Somehow It Keeps Getting Worse

| October 2nd, 2023

According to ESPN Analytics, the Chicago Bears had a 98.1% chance of winning Sunday afternoon’s game with 4:11 remaining in the 4th quarter. Despite these odds, Chicago bravely managed to wrestle defeat from the jaws of victory and ruin a record-setting day for their Quarterback.

After finally cracking 300 yards passing for the first time in his career, after throwing 4 touchdowns in the first 3 quarters, and just before he watched all of that effort turn to ruin before his eyes, Fields and the offense finished out their a banner day with a crippling 4-drive sequence that, when combined with Head Coach Matt Eberflus’ defense, ultimately doomed the team:

  • 3 & out, Punt
  • Fumble returned for defensive Touchdown
  • Turnover on Downs (following 7 straight rushing plays)
  • Interception

In the span of just 20 football minutes, the Broncos turned two touchdown drives & a single deep pass to Marvin Mims into a 24-point rally that brought them back from a 7-28 deficit. Soldier Field & the Chicago Bears were stunned.

Reportedly, Chicago’s young signal caller did not take this well. How could he?

Is this rock bottom? With the Bears’ current losing streak now extended to 14 games, it’s getting hard to tell. But with the Commanders on the horizon of a short week, there’s no time to mourn what might have been — Justin Fields, DJ Moore, and the rest of the offense will be needed against a Commanders team that’s consistently scoring points. And if there’s any hope of turning the season around, it’ll have to be on Thursday Night.

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Two Seasons Enter, One Season Leaves

| September 28th, 2023

It’s hard to believe we’ve gotten to this point in only Week 4, but only one of the Broncos and Bears season will survive this weekend’s game.

The Bears and Broncos, both winless, will surely look at each other and see an opportunity to pick up their first win of the season. For Denver, this is a game Sean Payton needs to energize his locker room and kick-start a a season that need wins to justify massive offseason investment. For Chicago, this is a win that would end the longest losing streak in Bears history and keep the emotional bottom of the organization from falling out.

Of the 356 teams in NFL History that have started their season 0-3, only 6 teams have made the playoffs. Of the 103 teams to start 0-4 since 1990, only the 1992 Chargers battled back to a playoff berth. Statistically speaking, this game represents both organizations’ last hope at achieving their coaches goals.

Two seasons enter, one season will leave. It should make for a thrilling, high-stakes game.

But how will the game itself play out? Which matchups favor the Bears? What can Chicago do within their offensive and defensive game plans to take advantage of Denver’s vulnerabilities? Nick Whalen & I put together a hell of a game preview on today’s episode of Bear With Us — check it out and let me know what you think. Go Bears.

Your Turn: How are you feeling about this weekend’s game?

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Checking The Tape: The Bears are a Bad, Bad Defense

| September 27th, 2023

Before the season, I wondered how Matt Eberflus was going to change up his defensive game plans to account for his new personnel. After spending 3 top 70 draft picks & millions in FA, I assumed that surely the Bears weren’t planning on trotting out the same defensive game plan that had made them the NFL’s worst defense in 2022. There’s no way they’d do that… right?

As it turns out, that’s exactly what they did. In last night’s All-22 stream, I dove into many of the issues present within Eberflus’ scheme, detailing:

  • What is the purpose of Eberflus’ spot-drop zones?
  • What is the Bears defense trying to achieve?
  • Why isn’t it working?
  • What can Chicago do to tighten things up?
  • How many of these issues are player failures?
  • And much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Your Turn: How would you fix Matt Eberflus’ Cover 2 scheme?



The Chicago Bears’ Offense is an ‘Everyone’ Issue

| September 26th, 2023

The 2023 Bears season hasn’t started the way anyone wanted it to, especially on offense. At times, the play has been downright ugly.

But Chicago’s issues aren’t as simple as a Quarterback, an OC, an OL, or anything else — it’s an ‘everyone’ issue. And in today’s Dissecting a Drive, I take you through 11 great examples of exactly what is (and isn’t) going wrong across the board.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Something Has To Change in Chicago, But What?

| September 25th, 2023

Eventually, we may point back at September 24th, 2023 and see the day the Chicago Bears’ fortunes changed for the better.

On that day, the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals willed their way to surprise victories over better opponents while veteran quarterback Andy Dalton failed to push the Carolina Panthers over the Seattle Seahawks in a tight game on the road.

Thus, as the Chicago Bears fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bears began to separate themselves in the most important football race that nobody wants to win — the race to the top of the 2024 NFL Draft, where Chicago would own the #1 & #4 overall picks if the season ended today.

For an organization in desperate need of talent at all positions (including quarterback), picks like these could be a godsend.

They could be the Bears’ ticket to a generational quarterback (Caleb Williams/Drake Maye) and a generational receiver (Marvin Harrison Jr.) or left tackle (Olumuyiwa Fashanu).

They could be the fuel behind a near-instantaneous Cincinnati-like turnaround, with Williams and his draft-classmate forming the bedrock of an offense that will define Chicago as they push to compete within a few years’ time.

