The Chicago Bears already look like a five-alarm dumpster fire

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears are nothing if not considerate.

With the city agog over the Cubs and the possibility that the most sorry oh-fer streak in sports might finally end, the Bears have been kind enough to ensure there will be nothing to get in the way of the party. There will be no distractions or tough choices to make come October because the Bears sure won’t be worth watching.

Just two games into the season, they are already a five-alarm dumpster fire. The defense has forgotten how to tackle, the offense is in shambles, and quarterback Jay Cutler left Monday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with an injury to his right (throwing) thumb.

Safe to say, coach John Fox’s second-year turnaround magic appears to have run out.

“Obviously it looked bad,” Fox said after a 29-14 defeat that was even more lopsided than the score indicated. “We are capable of better. We’ve got to do better.”

It would be hard to do much worse.

Losing to the Houston Texans in the season opener was bad enough. Yes it was on the road, but the Bears had a fourth-quarter lead against a team with a new quarterback, new running back and a very limited J.J. Watt.

But this? There was no excusing this.

The Bears were a miserable 1-7 at home last year and improving on that mark was a priority in the offseason. This game should have been a gimme, given that Philadelphia was rolling into town with a rookie quarterback, one who was thrust into the starter’s role only two weeks ago after the Sam Bradford trade.

And yet the Bears were in trouble from the get-go. They went three-and-out in the first series, with Cutler getting hammered on the second play. The second time they had the ball, Connor Barth banged a field goal attempt off the left upright.

That would be the same Connor Barth brought in after the Bears inexplicably got rid of Robbie Gould, the franchise’s leading scorer and its most reliable player for most of the last decade. (This probably isn’t the time to point out that stalwart running back Matt Forte, who was let go in the offseason and signed with the New York Jets, is No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yardage and is tied for the league lead with three TDs, is it?)

The ugliness snowballed in the second half, when Cutler was strip-sacked and aggravated an already sore right thumb. He stayed in the game after doctors examined him on the sideline, but it was clear he was struggling when the next pass he threw went into the dirt.

On the first play of the next series, he committed the cardinal sin of throwing off his back foot and was picked off by Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who returned the ball to the Chicago 2-yard line. Philadelphia punched it on the next play.

“I don’t know, but it’s not where it should be. That’s definite,” Cutler said of the struggling offense. “I think everyone is probably a little taken aback by what happened during that game.”

The defense didn’t have much to brag about, either. Wentz finished without an interception or a fumble — no small feat for a rookie quarterback playing his first game on the road in front of a national audience.

No surprise, then, that Bears fans were heading for the exits with 10 minutes still left to play.

“We understand when you start 0-2 and put that product on the football field, we understand what’s going to be said, what’s going to come of it,” tight end Zach Miller said. “We can’t let that affect us at all.”

Despite the enthusiasm for the Cubs, Chicago is, was and always will be a Bears town. But patience is wearing thin. The Bears haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 and haven’t had a winning season since 2012.

Coordinators have come and gone, head coaches and general managers have been fired, and nothing seems to change.

"It's two games," Fox insisted. "We have 14 left."

That was meant to be a sign of promise. Right now, it sounds more like punishment.

 

Source | Via | Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/nancy-armour/2016/09/20/chicago-bears-another-bad-season-cubs-jay-cutler-john-fox/90724598/




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