The Chicago Bears might be the NFL’s biggest disappointment through two weeks of the new season. Chicago finished with the worst record in the league last year, but there was hope the team could make a leap after being armed with the No. 1 pick in the draft, the most cap space in football, and a talented young QB in Justin Fields who felt poised to make a leap in his third season.
Instead, it’s all fell apart quickly and painfully. Fields’ regression has been the biggest story: he’s stopped using his dynamic running ability and struggled badly in the pocket, ranking just about dead-last in QBR thus far. While the quarterback always the brunt of the attention for better or worse, that’s only the start of the problems for Chicago.
The coaching is a huge issue. Head coach Matt Eberflus has now lost 12 straight games dating back to last season, with the team allowing 25 points or more in each of them, something that’s never been done in NFL history. Eberflus’ offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has done Fields no favors with his playcalling. That last point was under the spotlight on the game-deciding pick-six that ended Chicago’s comeback attempt in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Chicago needing to go the length of the field in two minutes to force OT or take the lead, Fields threw an interception to Shaq Barrett, who returned it for a touchdown. Watch the play here:
That’s an incredible play from Barrett, first of all. It’s also easy to blame Fields for making that throw. It’s a bizarre playcall from the Bears while pinned back so deep in their own territory, but it’s even wilder when you realize they ran the exact same play on the play before.
After the game, Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said Tampa knew the play was coming because Chicago lined up the exact same way.
More locker room video from Sunday: Lavonte David says “everybody knew what was coming” from Bears on Shaq Barrett’s game-clinching pick-six: pic.twitter.com/F3tdDsjGy4— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 18, 2023
Here’s ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky breaking down Chicago’s playcalling on the game-deciding interception. Even he couldn’t believe what the Bears were running.
It feels like there’s no hope for the Bears right now. Fields doesn’t look like the long-term answer at QB. The coaching staff is horrible, and has helped played a part in ruining the QB. The team is still really bad in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Trading the No. 32 pick in the draft for Chase Claypool is also proving to be a disaster despite his TD catch against Tampa.
Do the Bears do anything well right now? It doesn’t seem like it. Fields has been a disaster, but the problems in Chicago are so much deeper than the QB, who has obvious talent. Matt Eberflus, you are on the heat seat. Bears GM Ryan Poles should be, too.