The Chicago Bears got their sixth win of the season on Christmas Eve. They beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-16. However, it looked like it was more of the same frustrations we've seen throughout the season.
The Bears jumped out to a 21-0 lead. They looked like world beaters, with tight end Cole Kmet catching everything in sight and running back exploding through holes on the ground. In the middle of the second quarter, they looked like they were on their way to a blowout win.
With the Bears being the Bears, though, that would not happen. Chicago Failed to score a touchdown from the 7:12 mark of the second quarter through the end of the game. The only points they could manage were two Cairo Santos field goals.
Bears fans were worried since the Bears had already lost three games similarly. They blew a 28-7 lead to the Denver Broncos in Week 4 and lost 31-28. In Week 11, they had a 26-14 lead late in the game against the Detroit Lions. They also blew that lead and the game 31-26. Finally, in Week 15, they blew a 17-7 lead to the Cleveland Browns and lost 20-17.
With all of the blown leads this season, Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles did not seem happy when he spoke about the team.
While the Bears are now 6-9 for the season, if they finished those three games that should have been victories, they would be 9-6 and competing for the NFC North Division title. Instead, fans are wondering what could have been this season.
General Manager Ryan Poles spoke on the ESPN 1000 pregame show to talk about the team. He made some interesting comments that should concern the coaching staff. He expressed the same concerns that the fans have -- this team isn't finishing and a lot of that has to do with the coaching staff.
Head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy should feel their seats getting hot. It is the coaches' job to help a young team finish a game. If they blow a big lead, you want to see how the coaches have their players react. Blowing a big lead once is something that just happens. If it happens twice, that is concerning. Having it happen three times means there is something wrong with the coaching staff and perhaps a change is in order.
Poles also said that the future of the team is getting clearer. Could it be that he and team President Kevin Warren have already decided the coaching staff's fate?
Getsy has taken a lot of criticism for his playcalling. He continually prepares a conservative game plan. It is painfully obvious that he does not have much confidence in quarterback Justin Fields. He does not take advantage of Fields' athletic abilities and wants to turn him into a pure pocket passer.
It seems that once the Bears take a lead Getsy wants to pull everything in and just try to milk the clock, whether it be late in the fourth quarter or in the second quarter. They have a tendency to have a good opening drive but then settle for screens or running plays and ultimately field goals. That philosophy has come back to haunt him and the offense.
Fields went 10/17 for 135 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He added 4 carries for 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In the second half, though, he went 5/10 for 35 yards. However, he had 5 carries for 65 yards.
It has become normal to expect the Bears to allow teams back into games. With this coaching staff, we cannot expect the team to blow teams out. No matter what the score was earlier in the game, we expect the Bears to squeak by or lose.
This coaching staff seems to panic and does not know what to do whenever they lose momentum. There aren't many adjustments made. Getsy will continue calling the same game, hoping something different happens.
Head coach Matt Eberflus is the man in charge. It is his responsibility for the game plan. At some point in time, he had to step in and try to change things. We see the relationship between Fields and Getsy deteriorate yet Getsy did nothing to stop it. Either he agrees with Getsy's assessment of Fields or he just does not want to get involved. Both scenarios are bad for him.
Ultimately, it comes down at the lap of Eberflus. Yes, he's done a good job with the defense. However, he has his problems there as well. He uses a ridiculous platoon system that can have his best players on the sideline watching as the opponent scores an important touchdown. In the Browns game, he had 310-pound defensive tackle Justin Jones drop back to cover tight end David Njoku on a key play. Of course, Njoku made a big catch and put Cleveland in position to hit the game-winning field goal.
It is understandable for many to question Fields' ability to lead this team. He has not been the most consistent player. However, part of that has to do with what Getsy does. What does having Fields turn around and hand the ball over to the running back, or throwing screens do for his evaluation?
Put in a dynamic game plan. Have Fields air out the ball. Use his God-given abilities to good use. Roll him out more. He has done a good job when he rolls out. He throws better while on the run. Use his skills and see what happens. Then you can have a better idea of what you have with him. Having him run a Division III offense will accomplish nothing.
Even if Fields is not the guy that Poles and Warren want to lead the team further, do you trust Getsy and Eberflus to help develop a rookie quarterback? Do you think Poles and Warren feel they can?
It does not look good for this coaching staff. We all know the McCaskey's stance on not firing coaches during the season. That just means we had to see a lot of this nonsense unnecessarily. However, the Bears should be among the teams making an announcement on Black Monday that they are making a coaching change. What Poles said before the game should just make that much clearer.