In the aftermath of the Chicago Bears' embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 11, there was an interesting nugget that we learned. When the Lions scored a key touchdown in the game, the player who has energized the defense since he came to Chicago on a trade deadline deal, Montez Sweat, was on the sideline.
Not only that, he was there on purpose. It was not due to an injury or being tired. He was standing on the sideline watching as the Lions scored because it was planned that way.
When a reporter asked head coach Matt Eberflus about that, he confirmed that Sweat was on the sideline as part of the rotation he has for the defense. It does not matter who is playing hot or who is not, when it is your time to sit, you have to sit. That means there will be times when a key situation arises and the team's best player could be watching things go down.
Eberflus gave another bizarre answer to the question of Sweat's usage. It has become standard procedure for Eberflus to give bizarre explanations on key issues.
Because of Matt Eberflus' ridiculous platoon system, the Chicago Bears defense found itself with its best players on the sideline while the opponent was scoring key touchdowns.
Later, on the Lions' go-ahead touchdown drive, both Sweat and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds were on the sideline watching. Detroit was in their two-minute offense, going no-huddle. Doing that prevents the defense from substituting. Once Sweat and Edmunds were out, it was difficult to put them back in.
Here are the snap percentages for the Chicago Bears defensive linemen:
In contrast, Aidan Hutchinson played on 93 percent of the defensive snaps for Detroit. Somehow, he found himself on the field for the Bears' final drive and practically threw offensive tackle Darnell Wright onto Justin Fields, causing a fumble and ultimately a safety.
As a reminder of the Sweat situation, here is a recap. The Bears traded a second-round pick to acquire Sweat from the Washington Commanders. Then general manager Ryan Poles signed Sweat to a $98 million extension. As soon as he hit the field in a Chicago Bears uniform he was the team's best pass rusher.
When he was with Washington, Sweat played on 69 percent of the defensive snaps. The Commanders also had a tremendous defensive line so Sweat did not have to be the main guy. In Chicago, that is not the case. He is the man in Chicago now. Eberflus has to find a way to give him a rest but also have him on the field with the game on the line.
This is just another in a long list of reasons why the Chicago Bears have to part ways with Eberflus. The best time to do it should be after this game. The team goes into its bye week so if there is a new man in charge they have two weeks to make adjustments.
However, the McCaskey family, owners of the Chicago Bears, do not work like that. They do not fire a coach midway through the season. They wait for the end before they drop the hammer, no matter how inept the coaching staff looks.
That is exactly what is happening with Eberflus and his staff. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy somehow cannot find a good game plan to involve Fields. Additionally, not one, but two coaches lost their jobs for off-the-field activities. Add to it the ridiculous platoon system that has the team's best players standing and watching the opponent score easy touchdowns due to their absences.
We will have to continue to watch as the players, the fans, and the front office get let down with the coaches' ineptness. Hopefully, however, Poles and team President/CEO Kevin Warren come up with a game plan of their own for a new coaching staff to lead an improved roster this offseason. It is about time the team gets its act together. The fans and the city of Chicago deserve better.