The game yesterday sucked. I didn't see any of it and I know it sucked. I listened to a little less than half of it and I know it sucked.
It comes down to the Bears got smoked by a superior team. It was what was supposed to happen when a less talented team faces a more talented one. Chicago has now lost four of their last five games.
It's winding towards a tough finish for the Bears. The Bears have to win their last two just to get to seven wins, but that is, admittedly, where a lot of fans pegged their record before the season began.
Let's not forget that this is a rebuilding or retooling, if you want to use the preferred terminology of Ryan Pace and John Fox. No one would say that the team doesn't have a long way to go, though.
The Bears have dropped eight straight December games. Their woes are no longer confined to Soldier Field but also to games played in the 12th month and Sundays and...it seems endless.
On the final day of November I wrote that the Bears needed to buck their December losses and play their best football in the final month. They have responded by urinating down their collective legs
So what is their problem? I don't know that there is one simple answer, but from what I heard from the game, what I've read and the highlights I watched, here is what I've deduced.
The offensive line is bad - I don't know if Kyle Long is injured or what, but he had another poor game and the line, as a whole, continued their downward spiral. Jay Cutler was sacked five times and while the Bears averaged 4.7 yards per rush, it didn't seem to be dominant.
The team sounded angry afterward, but does that matter? The quotes I saw coming out of the locker room following the game sounded like a team that was angry and frustrated. As they should be. They got rolled by a division opponent, but the question I have is, why weren't they this angry coming into the game? Sure the last two games could've gone either way but that should have lit a fire under them and it didn't. It's too little too late now but I can't help but wonder why they aren't responding at this point in the season?
Fox is holding guys accountable at least - Christian Jones was a healthy scratch yesterday and John Timu, in his first career start and fresh off the practice squad, led the team with eight tackles and a tackle for loss. Sure that is one small line up change for a unit that has really been bad the last three weeks but with so little depth there is only so much the coaches can do. Timu played great and hopefully he will continue to do so but unless Shea McClellin suddenly remembers how to tackle it will just be another fruitless move in a lost season.
The offense needs...something - I get that the offensive line is bad, I get that once everything goes to hell we can't put it all on Adam Gase either, but something has to give here. For a third consecutive week a screen pass was sniffed out and it resulted in an interception. It really isn't a throw I can put entirely on Cutler. The defender saw the screen was coming, backed up and just was able to snatch the pass out of the air. Had the screen not been recognized or even just a split second later, that ball goes over the defenders head. The Bears were five of 12 on third down. They had penalties wipe out big plays, they had really good starting field position (meaning on their own 40 or better) on four occasions and managed one score. That is some bad offensive football.
The list of needs is really long - As frustrating as this stretch has been to watch, and it has been brutal at times, the fact is that the arrow is still pointing ever-so-slightly up. This is a good coaching staff, there are some good exciting young players to look forward to, but we knew this was longer than a one-season fix coming in. They still need some pieces on defense, a lot of pieces. Another pass rusher, an inside linebacker and one, arguably two secondary pieces (another safety and a corner). On offense they need another guard and, depending on where you think Kyle Long and Charles Leno's development is, a tackle as well. They likely need more tight end competition too. That's an awful long list for one offseason but Pace has proven that his one-year prove it deals can be valuable in filling needs.
It's getting really old that another December is here and we're already focusing on next season for the Bears instead of the postseason.
What were your takeaways?