This past Saturday at Soldier Field I saw something that football fans in Chicago desperately wanted to see - a Bears victory.
The only problem was it wasn't a win for the Chicago Bears but rather a victory for the Morgan State Bears, who beat Howard in the Chicago Football Classic.
In consecutive weeks, the Chicago Bears have found themselves on the wrong side of history. They have allowed 105 points thus far, the most they’ve allowed in a season since 2003. Could you imagine the anguish Buddy Ryan and the Monsters of the Midway must be experiencing? Fans must be wondering if Urlacher can still suit up.
In addition, they punted on all ten of their offensive possessions. All ten? Yes, ALL TEN. Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen, who started for the injured Jay Cutler, is now 1-11 as a starting quarterback. To add insult to injury, the team has only two takeaways through three games. To provide some perspective, Arizona had two takeaways for touchdowns in their first two defensive series against the 49ers yesterday.
The Bears have made a string of bad decisions that have put one the NFL’s signature franchises on the brink of foolishness. For instance, 2012 draft pick Shea McClellin, who is certain to play himself out of the NFL sooner than later, was drafted ahead players such as Chandler Jones and Janoris Jenkins. To be fair, that draft as a whole isn’t looking too good for a lot of teams; however, the Bears recent string of bad drafts and poor scouting set us up for what we witnessed Sunday afternoon. America saw the the Bears get picked apart by the Seattle Seahawks, a team who drafts well. Of course, the Seahawks, who started the season at 0-2, made some mistakes but the team, thanks to their scouting, players and coaching, got it it done.
Sunday afternoon’s game for Bears fans was summed up by this poor guy’s reaction:
Head coach John Fox has a history of turning teams around relatively quickly. His most recent one may be his most difficult to date though. The scouting and drafting at his two previous stops were well ahead of what the Bears have done. Even though a first year coach and GM is often left with the mistakes the previous regime made, will Bears' fans allow Fox and general manager Ryan Pace the time needed to fix what ails the team? After all, it appears that the mess left behind by Phil Emery and Marc Trestman is bigger than they expected.
Bears fans have long asked for Jay Cutler to be benched but the alternative doesn't appear to be any more pleasing. The Bears punted on every offensive possession against the Seahawks and a lot of that falls on the shoulder of back up QB Jimmy Clausen, the same Jimmy Clausen that was once considered a can't miss, NFL ready prospect by many draft experts including Mel Kiper Jr. who stated "If [Jimmy Clausen] is not a successful starting quarterback in the NFL, I'm done. That's it. I'm out.” But who could blame Kiper. Clausen broke most of John Elway's high school passing records in California, yet you had a feeling that the expectations were too high, especially when he announced his commitment to Notre Dame on the steps of the College Football Hall of Fame.
But the most amazing thing in all of this is the one thing that could never be fathomed in Chicago- that the defense could become so poor. That can’t happen in Chicago. We can have poorly performing schools and inadequate police presence but don’t let the defense get bad. That’s a civic no-no, bordering on blasphemy. No matter what the Bears have done over the decades, the defense was always a stalwart. Many of the team’s hall-of-famers are defensive players but after the likes of Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Mike Brown left town, the Bears have struggled to find the players needed to continue their historic success on defense.
Many of the team observers are starting to see the writing on the wall:
The Bears are the only team in the last 35 seasons to punt on every possession in a game. #Withthenumber1picktheChicagoBearsselect— David Kaplan (@thekapman) September 28, 2015
According to the #Bears media guide, this is the first time the team has allowed two kickoff return TDs in a season.— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) September 28, 2015
Even though the season is shaping up to be a long one for the Windy City faithful, at least there’s one thing they can (painfully) agree upon.
The Bears need Jay Cutler more than ever. Sad, but true.
A reality based double edged sword that Bears' fans are quietly fighting to accept.