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Four observations from Colts-Bears

The quarterback might not matter

NFL: Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are now 1-4 on the season, coming home to face a 1-3 team coming off their bye week.

Things are going to get considerably more difficult for the Bears after the Jaguars game Sunday, as they immediately turn around on a short week to face the hated Packers and then face the undefeated and scary-good defense of the Minnesota Vikings.

Before the focus shifts to the next opponent, let’s take one more look back at the Colts game and see what we learned about the Bears during the 29-23 loss.

The young defensive backs are still learning - The Bears gave up over 250 yards passing for the first time this season to the Colts as Andrew Luck passed for 322 yards. Just as last year, the Bears’ pass defense has been ranked better (12th) than their rushing defense (24th) but then a performance like Sunday happens and it’s fair to wonder how that is possible. T.Y. Hilton was open all day (10 catches on 11 targets) and Jacoby Glenn, Chris Prosinski and Cre’von LeBlanc were all beaten or out of position at some point. This is a season about developing young talent and Sunday was not their day.

Dowell Loggains might be a good playercaller but... - After the first two weeks of the season many people were ready to run Loggains out of town and were willing to install yet another offensive system for the Bears. However, with the quarterback change Loggains has come into his own. The offense has looked polished, less predictable and has started scoring a little more often.

However, the “but” here is that perhaps Loggains should work on moving Alshon Jeffery around a little bit. Everyone sees that Jeffery isn’t getting the targets he used to, but looking at Pro-Football-Reference’s pass targets from the Colts game, Hoyer threw no passes to the deep left, where Alshon lined up on the ill-fated 4th down play and he took no shots to the deep middle. In his three starts, Hoyer has attempted only four deep left passes vs. five to the middle and 11 to the right. Perhaps its coincidence but perhaps if the Bears want Alshon more involved in the deep game, his deep routes should come on the right side.

The Bears just aren’t good enough to overcome mistakes - Ten penalties, losing the turnover battle, settling for field goals and just two of nine on third down is a recipe for losing. Few teams can overcome that many miscues and the Bears definitely aren’t that team. If they are going to win, especially on the road, they are going to have to clean things up in those areas.

The QB just doesn’t matter - Brian Hoyer or Jay Cutler, pick your QB. Everyone is going to be arguing about it until both are healthy and the coaching staff makes their final decision public but it’s all moot. This team just isn’t very good. They clearly aren’t winning games with mistake-free QB play and conversely, they aren’t losing because of their QB play either. The issues on the team are much bigger that. The defense is allowing too many points while the offense isn’t scoring enough TDs (and special teams is missing FGs when they have chances). While that could be on the QB, the fact is is that neither has proven to be particularly better at it than the other. 2016 isn’t about the QB for the Bears, it just isn’t.