How the Bears’ Coaching Philosophy is Holding Them Back

In a Week Four Matchup at Metlife Stadium, the Chicago Bears suffered a disappointing loss to the New York Giants. A similar trend followed in week five when the Bears traveled to Minnesota to take on Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. In both contests, the Bears’ defense, which had looked solid to start the season, was gashed by star running backs Saquon Barkley and Dalvin Cook. Despite a second half surge in Minnesota, the offense continued to look like the worst in the NFL. While a significant portion of the blame can be placed on the Bears’ obvious lack of talent, head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s unaggressive philosophy continues to hold the team back.

The Eberflus-Getsy tandem is the epitome of trying not to lose instead of trying to win. While this strategy can be useful when trying to maintain a lead, it’s not very helpful when playing in a close game like Sunday’s Giants game. This is primarily evidenced by the team’s unrelenting commitment to the running game; this season, the Bears have run the ball on 62% of their offensive plays, which is far and away the highest mark in the league. An emphasis on the run game is important to field a winning team, but the Bears have taken the concept to an ineffective extreme that demonstrates just how little they trust quarterback Justin Fields.

In a Week 4 Matchup against the Giants game, the Bears gained a grand total of 37 yards on their final five drives. Much of this resulted from Luke Getsy’s incredibly predictable playcalling — many four-down sequences were simply run, run, pass, punt. This was followed by a Week 5 performance in which Justin Fields had only three completions at the start of the second half. This strategy demonstrates Getsy’s lack of creativity as a play caller and unwillingness to let his quarterback try to win games. In a season where this Bears team can reasonably be called the worst in the league, the coaching staff’s primary focus should be developing the team’s important players (i.e. the young starting quarterback), not trying to win a few games. The team’s tendency to put Fields in situations where he cannot possibly succeed reflects incredibly poorly on both Getsy and Eberflus.

Overall, the Chicago Bears’ middling offense and inability to develop Justin Fields is symptomatic of the coaching staff’s philosophical issues. While no coaching staff should be written off after four games, significant changes need to be made at some point this season for this franchise to have any sort of hope next season.
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