve said the pressure was going to be on the Bears defense to keep them in games. When the D struggles, you get games like Sunday.
After searching for something to write about, everything came back around to Fox. First off, I like Fox as a person, but I think his time with the organization has run its course. Like any relationship, sometimes it gets to the point where there needs to be a new voice and a new direction. The recent collapse isn’t all Fox’s fault. The Bears as an organization have to look at everything from the front office all the way down to the training staff. In the case of Fox, when you’re the guy in charge, it all falls on your shoulders. Fox might not be the guy to rebuild the organization. If the future of the franchise is on Mitchell Trubisky, then the Bears next head coach needs to be someone that can get the most out of the young man. When you listen to the players during their post-game interviews, they love Fox. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean they are always the best fit. The Bears have failed to make the post season in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Speaking for a Bears fan base, they are tired of losing. Since Fox arrived in town, things haven’t gotten better, but they seem to have gotten worse. Fox is 12-31 as a head coach in The Windy City. To his credit, Fox’s team has been in most games that they’ve played this season. But being close doesn’t cut it in the NFL. Injuries and lack of depth play in to the equation as well.
One thing is for sure, Fox will have ’till the end of the season before he meets his fate with the organization. The Bears have never fired a coach during the season and I don’t see them doing it now. Most Bears fans figure, “Why not make a change now?” The state of the Bears is in a critical holding pattern. They have some pieces in place to be a pretty good defense. With more playmakers at wideout and their solid running backs, the Bears could have something on offense as well. The question the Bears organization has to answer is, “Can Fox be the guy to get us over the hump?” Whoever becomes the next head coach to take over needs to be the right guy or the little progress that this team has made through this season could go down the drain. I look at the Eagles fans and I envy them. They’ve had their share of ups and downs, but things have turned around because of the development of Carson Wentz. I want that same year two success from Trubisky. Ryan Pace mortgaged his future on number 10 so he should pull out all the stops to surround him with the talent he needs to flourish. Pace, Ted Phillips and George McCaskey have to sit down and figure out what’s best for the organization. It’s not if, but when will the organization make a coaching change. My guess is January 1st on Black Monday. Next up: The 49ers. Las Vegas has the Bears as the favorite. In the Fox era, being the favorite doesn’t play out so well. See you guys next week. #BearDown