If Sunday’s horrendous performance against an undermanned Green Bay Packers, at home, in an empty stadium, didn’t seal John Fox’s fate with the Chicago Bears…what could? That is the question every single Bears fan can fairly ask this Monday morning. Because what happened at Soldier Field yesterday was inexcusable. The Bears, coming off the bye week, were out-coached and outplayed in all three phases of the game. And they were beaten by Brett Hundley.
The reasons to fire Fox all surfaced yesterday.
- The Bears learned nothing from supposed bye week self-evaluation and ran into loaded boxes time and time again. (Oddly, when they didn’t, they hit for big plays. Who would have thought?) Even the color commentators don’t hide their disdain for the Bears offensive plan each week.
- The Bears have no idea what to do with their talent, which has to infuriate GM Ryan Pace. This CAN’T be what he envisioned for Tarik Cohen. Two offensive touches? Two?!?!
- Penalties, penalties, penalties. And not just flow of the game penalties. You can excuse a pass interference here or holding there. But the Bears commit pre-snap penalties that just don’t happen with good, well-coached teams.
- Mismanagement. Why on earth would John Fox challenge the Benny Cunningham dive? Seriously. Why? Anybody who follows the league knew what had happened because it’s been happening in high profile games all season long. Hell, I was sitting in a bar and didn’t even need replay to proclaim it was a touchback. (I was actually yelling for Bears to hurry up and snap the next play.) Fox’s face after the ruling told the story: he had no clue that outcome was possible.
- Scheme. The Bears are never smarter than the other guys. You never watch the Bears play, on either side of the ball, and think, “Wow, they are well-coached.” There is no excuse for a defense as talented as the Bears to perform how they performed yesterday. Detroit made Brett Hundley look unprofessional. Chicago made Brett Hundley look like Brett Favre.
There were positives in this game. Mitch Trubisky. Dontrelle Inman. Adam Shaheen made a big play. Connor Barth looked like a pro kicker. But the Bears aren’t in the business of moral victories any longer. John Fox and this coaching staff need to show their program and approach will yield results. And yesterday was a game they HAD to win. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s a fact.
Because that coach on the other sideline ain’t going anywhere. And the next time the Bears face the Packers, it won’t be Hundley. It’ll be Rodgers. And if Rodgers played this week, it wouldn’t have been 23-16. It would have been 43-16. Pace needs to recognize that. This Bears GM is doing a nice job rebuilding this roster but all of those efforts will be for naught if he continues to entrust John Fox with their deployment.
The Fox era is over. And if Ryan Pace needed the Bears to collapse over the second half of the season to make a change, yesterday began that process.