Chicago Bears: Is Matt Eberflus losing the locker room after latest collapse?

After the Chicago Bears blew another late-game double-digit lead it seems that the players are now openly criticizing the coaches and the game plan.
Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns
Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Well, you have to hand it to the Chicago Bears. When they fail, they fail spectacularly. They blew another double-digit, late-game lead and suffered their ninth loss of the season. They made history in the process, as they became the first team to blow three late-game, double digit leads in which they had a turnover advantage of 2 or more.

It led the fans to think of what could have been. Despite losing their final 10 games last season and their first four of this season, if they don't blow those three sure wins they would be 8-6 a game behind the Detroit Lions for the NFC North division title.

With another heartbreaking loss, Eberflus could be losing the locker room. No matter how positive you remain and no matter what you have to say, if the victories don't come and you continue to lose heartbreaking games like the one on Sunday, the players will eventually turn off on you and the coaching staff.

After another heartbreaking loss, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus could be losing his players.

When a coach loses the locker room the players feel emboldened to speak out on things they would normally keep in-house. That is what happened after Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns.

When speaking to reporters after the game, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, who is in the midst of the worst season of his career, openly criticized the game plan. He did not mention anyone by name, but it was clear who he was talking about.

Mooney said what every fan has throughout the season -- offensive coordinator Luke Getsy seems to want to sit on leads and gets too conservative. That puts the offense out of whack and, when the opponent comes back, Getsy cannot get the offense back on track.

Now, some people might not accept what Mooney says since he had a horrible game himself. He only caught two of his eight targets and missed a key block in the fourth quarter. Additionally, he had the Hail Mary at the end of the game in his hands but dropped the ball. The ball then went into the hands of a Browns defender.

While many would not accept Mooney's words, another player had a lot more cache and repeated what Mooney said. DJ Moore felt the Bears could have been aggressive and taken more shots down the field.

While Moore did not say word-for-word what Mooney said, the sentiment is there. He felt that the offense should have been more aggressive going downfield. Fields had some success going deep against the Browns secondary. The problem was that the receivers dropped a few of those long passes.

Mooney dropped the Hail Mary. Additionally, tight end Robert Tonyan dropped a perfect pass downfield in the first quarter that went onto his hands. It would have been an easy 75-yard touchdown play. There was also a fourth-quarter pass to Tyler Scott in which he had clear space to run but he dropped it.

Earlier in the season, Fields also made what many considered to be a jab at the coaching staff. During his struggles early on, he said he felt like a robot because he was getting so much information while on the field. When reporters asked what was the cause of that, he said coaching. He clarified right away that he said it was his job to clear his mind but the reporters ran with the original statement.

Eberflus also made some questionable moves. On third and 15 with 40 seconds remaining in the game, Eberflus had 310-pount defensive tackle Justin Jones go back in coverage. Jones was assigned to cover tight end David Njoku. Njoku made an easy catch and Cleveland was in field goal range.

Also, there were two occasions in which Eberflus could have used Cairo Santos to attempt field goals. Instead, he went for a Hail Mary at the end of the half and in the third quarter he decided to go for it on fourth down. The Bears failed to convert.

Having the players openly question the coaches and their game plan is certainly a sign that the head coach is losing his locker room. The players might see the writing on the wall and feel that the coaches won't be back.

On the other hand, the players could be trying to put the pressure on the front office to make a move. They could look at the situation and feel the front office and ownership could go either way with the coaches and they want their views to be counted. Openly criticizing the coaches is a way of letting the powers that be know what they want to be done.


At any rate, after this latest loss, things do not look good for Eberflus and his staff. We all know how the McCaskeys do not want to fire coaches during the season. It looks more clear, however, that Eberflus will be a part of Black Monday, the day after the end of the regular season when a great many coaches get their walking papers.