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The Bears "Care Factor™ is high," whatever that is
It's definitely not a thing.
If you knew nothing else about the fetid turd that the Bears laid in Nashville yesterday (it was so bad that Rascal Flatts wouldn’t even have released it), in the second quarter the Bears faked a punt on fourth and six deep in their own end…
And they were so surprised that it worked they had to call a timeout before they could run the next play.
And, yes that was linebacker Barkevious Mingo running for 11 yards.
In the third quarter, that one 11 yard run still made him the Bears leading rusher in the game.
In case you are wondering, yes, that is very, very, very, bad.
If you just looked at the total stats, you’d think the Bears beat up the Titans.
In total yards they out gained Tennessee 375 to 228.
They out passed them 319 to 136.
The Bears had 22 first downs to the Titans 11.
The Bears had the ball 33:54 to Tennessee’s 26:06.
They held the NFL’s leading rusher, Derrick Henry to 68 yards on 21 carries (3.2 per),
That all seems good.
But if you watched the game you couldn’t help but notice just how thoroughly the Bears were getting their asses kicked. Again.
The Bears defense was so good that they kept giving the ball back to the offense for them to do nothing. The Bears defense forced seven three and outs, allowed just 17 points (David Montgomery gave up the other seven by rolling the ball towards the Titans end zone just for kicks), but the defense didn’t force any turnovers, and this team cannot win without them.
The game was probably lost in the first couple minutes when Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller both missed chances at interceptions on the first possession of the game.
It was 17-0 after three (the Bears shockingly didn’t score in the third quarter, again—seven points in nine games now).
The Visor elected to kick a field goal with 12:30 left in the game, down 17-0. It made zero sense. The Bears needed three scores, and given their inability to get anywhere near the end zone kicking on fourth and goal at the four was clearly just an attempt to not get shut out. Did they really think they were going get better chances to get a touchdown?
There was all kinds of brilliance. On one play Nick Foles forgot JP Holtz was lined up behind him as a fullback and when he turned to hand off to David Montgomery he nearly fumbled the ball when he ran into Holtz.
On one fourth quarter possession Cordarrelle ran the “stop your route one yard short of a first down” play on third down (a Bears specialty they perfected so long ago I’m amazed it’s not part of the fight song). On fourth and one a lineman false started. They decided to go for it on fourth and six and Jimmy Graham purposely (I think) sabotaged the terrible decision by false starting.
They came into the game leading the league in penalties with 58. They added five more, and it should have been twice that many but because their plays were so inept the Titans kept declining the penalties.
The Bears offensive line is decimated by injuries and Covid (Cody Whitehair has BOTH). They were on their fourth string center, they had a seventh round pick and an undrafted rookie starting. One of their backups was just a fat guy they found in the parking lot at 11:58 a.m.
And, there was this, again…
On third and/or fourth and short the Bears repeatedly run a formation like this one. Note that every offensive player is within five yards of the wall, which means the defense can put every player in the box. On this play alone, the Titans have nine guys who can play run first. If you can’t get a push from your offensive line (and the Bears can’t), how in the hell are you going to gain two yards if you have to block everybody on the defense to get them?
This is Ryan Pace’s sixth season as general manager and he’s built an offense that doesn’t have a competent offensive line, has one decent running back and he would be the backup on a good team, a second round rookie tight end who rarely plays and three bad quarterbacks. The wide receivers are OK. But nobody on the team can get them the ball and even if they could they’d never have the time to do it.
Pace drafted Mitch to be the quarterback of the future and Nagy to modernize the offense and Mitch’s Bears career is over and Nagy’s should be.
The Bears will once again need to rebuild their offense this offseason, and there’s no reason for Pace or Nagy to be the ones who do it.
Will that happen?
So, while the Hairdo and The Visor waste next season, too, we can enjoy more postgames like the one Nagy gave us today where he lamented the undisciplined play of his team as though he has nothing to do with it.
Nagy was asked how this offense got this bad and he said of the “drive killing penalties” that “that has to stop, we have to get into a rhythm and in the red zone we have to get better.” Oh, better than last in the NFL? You don’t say.
I wish he’d commit to ending the drive killing penalties and his drive killing play calls, too.
He was also asked if because the next three games are all division games (Vikings, BYE, Green Bay, Lions) if they have to right the ship immediately and he said, “Yeah, no. (Always a great way to start an answer.) We do got to right the ship. We just got to do it by getting one win.”
Seems tough, but yeah, I guess they could win one of the next three. Wait? Is that what he meant? Probably not.
The Bears have never before lost three games in a row under Nagy. But only because they lost four in a row last season instead.
He said, “I’ll never, ever, ever question my guys’ effort, none of it is because of effort, but whatever it is, it’s got to stop.”
I guess he didn’t see Eddie Jackson stop chasing AJ Brown on AJ’s touchdown catch.
Then again, Nagy always talks about how he was “probably looking at my play sheet and didn’t see it” whenever he’s asked about specific stuff, especially on defense.
I can think of somewhere he can shove that sheet.
Nagy was asked about the late TD catch by Ryan Nall and whether it was a good sign of a team still fighting or irrelevant because the game was pretty much over. (And you know, worthless because if a team lets Ryan Nall score they clearly don’t give a shit.)
“Our guys’ care factor is high.”
That’s not a thing.
It’s easy to blame the poor offensive showing on the patched together offensive line.
But did things really look any worse than normal? That’s the most glaring issue. They were forced to play guys out of position, grab guys off the street and the practice squad and it was bad, but it always looks like that.
Here’s Pointless Exercise’s playoff chance expert Steve Kornacki at the big board to see where they stand.
“Just three weeks ago the Bears played a game that if they had won would have put them in position to be the number one seed with tiebreakers over Tampa Bay and the Rams, but they lost. And then lost again last week. And then lost again yesterday in Tennessee. They play the Vikings on Monday night. The Vikings were 1-5 when the Bears were 5-1, but if they beat Chicago they’ll be just a game behind the Bears at 4-5, and if the Lions beat Washington on Sunday they’ll also be 4-5. The way this is trending, the Bears seem a better bet at this moment to finish last in the division than they do to make the playoffs.
Oh, and no, I didn’t wear the same khakis and white shirt all week. I always wear this color khakis and a white shirt on the air. I have for years. I have a drawer full of both in my office.
But I did forget to bring clean underwear. So that wasn’t great.”