In what I could only describe as one of the most pathetic showings for a football team I have ever witnessed, the Chicago Bears showed no life in a 31-15 loss to the New Orleans Saints Monday night.
Absolutely nothing except for punting went even close to right for the Bears, who have now been completely drubbed in three consecutive national spotlight games and seemingly have little fight or passion left in them now that the season isn’t just lost, but completely dead and buried.
Quarterback Jay Cutler, coming off a weird week full of coaching controversies and apologies and ironically himself getting in the good graces of many media outlets for his handling of the (offensive coordinator) Aaron Kromer situation, turned in his worst performance of the season. I won’t bother laying out his final stat-line, because that would be giving the quarterback way to much credit for how the game actually went. For most of the game let’s just say his quarterback rating hovered between zero and 20.0.
Not to just blame Cutler, the offensive line was a complete mess. It was as if they had no idea what the Saints were doing, as Cutler absorbed seven sacks for the evening with missed assignments all around. And they continued a recurring theme all season by committing nine penalties for 74 yards, with two of those being head-scratching false starts by wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Marquess Wilson.
And the defense and special teams? Well it was the same old Bears defense and special teams. Not much else to say really. Leave it to the Bears to allow a struggling team to get back on track.
Hey but rookie punter Pat O’Donnell is finally starting to find a groove, so that’s nice I guess.
I could go on all day like this, but the issue surrounding the Bears right now isn’t if, but when owner George McCaskey decides to start cleaning house. Many believe, and knowing the history of the Bears ownership, that essentially wasting an estimated $25 million dollars by firing the coaching staff, general manager Phil Emery, and eating the money to let Cutler have a fresh start elsewhere would be completely unrealistic given the family’s history of counting pennies – that is until last night happened.
How McCaskey could even consider bringing back the trifecta of Trestman, Emery, and Cutler is beyond incomprehensible right now. Maybe Emery could survive, with latitude to wipe the slate clean and get another shot at getting the coaches and quarterback right, but that $25 million dollar mistake lies heavily on his decision making the past two seasons. The fans are sick of it and are slowly but surely turning away at roughly 10,000 unused tickets per game. The local media can’t even find the words anymore to describe this team, and the disaster it’s become at nearly all levels.
One could easily chock up a poor season to injuries at key positions, maybe a tough schedule with competitive losses and a few bad breaks thrown in, but this pathetic season has unfolded into a situation that simply cannot be swept under the rug with a “well we’ll regroup and get ‘em next season” mentality. Players have given up and you don’t need a body language expert to tell that. Trestman has gone lifeless, showing absolutely no emotion whatsoever during this season good or bad, and simply regurgitating the same drivel over and over to the media. Heck the only instance of emotion from the coaching staff came from Kromer after the Dallas game and he almost got himself canned for how he did it.
Change has to come to this team – it simply must. Ownership credibility is now on the line. I truly believe Bears fans and media can get behind a total team gut job even if that means a couple of struggling years ahead to get something solid built, but they won’t tolerate any more of this mess. Hopefully George is actually taking notice and listening?