The happiest part of my time with the Bears Sunday was singing “Bear Down Chicago Bears” to my infant daughter before the game started, her smiling and giggling as we looked at each other, me thinking that the Bears were 0-0 in her lifetime and thus had a chance to never sadden her with Rexian dread.
The saddest part of my time with the Bears Sunday was realizing that $18.5 million of guaranteed money to a free agent quarterback couldn’t give us any different results with four shots to win the game from inside the five than we had with our 4th string quarterback a year ago.
In between those two feelings was the realization that the Bears blew a winnable game in part because a quarterback who cannot win games was our starter, while another one who possibly can win games was our backup. Meanwhile, I knew — as all Bears fans knew — that all we would hear from our head coach was that we are a “pretty good football team,” that our quarterback was “good,” that losing is a “bitter pill” and that “how we respond moving forward is going to be key.”
Three days later and I’m still sick of it.
Matt Barkley: 4 plays on 1st and goal, 0-4, loss— Jack M Silverstein (@readjack) September 10, 2017
*team gives Mike Glennon $18.5 million*
Mike Glennon: 4 plays on 1st and goal, 0-4, loss
If Mitch Trubisky is the team’s best quarterback, he needs to be playing — now.
We wasted one game already.
We can’t waste anymore.
Last week’s game against Atlanta was right there for the taking, and we lost not just because we had less talent but because we had less imagination and planning.
Our place-holding quarterback didn’t exactly lose the game for us, but he damn sure didn’t win it.
Our most dynamic offensive player of the day — Tarik Cohen — was not on the field for the first three plays of our goal-to-go four-and-out.
We lost our #1 wide receiver, yet still didn’t throw one pass to rookie tight end Adam Shaheen, and had him on the field for only eight snaps.
And then John Fox got on the mic and talked dispassionately about how “we came up a little short.”
Like Robert wrote Monday: “Fine” is not good enough.
I’ve been mostly on board with the team’s plan for the quarterback position, but it was agonizing to watch this offense stumble through the passing game and fail to move the ball, while basically ignoring our dominant running game. Despite outrushing the Falcons 125 yards to 64 on four fewer carries, we ran only 19 times against 40 passes.
Yet of those 40 passes, only one was a deep ball, the missed touchdown to Cohen in the front-left corner of the endzone.
So we knew Glennon couldn’t throw downfield, and we had a running attack averaging 6.6 yards per carry, yet we threw the ball 40 times in a close game, 10 more passes than the league’s reigning MVP Matt Ryan threw on the other side of the field.
As Kev pointed out to Lester in the latest T-Formation, Glennon actually had a worse deep ball game than Jimmy Clausen did against the Seahawks in 2015 — you know, that day we had the ball 10 times and punted 10 times.
Mike Glennon pros and cons, Week 1— Jack M Silverstein (@readjack) September 10, 2017
* run blocking
* can pick up a low snap with one hand
* passing downfield
Would Mitch Trubisky have won this game against Atlanta? I don’t know, but he would not have been worse than Glennon, and I suspect he would have been better. Watching Trubisky languish on the sideline while Glennon struggled on the field was even harder to stomach considering the Texans pulled starting quarterback Tom Savage at halftime and rolled with rookie Deshaun Watson, who inherited a 19-0 deficit and played ably in the second half, giving Houston its only points of the game.
Now, I know some of you will say, “Who cares about a loss to the Falcons — this isn’t a playoff season.” That’s horsecrap! I doubt we can realistically compete for a championship in 2017, but we can absolutely compete for a playoff spot.
As I discussed on Twitter Sunday with Lester, nothing matters in the NFL from a big picture standpoint until Week 10. Meaning, you don’t really know who the true Super Bowl contenders are until November.
Beyond just experience, though, early season games are about simply adding wins or losses to your record. How these wins and losses happen is less important than that they happen. By Week 10, we might be in the hunt for the division title, with Trubisky under center, and the Falcons might be a two-win team bombarded with think pieces about the Super Bowl hangover.
But this will still be a conference game marked forever as a conference loss.
There was obviously a lot to like Sunday, from Cohen, Akiem Hicks, the now-on-IR Jerrell Freeman, Nick Kwiatkoski, Roy Robertson-Harris, and even Jordan Howard. But we were still throwing short of the sticks on 3rd and long. We were still making baffling coaching decisions. We were still a running team trying to pass our way to wins.
Now we prep for the Buccaneers, a game touted as the Mike Glennon “Revenge Game.” It’s an absurd notion, one born of a desperate need for storylines, considering Glennon last started for Tampa in 2014. Unfortunately, a Bears win under the guise of “revenge” — even against a team that hasn’t played yet whose players are rightfully preoccupied with the safety of their families — might be enough to grant the coaching staff one to two more weeks of political cover as they continue to start the lesser quarterback for reasons growing less clear by the day.
Unlike for me, the Bears lost the first game of my daughter’s life. They’re 0-1, and making me feel even worse than that. All Bears fans — including my new, favorite one — will have to wait a little longer for The Future.
Sorry, Baby T. The more things change, kiddo, the more they stay the Bears.