Come week 7 of the NFL season, the Chicago Bears have proven themselves as being one of the most *inflammatory adjective* teams in the league. Seriously, if you treat that last sentence as a MadLib, you’d have a difficult time finding a word that doesn’t fit. All that is to say is that it’s been an ugly 6 weeks. Most recently, the Bears fell short to the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football, a 3-hour showcase described by many as “not the game that convinced Bears fans that Justin Fields is the future of the franchise” and “something you’d probably be shown in Guantanamo Bay if all other torture methods had failed to break you”. Jokes aside, there isn’t much optimism stirring around in Bears circles right now. The silver lining though is that when you’re at rock bottom, the only direction to go is up, right? Right??
The Cellar Beneath Rock Bottom
Despite what might be suggested by Chicago’s offensive output each week (both pronunciations of “offensive” work here), The Bears haven’t exactly been lining up against worldbeaters these past few games. In the last 3 weeks, the best defense Chicago faced came against the New York Giants, who are currently ranked #15 in allowed yards per game. Pedestrian, to say the least. In the next 9 weeks, the Bears will line up against the Bills, Eagles, Cowboys, and Jets; whose defenses come in at #2, #4, #8, and #9 in allowed yards, respectively. This path doesn’t bode well for Justin Fields, who has sputtered against defenses that barely crack the top half of the league in allowed yards per game. Despite this situation looking like a bad enough time on paper, a more optimistic reader might choose to look towards other defensive stats to get a more thorough picture of what lies ahead. Unfortunately, the outlook is better off without it. If we look at sack totals, 5 of the next 9 opponents the Bears face rank in the top 10. Now, if you have watched at least, say, 15 seconds of a Bears game at any point this season, you’d probably know that sacks aren’t something they are particularly good at defending. In fact, they are statistically the worst in the league at it. Most analysts agree that the blame for this can’t be placed entirely on the offensive line, but man, it sure would be nice to have a good one anyway, right? For Fields’ sake; because as of now, things aren’t looking great for his health going forward. But maybe we can look on the bright side of all of this, with all that money freeing up next offseason, Ryan Poles can probably afford a pretty nice coffin for Justin. Well, maybe a couple; depending on how many pieces he’s in by the end of this year.