The Chicago Bears’ losing streak extended to six games after falling to the Detroit Lions 34-30 on Sunday afternoon. This game left everyone at a loss of words. The Bears soiled themselves in their own building against the lowly Lions. Detroit came into this game at 4-7 after a disastrous showing on Thanksgiving Day against the Houston Texans. That loss prompted them to fire their general manager and head coach.
However, the Bears haven’t been world-beaters themselves. After a 5-1 start to the 2020 season, Chicago has gone winless. As a result, there have been calls for firing not just Matt Nagy but Ryan Pace and team president and CEO Ted Phillips as well.
The Bears’ struggles have finally reached their boiling point as the 2020 season has not gone at all as expected. It’s unlike the organization to fire anyone mid-season, however. If Bears fans are really pining for a regime change, it may not be much longer.
Now back to the point: this game. Where does one even begin? This brutal loss epitomized the 2020 Bears season. It was everything we’ve seen to date compressed into three long hours. So as we usually do, here are the main takeaways from the Bears’ disgusting Week 13 loss.
Matt Nagy is running on fumes. He’s got nothing left in the tank. The third-year head coach has tried everything imaginable and nothing is working. This team is poorly coached and it shows — the proof is in the pudding. It’s namely their lack of attention to details, whether it’s the penalties or game-planning. The team is making too many mistakes. It was evident at the end of the game when Allen Robinson hauled in a catch near the sideline and instead of turning it upfield with nothing but open space, he chose to scurry out of bounds one yard short of the first-down marker. The lack of situational awareness is truly baffling.
This team needs to be coached better or harder. Maybe Nagy is too stubborn, or maybe he’s just not the guy everyone was expecting him to be. His scheme and game plan don’t fit the personnel he has. There are a handful of players who have found success elsewhere since departing Chicago.
Don’t be mistaken. This isn’t just on Nagy’s shoulders. Almost the entire coaching staff is pitiful from Nagy on down. Bill Lazor and Chuck Pagano are clearly in over the heads. It’d be slander to include Chris Tabor in that group, however, as he’s clearly been the best coordinator or coach on the team. The special teams have hardly been the issue outside of the Ted Ginn Jr. experiment at punt returner.
There is no way to explain blowing a ten-point lead to another mediocre team in your own building. Especially considering the Lions fired their own head coach just a week ago and were without some of their best players on both sides of the ball.
It was truly a tale of two halves for the Bears’ offense against the Lions. They looked like a decent, competent offensive unit for the first 30 minutes. They scored 23 points on one field goal and three touchdowns. Chicago was rolling early on.
The Bears thoroughly committed to the running game from the start, and it was highly effective.
Alas, the Bears racked up 268 yards on 35 plays in the first half, good for 7.7 yards per play.
However, the second half was still ahead of them and third-quarter struggles reared its ugly head once again. This marked the beginning of the wheels completely falling off in the second half.
In the second half, the Bears ran 32 plays for 103 yards, an average of 3.2 yards per play. It was a complete 180 from the first half. For comparative purposes, here is how the running game fared in the second half.
The second-half play-calling was putrid. The Bears only managed one scoring drive. Despite all that, the Bears still had a chance to win the game on their final possession. The previous three drives, each only three plays, resulted in 6, -2, and -4 yards, respectively. The results of those drives? Punt, punt, fumble.
Ultimately, the fumble by Mitchell Trubisky on a strip-sack was the dagger in the game, as it allowed the Lions to score the go-ahead touchdown. In short, the Bears offense showed competency for the first two quarters but reverted back to their norm in the second half.
This side of the ball has typically been rock solid and the backbone of the team. It’s been hard to place blame on them for most of the season as the offense had sputtered. However, that free pass stops here. The Bears’ defense wasn’t necessarily awful, but they were bad today. They allowed two touchdowns to Adrian Peterson, who happens to gash the Bears every time he plays against them no matter how old he gets.
As a whole, the Bears allowed 460 total yards, 402 of which came from Matthew Stafford’s arm. Stafford basically had all day to throw in this game as the Bears hardly could muster a pass rush. As result, Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson, and the Lions’ pass catchers torched the Chicago secondary.
Given that Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift were inactive for this game, the showing by the defense was baffling. The “bend but don’t break” defense has been breaking the past two weeks.
Nichols snagged a nifty interception late in the game.
Nonetheless, he’s been balling out lately — a welcomed sight.
Khalil Mack/Robert Quinn
These two are getting paid way too much to be practically non-existent. Yes, they’ve been getting “close” or being held a lot, but more is expected out of pass rushers of their caliber.
Have yourself a day, Cole. The rookie tight end enjoyed a breakout out game… of sorts. Kmet logged five catches for 37 yards and a touchdown.
It’s bad, mmm’kay?
The Bears continue to lose and it’s probably not sitting well with ownership. As they inch closer and closer to the end of the season, it’s evident that change is necessary and likely. This team is not any good. That 12-4 season two years ago looks like a fluke in hindsight. Bears fans were split on tanking, but now they may not have a choice. They’re going to be tanking naturally all thanks to the people in charge. Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace, and Matt Nagy on down are all responsible for where the Bears currently are as an organization.
They’re on the fringe of the depths of football hell that they were in under Marc Trestman. If they want to spare themselves, ownership has to pull the plug now and clean house. The Bears are rudderless and have no sense of direction as it stands. There is no consistent identity on offense and they continue to use the defense as a crutch.
Different week, year, decade… it’s the same issues and complaints. Just once, it’d be nice to see a competent, functioning franchise. The 1985 Bears were 35 years ago. It’s time to let go and move on.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Chicago Bears take on the Houston Texans at Soldier Field on Sunday, December 13th at 12 PM CT. The game will be televised on CBS. The Bears will look to end their now six-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Texans will try to rebound from their devastating Week 13 loss to the Colts. This matchup will be the first between Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson since both quarterbacks were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. A story for the ages! The Bears seek their first win all-time against the Texans.
Be sure to tune in to the Bears On Tap podcast for postgame reactions, updates, and analysis throughout the week in addition to discussions on a variety of other Bears-related topics.