The Chicago Bears suffered another frustrating loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, 19-13. After seeing the offense click in the last two weeks, it reverted back to its struggling ways. In those two weeks, the offense scored 68 points. Against the Vikings, however, it could not generate a touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter.
The Vikings came into the game leading the NFL in blitz percentage. That continued against the Bears. Chicago was unable to adjust to Minnesota's aggressiveness. As a result, a struggling Vikings defense that could not stop the pass looked like the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy's tenure has been filled with him shutting down the offense instead of making proper adjustments. That ends up stunting the development of Justin Fields.
He just does not make the adjustments to what the defense does. Getsy seems to panic and then shuts down the offense, instead of trying something new. As a result, the offense bogs down and struggles to move the ball downfield. We end up seeing too many three-and-outs.
This is what happened in Week 4 against the Denver Broncos. The Bears were rolling with a 28-7 lead. Then Denver started scoring. After a Fields fumble led to a game-tying touchdown, that was it. Getsy, who up to that point called a dynamic game (he even used a flea-flicker), shut down. After going to DJ Moore and Cole Kmet for most of the game, Getsy went back to screens. The offense did not move like it did earlier The Bears did not score again and lost 31-28.
There was almost a repeat in Week 5 against the Washington Commanders. The Bears' offense was even better, holding a 27-3 lead at halftime. The Commanders came out more aggressive in the second half and the Bears again had drives that stalled quickly. They settled for field goals and it wasn't until a Commanders defender gambled and lost on a short pass to Moore that resulted in a touchdown and gave the Bears their first win of the season.
Then there was the Vikings game. The Vikings came out aggressive and the Bears were never able to get into any rhythm. Getsy again called a conservative game plan. Moore was targeted just once in the first half and Kmet had only three targets all game.
Additionally, Darnell Mooney, who had no catches on four targets against Washington, had 2 catches for 48 yards. Why was he not targeted more than three times?
Getsy does not trust Fields and it is affecting their working relationship
Getsy has shown that he does not trust Fields. Fields is not the type of quarterback Getsy wants running his system. Getsy wants a pure pocket passer who could stand there and make throws. Fields makes decisions better when he is moving. He needs to have a moving pocket. When he is moving he seems to be more natural and makes quicker decisions.
Getsy does not trust Fields' throwing ability. Last season, the offense also started out slowly. In Week 7, Getsy started to call more runs for Fields. That was a great move and Fields starting gashing defenses with his runs. He finished the season with 1,143 rushing yards, second-most by a quarterback in NFL history.
This season, people wanted to see Fields' throwing ability to develop and have the running complement it. We have not seen that, however. Whereas Getsy went with Fields' running and kept going to it last season, he inexplicably reins in Fields' throwing this season. Incredibly, he is also trying to limit the running as well.
What happened is that Fields is all over the place. He looks like Joe Montana in one game and Todd Marinovich in another. We are seeing the ruination of Fields before our very eyes.
A few weeks ago, Fields' frustration boiled over. In a press conference, reporters asked him about his robotic play and indecision and what or who was the cause of that. This was his response.
"Could be coaching, I think. They're doing their job when they're giving me what to look at, stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I can't be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week and then, when the game comes, it's time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more."
Of course, he blamed himself for being a part of the problem. He said he needs to prepare himself and clear his mind. Unfortunately, the media zoned in on the first sentence. Fields has done a great job of toeing the line and not playing the blame game. He always put the blame on his play. However, with all his frustration, he included someone everyone else felt was responsible as well -- Getsy.
The relationship between Fields and Getsy seems to be irreparable. Getsy is stubborn in his way and won't adjust to take advantage of Fields' skills. A good coach adjusts his system and tailors it to his players' skills, not the other way around.
Look at the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson in his rookie season in 2018. He was languishing on the bench and Baltimore was losing. After nine games, the Ravens were 4-5. They spent the bye week completely overturning the offense, tailoring it to Jackson's skills, and making him the starter. After the overhaul, the Ravens went 6-1 the rest of the way and won the AFC North. Jackson was allowed to play naturally and he grew and thrived.
This is what people want to see happen with Fields. However, Getsy is having none of it. He is the genius and he will do things his way.
Where have we seen this before? Oh yes, former head coach Matt Nagy. He was the same way, insisting that his way was the right way. Well, his way was trouble for two young quarterbacks, Mitchell Trubisky and the start of Fields' career. Now he is back with the Kansas City Chiefs and has Patrick Mahomes making him look like a genius once again.
The Chicago Bears have to make a decision. There has to be a choice made between Getsy or Fields. They are not compatible and if they continue to work together there will be many more frustrating losses and the offense will continue to struggle to consistently move the ball into the end zone. This is a couple that should get divorced but they are refusing to acknowledge it.