Take out the six quarters these 2015 Chicago Bears have played without their best player, quarterback Jay Cutler, and here’s how the point totals stack up:
Chicago Bears – 269
Opponents – 268
If you needed more evidence that this team’s season has been one, long coin flip…this should do it.
The Bears could have easily beaten the Redskins, Niners, Vikings, Broncos and Lions. They also could have easily lost to the Raiders, Packers, Chargers and Chiefs. Nine of their thirteen games have been decided in the final minutes and have been defined by a winning play. This sport is not that complicated. When the Bears have made that play, they’ve won. When they haven’t, they’ve lost.
What happens if Jeremy Langford catches a pass in the Minnesota game? What happens if Sherrick McManis catches a jump ball interception thrown directly to him from Kirk Cousins? What happens if Robbie Gould makes a chip shot at the death of the Niners game? They couldn’t convert a two-pointer against the Broncos. They lost in overtime to the Lions. One play, one moment of brilliance (or just professionalism against San Fran), would have won each of these games.
And it ain’t on the coaches. Sure, we can all quibble with the defense’s inability to start a game or the offense’s conservative approach but coaches have one job: put players in position to win games. And the listing above proves the Bears coaching staff has done just that. Each and every week the Bears have a chance to win.
They don’t win because they’re not good enough. Outside of the quarterback and running back positions, both undeniable positives, where are the Bears good enough to be a winning team? Their offensive line is young and developing but can be overmatched. Their receivers and tight ends are never healthy. Their defensive line needs two starters. Their linebackers neither stop the run nor consistently rush the quarterback. Their coached-up secondary has been the season’s nicest surprise but still lacks playmaking talent.
They need better players. Because two or three better players may have made the difference and swung this group into the postseason. If they find those guys this offseason, the 2016 Bears could be special.