It’s possible that eventually we may see things that way. But today is not that day.

Because what we saw yesterday was, in a word, unacceptable. And it has to change.

Weighing Chicago’s Options

In a game where Chicago managed to fall behind 34-0 at halftime, three things became clear:

(1) The Chicago Bears have a Defensive Head Coach that currently leads one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Details are sloppy, there’s no plan in place to supplement poor pass-rushers, and through three 2023 games we’ve yet to see an opposing QB look bothered in the pocket. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid only needed one set of adjustments to pick this scheme apart on Sunday and once their offense started rolling they never stopped.

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Excuse Me, What Happened Yesterday?

| September 21st, 2023

Happy Birthday Ryan Poles, the Chicago Bears are on fire.

When Jeff recruited me to run DBB, I expected a 2023 NFL season with a single clear direction: up. The 2023 Bears weren’t a fully complete team on either side of the ball, but they seemed like a group that was disciplined, developing, and hungry to win 7-8 games against a relatively soft schedule.

Instead, somehow, every arrow within the franchise feels like it’s pointed straight down — and we’re not even through Week 3 yet.

On today’s episode of Bear With Us, Nick and I broke down everything from the impact of yesterday’s news to the matchups we’ll see this weekend. Throughout the show we discuss:

  • Braxton Jones’ injury & it’s impact on the OL
  • Justin Fields’ presser comments & the fallout that ensued — What did Justin Fields actually say? Was he justified? What happens now?
  • Alan Williams’ sudden resignation
  • Tyson Bagent’s promotion to QB2 (Nathan Peterman’s cut)
  • The state of the Bears’ offense & how it will shift against Kansas City
  • What Kansas City will do to attack the Bears
  • And much, much more.

Check out the show and let me know what you think!

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Finding Fun in the Wake of the Coming Sunday

| September 20th, 2023

Today and tomorrow I’ll try to keep things light and positive — or, as positive as they’re going to be.

Andrew Billings was incredibly fun on Sunday:

Looking to get a similar reel (maybe video) done on Wright & Carter, hopefully I’ll have them posted later.

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Checking the Tape: Bears @ Buccaneers

| September 19th, 2023

The short version: Fields struggled mightily on Sunday, though the Bears’ offensive line and offensive coordinator certainly made their fair share of mistakes. But we’ll talk more on that later this evening.

The slightly-less short version: Justin Fields is struggling to consistently get to his 3rd (sometimes 2nd) read without running into timing issues, and there’s no pair of plays where that was more evident than Fields’ 1st sack of the game, where he missed DJ Moore wide open on the play’s backside…

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Notes from Bears @ Buccaneers

| September 18th, 2023

This Bears season has gotten off to the worst start possible — they haven’t just lost two winnable games, they haven’t just watched the coaching staff struggle, but the QB that carried the weight of the franchise into the 2023 season looks like the most worry-fraught version of himself imaginable. Right now, every part of this football team is ugly to watch.

Worse yet, if you listen to the early portion of the Twitter Spaces that Jeff and I recorded pre-game, it’s as if we could see this loss coming. After so much struggle in Week 1, how far could the team truly bounce back in Week 2?

It’s heartbreaking. If Chicago loses to the Chiefs next week (and certainly if they lose to the Broncos the week after), the season may be over before it fully started. So how do we assess the blame?

The Head Coach

Let’s start at the top. Matt Eberflus took over for Alan Williams as the defensive playcaller in yesterday’s game, but the results were every bit as uninspiring as they were the week before.

It’s not as if the Bears didn’t try to make changes — Matt Eberflus called quite a few blitz/pressure looks early, but Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers offense handled the extra rushers and punished the Bears with the brutal efficiency of a bona fide NFL offense.

Now 2 weeks into the 2023 season, the Bears’ defense has allowed an almost perfect passer rating on 3rd & 4th downs — that’s unacceptable. It’s one thing to understand that Chicago’s defense lacks talent in the front 4, but to invest the money and draft picks that they did into their defense & produce so poorly on key downs is untenable for a coach that specializes in that side of the ball.

Expectations for this defense were never high, but after signing 3 new defensive linemen in Free Agency (DeMarcus Walker, Yannick Ngakoue, Andrew Billings) and drafting 2 more with Top 70 picks (Zacch Pickens, Gervon Dexter Sr) I think it’s fair to expect better from this unit than what what may be the worst results in football for the 2nd year running.

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Dissecting a Drive: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Chicago’s Offense

| September 13th, 2023

Originally I was planning on dissecting one of the many defensive drives, but while prepping for last night’s stream I found a drive that perfectly encapsulated the Bears’ issues against Green Bay — with that in mind, I broke down all 8 plays from Chicago’s 2nd offensive series in the latest episode of Dissecting a Drive.

In the video we discuss:

  • Where did Justin Fields improve from 2022? Where did he struggle on Sunday?
  • How did Getsy set up his offense for success? What could he improve?
  • Route spacing issues, bad snaps, and other execution errors
  • Much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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