Following their dismal, 38-17 loss to the rival Minnesota Vikings, it’s fairly safe to say that the Bears have all but given up on the 2015 season.
No, not necessarily by choice, but certainly by performance.
The once-promising season, which saw the Bears win five games in eight weeks, including a big Thanksgiving night victory of the Green Bay Packers, appears to be long forgotten. It’s as if the ship hit an iceberg against the San Francisco 49ers and has been sinking now for three straight weeks. All that remains between where the Bears currently are and the deep abyss of the bottom of the ocean are two games against lowly opponents — the Buccaneers and Lions — who both very well could beat the Bears.
When you lose to lowly opponents, you are lowly. It’s that simple.
While there are many factors in the Bears’ performance Sunday against the Vikings that are worth critiquing, it really starts and stops with the play of Teddy Bridgewater.
17 completions on 20 passes. 85% completion percentage. 231 yards passing, four touchdowns, zero interceptions. 154.4 passer rating … nearly perfect.
This is Teddy Bridgewater, mind you, one of the most average quarterbacks in the NFL. And the Bears allowed him to look like Tom Brady.
This clearly was the Bears’ worst loss of the season, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. As a franchise, you want your rebuilding team playing its best ball at the end of the season, and the Bears, unfortunately, are playing their worst.
While the Bears’ offense was far from perfect, they weren’t awful, either. The combination of Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford averaged 4.8 yards per carry, although only rushed for 93 yards. Jay Cutler completed 26 of 37 passes (70%) for 231 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He completed passes to 9 different receivers and finished with a solid 93.4 passer rating.
Was there room for improvement? Of course. But I’m not going to nitpick the Bears offense today, not when the defense played as poorly as it did.
Kudos to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and head coach John Fox for setting up game plans to keep this Bears defense in almost every game this season. But I think we’ve learned that despite its competitiveness, the Bears defense has gaping holes to fix. General Manager Ryan Pace did an admirable job in his first offseason in the position, but clearly he has more to do to fix the problems of administrations of the past.