If Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers seemed all too familiar to Bears fans, it’s because it was pulled right out of the same playbook. Hollywood would be envious of the Bears’ ability to recycle movie scripts and stale story lines.
I actually find it quite amusing these days that you can conclude just about any Bears debate with “as long as the Bears don’t score points, it doesn’t matter.” Similarly, you can also say, “if Justin Fields doesn’t pan out, it doesn’t matter.”
When you cut through all the minutiae, the simple equation is: in order to win games, you must score points. And in order to score points, you must have a good quarterback. Sure, teams can skate by for a little while riding a dominant run game with a competent passing attack (see: Baltimore Ravens). But if the quarterback can’t make standout plays with his arm when the game is on the line, that team really isn’t going anywhere (also, see: Baltimore Ravens).
That brings us to the Bears, who are currently 30th in the league in points per game with just 16.3 per contest. There are just two teams worse than that: the Jets and the Texans, who are both undergoing a rebuild right now.
Frankly, I don’t care who is calling the plays on offense. The team isn’t good enough. Remember all the Bears fans who wanted Bill Lazor to call plays because apparently Matt Nagy is the worst play caller in league history? Yeah. Well, the Bears are averaging just 19 points per game under Lazor, still bad enough to be ranked in the bottom quarter of the league.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers just improved his record against the Bears to 22-5 because, well, he’s good and he can score points. The fact that he’s a cocky, arrogant blowhard who apparently felt it necessary to taunt a female Bears fan flipping him the double bird is irrelevant.
Quick, someone name some NFL teams that won a Super Bowl with a subpar quarterback. I guess you can say Nick Foles with the Eagles a few years back? Upsetting Tom Brady was certainly unexpected. But that Eagles team was an offensive juggernaut and they had a system in place to make the transition from Carson Wentz to Foles. Before him, maybe Joe Flacco? Brad Johnson with the Bucs in 2002? Trent Dilfer and the Ravens in 2000? I’m too lazy to go back further than that. I think you get the point.
This is an offensive-driven league. And offenses are quarterback-driven. Knock on wood if you’re with me (oh, wait, he’s gone. That was last week’s story line).
This is why it’s imperative that the Bears got it right with Justin Fields. I’m not sure if he’s going to pan out or not, but this is the date we took to the dance and the one Bears fans will have to tango with for at least a few seasons.
Fields is still a rookie, so he’s going to make mistakes like he did on Sunday — and in his three starts before that. Unless Rodgers kisses and makes up with his despised General Manager, there is a good chance that the Fields-Rodgers rivalry will be over before it really gets a chance to get started.
That said, unless Fields starts generating points, he’ll just be another name on a laundry list of them that passes for barstool trivia.
I’m generally a more optimistic person than most and I will give Fields every benefit of the doubt that he can be great. But my patience is wearing thin for the Bears as presently constructed.
And, I know … many of you Bears fans have already lost all patience and are ready to storm Halas Hall. I don’t blame you for your frustration. You just got to a place of discontent quicker than I.
The Bears just faced one future Hall of Famer this week and now they head on the road to face another in Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. I would never say a team has zero shot of winning a game in today’s NFL, unless that team is actively tanking. But the odds of the Bears pulling off the upset seem awfully slim.
I know, everyone is going to bring up last year’s upset of the Bucs. But that was with several of their key players out and Brady still getting acclimated to his new team. That was before they hit their stride and made their Super Bowl run. Now, they’re a juggernaut. And the Bears just don’t have the firepower to keep up. The only way to get it done is from a Herculean defensive effort.
One of these days, the Bears have to find a good quarterback, right? And they have to average more than 25 points per game at some point too, right? I just hope it’s sometime between now and the hour of my death because for as close as they keep games sometimes, it’s just frustrating when they can’t score at least 20 points without a defensive or special teams touchdown.