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Hot Take Tuesday: It was a win, sort of

The incoherent ramblings of a belligerent Bears fan

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If you were going to sit down for three hours and watch one of the worst football games the NFL has produced in many a year, at least the Chicago Bears did what they had to do.

It wasn’t pretty, in fact, it was downright ugly, but the Bears, in the end, took down the Carolina Panthers 16 to 13 to earn their third win of the season, but more importantly, keep the Panthers to just one win on the season.

Eberflus has now matched his win total from the 2022 season. Of course, once upon a time, the 2022 Bears were 3-4 before they proceeded to drop their final 10 of the season, so, technically, the 2023 Bears are behind the pace right now.

The best thing about that game was to see what a dumpster fire the Panthers organization is. I mean, it’s bad in Chicago, but it is absolutely worse in Charlotte. I really don’t know what those fans even can hold out hope for. Ryan Poles decimated that franchise, he really did.

Bryce Young doesn’t look like he’s going to be it. I mean, literally, he’s on a par with Tyson Bagent. The first overall pick vs a UDFA and halfway through a season, they are the same player. That can tell you how far ahead of the curve Bagent is as a UDFA rookie, but also certainly tells you how far Young has to go, and there has to be concern that he will never get there.

Now the Bears are sitting in the passenger seat as the Panthers’ bus rumbles out of control and is about ready to crash and gift the Bears one of the top picks in the NFL Draft. If Young isn’t the guy, the Panthers have set themselves back at least 5 years and possibly longer. They have no draft capital and if they don’t have a quarterback, they have buried themselves at the bottom of the NFL standings with no signs of turning things around.

The Bears played what is most likely the worst team in the NFL. They beat them by three points, and the Panthers had a chance to have a game winning or game tying drive to end the fourth quarter but came up about 10 yards short. That may be a win where it counts, but it certainly shouldn’t build any confidence in the fan base that they are headed in the right direction.

Yes, the Bears put another one in the win column, but beating a team that is down on their luck by that few points at home, is not one to hang your hat on. Just be happy with the result and move on.

I expect Justin Fields to be back this week and it’s going to be rough for him. He missed a few games where he could have looked exceptional, and is returning with three straight games against division rivals and the vaunted Cleveland Browns defense after that. The Bears are going to be significant underdogs in all these games. There’s a good chance the Bears will be looking at a 3-11 record in five weeks, perhaps no better than 4-10. The meatheads will blame Justin and demand that the Bears return to Tyson Bagent who the Bears went 2-2 with under center, but we know that was a result of opponents, not superior play.

If, somehow, Justin Fields lights up the sky and Matt Eberflus looks competent over the next few games and the Bears upset some teams, yes, it’ll help Justin Fields' chances of returning as Bears quarterback, but it’ll help Eberflus’ chances of returning even more. Eberflus being fired is not a done deal by any means, so Bears fans are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Rooting for Fields to return is rooting for Eberflus to return as well. Rooting for Eberflus to be fired is rooting against the development of Justin Fields. They are married. I’ve said that for weeks and that correlation is only getting stronger.

Seven games to go. Seven games and we will learn the fate of Ryan Poles, Matt Eberflus, Luke Getsy and Justin Fields. Whatever those fates are, it will leave all Bears fans with some degree of disappointment.

Quick Hits

  • It would be the most Bear thing ever to go into the last 3 games of the season with 3 or 4 wins and then winning all 3 and saving Matt Eberflus’ job, wouldn’t it?
  • How much better would the Panthers be with Andy Dalton and DJ Moore?
  • These next three games will give us an idea if Matt Eberflus’ defense is now a strong unit, or just benefiting from playing extremely weak offenses
  • With Ken Dorsey’s firing, the unemployment office has a better offensive coordinator than the Chicago Bears
  • Kyler Gordon’s growth this year is what you have to hope to see from Tyrique Stevenson next year
  • Great to see Montez Sweat getting to the QB, now we have to see him do it against an NFL-caliber offensive line
  • This week against Detroit is probably the healthiest the Bears have been all season
  • DJ Moore is now about 150 yards off the pace to break the single-season receiving yards record, he’s going to need a couple of big games with Fields back
  • Tremaine Edmunds has not been missed; that’s not good
  • Just remember, at least we aren’t the Carolina Panthers