The Chicago Bears continue to embarrass themselves, and the Minnesota Vikings were happy to oblige in keeping the streak going.
Look under your Christmas tree, and you will find a familiar gift from the Chicago Bears, the gift of primetime purgatory.
Now 4-10 after a 17-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings (7-7), this franchise is better off heading to bed early instead of staying up late to play football.
From 2018-2021, on Monday and Sunday Night Football, Chicago is now 4-12, including a playoff loss to the Eagles, i.e., Double Doink. In short, when the lights shine, the Bears fade.
Who else can make Kirk Cousins (12-27, 87 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT), who has had his own primetime questions, look everything like it and lose? It doesn’t take 30 seconds to answer that question. Wager everything.
The first half told the whole story. Minnesota took a 10-3 lead into intermission, and it really felt like the game was over. Three points in the first half for Chicago. No points in the first quarter, either. You can’t even blame the weather this time.
Justin Fields (25-39, 285 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) turned the ball over early and continued to struggle, but the kid is still a kid, and frankly, he needs help. Additionally, the offensive playcalling and execution were so poor, and it would make the grinch chuckle with glee (Who calls a behind-the-line of scrimmage screen pass on 2nd and 24?).
Defensively, the Bears were fortunate that Cousins was not up to par as has often been his case in bright lights, but Justin Jefferson seemed to have no issue, catching a touchdown pass on a beautiful route that showed why he’s headed to the Pro Bowl.
On the bright side, Thomas Graham Jr, who started on such notice, showed potential and likely played his way into an expanded role.
The Chicago Bears will forever keep giving gifts of grief unless they decide to be less naughty and more friendly.
With three games left in the season, the Bears should feel rather jolly knowing that 2021 is almost over; however, they don’t have a first-round pick in next year’s draft, and cap space is limited. So what’s next?
A new coach? New general manager? Potentially a new team president? Judging from various reports stemming, everything seems to be on the table. What does need to change, however, is the culture. Penalties, along with indiscipline, need fixing.
Above all, there needs to be an identity change. While the 1985 Bears’ style of play may be too old school for the modern millennial, that group did win games, including the Super Bowl, but above all, they had the attitude to back themselves, both physically and mentally.
This group has a passive mindset, good for negotiations but not for winning football games. From 2019-2021, Chicago has two back-to-back 8-8 seasons, and now this year. The 12-4 from 2018 seems more and more like an anomaly.
It’s cold in the Windy City, but it’s not because of the sudden gust of wind off Lake Michigan; it’s the reality that the Chicago Bears are abysmal. A resemblance of hibernation on national television only adds to the misery. Thankfully, there’s nowhere to go but up, and Chicago will continue to pray that they do go up because it can’t get much worse, or can it?