It is the question that will have a lot to do with determining how the Bears fair the rest of the year.
Are the Bears in a good scheme, but the players are not capable of executing it or are the Bears players not being put into position to make plays?
There seems to be evidence of both.
I mentioned in the recap that regardless of scheme Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman should be able to match up with Justin Gage and Brandon Jones. We have been harping that Tillman is the most underrated cornerback in the league, yet there he was in a key moment of the game getting beat by...Lavelle Hawkins?
Vasher got beat on a pretty simple slant route for a TD by Justin Gage, a guy who couldn't find a spot on the Bears receiving roster, which hasn't had a standout in who knows how many years, but maybe there is more to it. How can a player do their job if they are not being put into postion to do it?
Vasher mentioned after the Lions game how the league knows how Bears cornerbacks take outside position in the red zone that invites the slant pass. Then Gage beat him on a slant pass for a TD on third down.
Why not adjust the scheme if it's so well-known in those situations?
"I can't get into that," Vasher said. "That's a coaching-staff decision into how we play and what we play. We just have to step up and make plays."
Are Babich and Coach Smith so completely blinded that they can't see changes are needed? Are they too stubborn to admit their scheme just isn't working?
The third factor in all of this is the Bears pass rush or lack thereof. In the Bears losses to Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Tennessee those team's QBs threw 138 times and the Bears have only managed 2 sacks.
It doesn't matter if the Bears are able to hold the NFC North lead and make it to the playoffs. If they cannot find a way to manufacture a pass rush and they can't learn to stop the pass, they will lose.