I decided to forego writing a grades post today, mostly because we all know it would be Fs across the board. Usually I can find a couple of bright spots but I couldn't do that yesterday, there were no redeeming qualities. The Bears were out-classed, out-played and out-coached and lost by over three touchdowns for the third time this season and fourth time going back to the last 11 games.
Is it too early to compare Marc Trestman to the worst of the worst coaches in Chicago Bears history? His 11-14 record doesn't appear to be too bad at first but it includes losses by margins of 44, 21, 28 and 41 points and that's just in the past 11 games.
Trestman's .440 win percentage is hovering dangerously close to Dave Wannstedt territory. Wannstedt managed a 40-56 record in Chicago, good for a .416 winning percentage. Dick Jauron was 35-45 in five seasons (.438), which is much closer to Trestman's. Jauron oversaw the flukey 2001 13-3 season but could never string together even a .500 season otherwise and was ousted two years after that '01 year.
These are merely the coaches that I recall well from my lifetime of watching this team.
This season is easily the worst since the 5-11 squad of 2004, but the question is can Trestman turn it around? 25 games doesn't seem like a huge sample size but the arrow certainly isn't point up like we all believed it was after the first 16.
The same things keep rearing their ugly head: penalties, turnovers, undisciplined play, etc. Yesterday was supposed to be better because they had two weeks between games to prepare, to work out the kinks, to find what they do well and figure out their identity and none of that happened.
Is this the worst it can get? Some of the older generation will tell you it's not. For example Abe Gibron is widely regarded as the worst coach in team history. In three forgettable seasons from 1972-1974 he coached the Bears to an 11-30-1 record, good for a .238 winning percentage.
The Bears have certainly had worse stretches, between 1997 and 2000 the team went 19-45, winning no more than six games. Between 1969 and 1975 the team went 28-69, including a franchise-worst 1-13 season in 1969 under Jim Dooley, who went 20-36 in his four seasons at the helm.
But this is certainly trending to be the worst season since in the past decade and quite possibly the worst of the new millennium. The 4-12 2002 squad lost by no more than 18 points, the 5-11 squad of 2000 lost a game by 41 points (a shutout) and two others by 21 points and 22 points while the 5-11 squad from 2004 lost by 31 points and 19 points twice.
In margin of defeat, then, this has been a far worse season. Those teams didn't have guys as talented as Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery or Matt Forte. They didn't have a capable QB like Jay Cutler. Their defense were poor, for the most part, but their offenses were worse.
This 2014 squad was supposed to be led by its offense but the offense can't make any ground and then the defense surrenders 14 points and boom it snowballs out of control.
I hope that yesterday was rock bottom for this team, I hope that it only gets better but I've seen little that convinces me that it will.
I feel it is worth mentioning that Pete Carroll went 14-18 in his first two seasons in Seattle before they went 11-5 and made the playoffs. The thing is though, Marc Trestman took over a 10-win team and lost two more games and now is on his way to ending two more worse than that. Most coaches do not get worse and then suddenly way better. This doesn't feel like it though, does it?
Is this the worst Bears team you can remember? Do you think this was rock bottom?