Well it’s been an interesting first quarter of the season. The Chicago Bears have surprisingly beaten the 49ers in a week 1 game that took place basically in a monsoon. Then, they unsurprisingly got beat up on by the Packers despite taking an early lead. We got more of the classic Bears we know when they won an ugly game on the backs of the defense against an awful Texans team taking down former Chicago head coach Lovie Smith. Finally, to cap off the first four weeks, the Bears offense continued to struggle as usual and we dropped one to the Giants. An unceremonious record of 2-2 mediocrity that all of us Chicago fans have known too well since the highs of the 2018 season. So how have we gotten here?
First, we just seem to keep playing worse, whether it’s coaching decisions or execution problems by the players, the quality of our play has seemed to diminish week by week. The Bears had just 3 penalties in week 1, playing near perfect defense and having plenty of flashes on offense in an upset win that may contribute to the weather, but they genuinely impressed me and seemed to be on a path to being a good team who can compete. In week 2, despite the blowout loss, they ran the ball very well and still looked competent to some extent. But week 3, even coming out with a win, was just hard to watch. A toilet bowl of a game where Justin Fields looked bad despite a career day for Khalil Herbert and the run game. The defense was fine but if Roquan Smith didn’t get that tipped interception that led to a game winning field goal, who knows what could’ve happened in overtime. And the recent loss to New York has solidified this team as mediocre at best. A lot of bad mistakes in the game on both sides. It took our coaching staff and the defense over an entire half of the game to get a real contain and shut down the bootlegs that led to the Giants’ only two touchdowns. And where to start with the offense, despite Fields looking better, the offensive line looked worse than ever as did the receiving core. Losing Cody Whitehair hurts, but the inability to block at all along with several drops is the main reason we squandered every chance we got to take the lead or at least tie the game. This was the real first time we could genuinely say it’s not Justin Fields’ fault, which is good except I’d rather come away with a win. Even the special teams failed us as Velus Jones Jr. finally got his debut and did absolutely nothing except for fumbling away our final chance to tie this game. All in all, the coaching staff has let me down after such a promising start, hopefully they learn from their mistakes and come more prepared the rest of the season.
Also, it may be Ryan Poles first season as general manager, but is he innocent in all this? The team has increasingly more holes as the season progresses and no replacements. Poles wants to build through the draft, and he did with 11 picks this past offseason as well as several undrafted free agents. But, two of his top 3 picks have been less than competent. Kyler Gordon has been the worst cornerback in football so far and Jaylon Johnson’s injury only makes it more painfully obvious. He is targeted almost every play and has been burnt, committed penalties, and just looked lost from time to time. He is a rookie who’s only played four games so I still think he can be good in this league, but definitely a really bad start for a guy who was thought to be able to be a lockdown versatile corner. Velus Jones Jr. is impossible to actually evaluate because of how little he’s played but the pick was already critiqued for his age, he’s supposed to be NFL ready was the point, as well as his special teams prowess. But he’s been injured which is already not a good start although nobody’s fault and then his debut came. And his debut went. He was barely in on offense and didn’t get a single offensive touch or target, so much for NFL ready. And the fated fumble, the way we were playing we weren’t gonna score and tie that game, but the fumble on a punt after the defense forced a quick 3 and out was the dagger in every fan’s heart to end the game. Jaquan Brisker has been great for the most part though and looks to be the perfect compliment to let Eddie Jackson return to doing Eddie Jackson things. The safety duo may be one of the best in the league in the near future. This roster has many more holes though including basically the entire offensive line, next offseason will be very important for Ryan Poles, tons of money, tons of holes and barring a trade, his first first round pick as a GM.
All in all, the Chicago Bears are 2-2 which is where many people, including myself, expected them to be at this time. The team has looked worse than 2-2, however, with several failures in the roster itself, but also coaching decisions and surprisingly low quality from certain players we expected to be better. We are only a quarter of the season in, so here’s hoping the team turns it around and escapes mediocrity soon, for all of Bears fans’ mental healths