Now onto the worst games…
Honestly this was a lot harder to narrow down because the John Fox era has sucked something fierce. There are many, many games that you could make a case for, but after careful consideration I present to you the three worst games under John Fox.
#3. November 13th, 2016
Chicago @ Tampa Bay: Buccaneers 36, Bears 10
You remember that really dominant win against the Vikings I discussed yesterday? How the Bears had a bye week, and therefore plenty of time to get healthy and plan for a Tampa Bay team that was mediocre at best? Yeah, they ended up getting the crap kicked out of them in what was possibly Cutler’s worst performance as a Bear. He turned the ball over four times, including both a pick six and a fumble in the end zone that led to a safety. Jordan Howard also lost a fumble making it five turnovers on the day against a team that had previously struggled at getting takeaways.
The defense didn’t fare much better, allowing Jameis Winston to throw for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Oh and this was also the game that Kyle Long tore up his ankle and was lost for the rest of the season (not to mention a good chunk of this one). A lot of the blame for this loss falls on Cutler, but the Bears had two weeks to prepare a game plan to beat the freaking Buccaneers and maybe turn the second half of their season into something worth watching. Instead they come out and lay a giant goddamn egg, spoiling whatever bit of goodwill they had built up in beating Minnesota two weeks before.
#2. September 28th, 2017
Chicago @ Green Bay: Packers 35, Bears 14
You didn’t really think we were going to get through this without mentioning the Mike Glennon era, did you? While it only lasted four games, it felt like four lifetimes.
Glennon lost three of those four starts, but his last was by far his worst. By the time the Bears arrived at 1-2 to play their division rival in primetime the evidence was already pretty overwhelming that Glennon did not have the skills nor play-making ability to be an effective starter in the NFL and, in primetime, the Bears were humiliated by their oldest rival. How humiliated? Well on the first play of the Bears opening drive Mike Glennon was sacked and fumbled the ball (even though he had plenty of time to get it to a wide open Zach Miller). Packers recovered and quickly scored. Glennon managed to fumble again later on in the game, and threw two interceptions as well. It was a bleak affair from start to finish with the most hopeful moments for Bears fans coming during the 45 minute weather delay where we were able to speculate on the possibility of Fox pulling Glennon and putting in Trubisky. It didn’t happen that night, but Trubisky was named the starter moving forward a few days later. It’s just shameful it took John Fox that long to make the move.
#1. November 12th, 2017
Green Bay @ Chicago: Packers 23, Bears 16
Yes, Fox’s two worst games as a Bears head coach have come against Green Bay. In the same season, no less. This is the game that put the proverbial nail in John Fox’s coffin, and it did so for a number of reasons.
- The Bears lost yet another game coming out of a bye week.
- They looked unprepared and uninspired even though they had extra time to plan against a worn down opponent.
- Their offense was bland and predictable.
- They lost against an opponent they were favored to beat. It was the first time the Bears went in to a match up against the Packers as the favorites in what felt like roughly 750 years.
- And oh yeah THEY GOT OUTPLAYED BY BRETT FREAKING HUNDLEY!
Not to mention the infamous Foxy challenge which took the Bears from having 1st and goal at the 3-yard-line to incurring a touchback and giving the ball back to Green Bay. Perhaps the worst part of this game was that it perfectly encapsulated all the problems John Fox had struggled throughout the last three years:
1.Questionable in-game coaching.
2.A flat performance coming out of a bye week.
3.Losing to an opponent you’re favored to beat. (The Bears have never won when favored under Fox.)
4.Losing to a divisional rival. (John Fox is 3-14 against NFC North opponents as Bears head coach)
Time and again John Fox has let real opportunities for the Bears to gain momentum slip by. His team has often looked unprepared in situations where they had ample time to develop a strong game plan. It’s sloppy, it’s infuriating, and it reeks of poor coaching. It needs to stop.
Every game John Fox remains head coach.
This should be at most two games. If the Bears haven’t fired Fox by this point it’s hard not to imagine them waiting until the end of the season (however an embarrassing loss to the 0-14 Browns in their home finale could just push Pace over the edge). Still, Fox should’ve been fired weeks ago. He isn’t the coach of the future. He isn’t the guy that is going to help Trubisky make a Jared Goff-like jump from this year to next. Fox was brought in to fix an extremely toxic and apathetic culture left by Marc Trestman, and in that regard he succeeded. However, in three years his limitations as a coach have clearly been exposed. Every game he remains head coach is basically Chicago killing time, and already too much time has been wasted.