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Bears need a reality check

The Bears need to take a look at themselves after their latest loss to the Eagles. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Matt Horner
Staff Writer

They are simply not good enough. Not in the last game, and not for the entire season.

A last ditch effort and shred of competence kept dwindling playoff hopes alive for the Bears, but at 3-5, they are who they are. No matter what they thought they were going to be or what fans thought they could be, no occasional flashes of success can convince us the playoffs are still possible.

The Bears improbable comeback after trailing 19-0 midway through the third quarter against the Eagles in Philadelphia was too late to matter and filled with poor execution.

A dropped screen pass and horrific third-down defense sealed the fate in which they so very much deserved after a first half in which they gained nine total yards of offense. The 22-14 loss was the Bears fourth straight in a dismal season, and what matters down the stretch is is how they can recognize their mistakes and correct them. It’s on second year head coach Matt Nagy to do that.

Fans don’t want to hear about slow and steady progress by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who in his third season in the NFL, is too often confused and overwhelmed by the situation in front of him.

Nagy seems to feel he needs to keep encouraging and promoting his broken signal caller, by constantly talking about his good throws and reads while ignoring the outright regression of his QB. All of those smoke and mirror tactics means one of two things; either he needs to coddle the emotionally weak Trubisky, or Nagy somehow still sees something in him that the rest of us do not. To be honest, neither one of those options sounds encouraging.

Nagy needs to learn to see what is going on in front of him and call plays according to how the game is going in the moment. His strategy in games so far is completely uninspired and seemingly random, trying to do too much for his QB and getting nothing back.

It took until late in the second quarter to remember the success they had last week running out of the I-formation with a fullback, let alone the opening play of the game where they gained 4 yards in the offset-I. Nagy didn’t call such a play again until his team had managed to work its way back into the game, almost impossibly, and getting back to it as if he had woken from a coma caused by miserable quarterback play.

Nagy reportedly showed his team a PowerPoint presentation last week during practice trying to convince them they were like the Washington Nationals, who turned around what was a lost season and won the World Series. Unfortunately, not even Microsoft products could get his team prepared to play when it actually mattered.

If Nagy’s portrayal now is this warm and positive influence that is just more of the same as we’ve seen, it must be alleviated by serious honesty that actually can piece together what’s missing and why this is all happening.

While Nagy’s upbeat and palpable personality may just be what we see outside closed doors, the best way we can see who he really is, is to look at what his players are preaching to reporters and fans. This is the perfect evidence to see what still feels good in such a bad series of events.

“It’s no consolation prize, but the guys fought to the end,” Nagy said after the game, awarding a consolation prize. “I’m learning that our team is strong. We need to support one another.”

His participation trophy had best be made of platinum if he is to weather the inevitable storm that is sure to come and blow away this last place team, a storm strong enough that it will go beyond just this season and short-term expectations. It will require the Bears to see what the rest of us are seeing.

Nagy said after the Bears loss in London to the Raiders on Oct. 6 that he knew what needed to be fixed after their bye week, before they got dismantled at home by the Saints. After that, he continued to say they had a productive week practicing at Halas Hall before they got beat by the choking Chargers.

Bears’ fans trust in Nagy dwindles with each loss tossed into the dumpster fire, and we have to hope a nice dose of reality will finally clear the smoke and flames.