From #BearDown to #BearsDownBad, there is an epic unraveling in the Windy City from top to bottom. The offseason hope was abundant as evidenced by fans and media alike. Now, fans are burning their Chicago Bears jerseys.
The Bears have lost 13 straight games dating back to October 2022 when they would unknowingly win their last game for nearly an entire calendar year. This is also the longest losing streak in NFL history. Not the type of record any team wants to be aligned with. The Chicago Bears have not had a winning record (10-6) since the 2012-2013 season and still managed to let go of Head Coach Lovie Smith.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE CHICAGO BEARS?
Breaking Down Key Personnel
Ryan Poles, General Manager
Poles signed on as GM in January 2022. A hefty task considering the disoriented state of the franchise. For someone who came from a scouting background, Poles has made some head-scratching moves for both the player and staff personnel.
Just two days into his new role, Poles hired Head Coach Matt Eberflus to take the reins of a team that had hope in a young Justin Fields (who inherited the pick from former GM Ryan Pace). The problem? Eberflus comes from a defensive-minded background. The hire did not completely make sense from a QB development standpoint.
What’s worse is that the Bears defense ranked 32nd in DVOA in the 2022 season. That stat is horrific for a guy who is long-rooted in defensive scheming.
As far as Poles and drafting/free agency/trades go, he is lukewarm at best. He has had some misses and some hits; however, none of it matters when you’re in the basement of the National Football League.
Can Ryan Poles build a competent roster? It is not looking good in his second year as GM. The Roquan Smith trade with Baltimore was puzzling. Trading after an All-Pro season to the Ravens only to turn around and pick up both Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards made little sense when you compare talent levels. Not to mention, Edmunds’ salary was just shy of what they would have paid Smith. Poles’ second-rounder he got from Baltimore was used to acquire Chase Claypool-who does not seem interested in playing football at this point.
Matt Eberflus, Head Coach
As noted above, Matt Eberflus appears to have no business building a team culture or developing a quarterback. Thirteen straight losses are one thing, but the point differential in both years leading the Bears is dreadful:
- 2022: -137 (worst in the league)
- 2023: -59 through three games
Those numbers are so historically bad that it just highlights the little buy-in from his players. Bad teams still can assemble semi-respectable teams and continue to fight. The Chicago Bears do not have that intangible right now.
The Luke Getsy hire as Offensive Coordinator probably looked sexy on paper as he had just been plucked from Green Bay post double MVP seasons for a resurgent Aaron Rodgers (Quarterbacks Coach). Rodgers’ remarkable talent combined with effective schemes by Matt LaFleur was most deserving of the praise.
Given that Getsy was hired on by Eberflus, this just appears to be a big miss by a guy who is now fighting for his job. The entire scheme and playbook completely paralyzes Fields and has actually made him regress as an NFL Quarterback. This team appears floundering, uninspired, and mentally checked out. It is time that Coach Flus makes some tough changes around the facility before he is updating his resume.
Justin Fields, Quarterback
There has been little to no development for the Ohio State product-once admired with high regard in not only Chicago but league-wide. In his third year, his age is simply not to blame anymore. The overall scheme is terrible, the play-calling is unhelpful to Fields, and the offensive line play is horrendous.
Even giving him a pass for years one and two, his efficiency EPA/play YTD with at least 50 dropbacks equals -.26 and shares the bottom of the list with the likes of Zach Wilson (oof) and Bryce Young (rookie).
In his defense, there have been few, maybe no, option routes called this year that play to his biggest threat: his feet.
To add insult to a critically-damaged organization, (former) Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams recently resigned after alleged FBI-related, and serious, investigations had surfaced.
After week two’s loss, and the Williams scandal unearthed, an agitated Justin Fields addressed the media in a defeated state. Impressively enough, the 24-year-old willingly took the heat for offensive struggles, though it seems as if this organization shoulders the biggest share of blame.
The Bears may or may not get the opportunity for a top draft pick yet again come 2024. EVEN if they were to land a Caleb Williams-caliber quarterback, this franchise would have to make some major changes in order to make a better effort in developing their passer.
The Bears have to find coaches who can develop a quarterback, and cultivate offense and defensive schemes, and roster-building approaches need to be more thought out. Sadly, this is all just scratching the surface of a catalog of miscues from this franchise. I truly would love to see a healthy rivalry back in the NFC North and hope to see these changes enacted sooner rather than later.
What spot will the Bears land in the 2024 draft? Let us know @DraftCountdown on the X app!