THE MORNING AFTER: Monday nightmare a reminder of Bears’ reality

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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears attempts to tackle Nigel Bradham #53 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The games on the lakefront during his short tenure have provided some great examples of “Film Noir”.

Botched coverages, missed field goals (twice) and poor throws made up the narratives of the stories the Bears had at Soldier Field during John Fox’s first season with the Bears in 2015.

Eight games were played by the Bears at the venue with seven of them being losses – four of them coming by two points or less. It’s a painful story that’s not enjoyed but rather endured during a year in which the Bears were in obvious rebuilding mode.

Surely these sadistic tales being played out of 60 minutes on the field should stop on Monday night – especially with a rebuilding Eagles team starting a rookie quarterback.


You’ve underestimated the Bears’ ability to produce a dark narrative over three hours. You overestimated just where this team is in the grand scheme of things in the National Football League: A squad still deep in building an identity.

Right now they are struggling just to build some kind of a wall around Jay Cutler. The quarterback was hit six more times on Monday night and sacked on three of them. At some point (Cutler wouldn’t exactly say when) his right thumb was injured and caused him to revert to 2014 Jay.

After losing a fumble on one sack in the third quarter and then tossing an ugly interception Nigel Bradham forced him to pull the plug on an injury he’s “concerned” about moving forward.

To make matters worse, cameras caught injured Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee letting Cutler have it after the interception. Proof perhaps that this new era of the Bears is still seeking a true leader or just some healthy motivation? Either way not a great look on a national broadcast.

Yet he’s not the only one dealing with injuries. Lamarr Houston could be sideline with what John Fox calls a “substantial” knee injury. Eddie Goldman left with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and joined Adrian Amos along with Bryce Callahan on the sidelines, each of whom left with concussions.

Then there is Carson Wentz, the rookie quarterback for the Eagles. Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio heaped plenty of praise on the young quarterback before the game then couldn’t get his defense to rattle him during the contest. Wentz made the future of the Eagles look good in a poised but not perfect performance where he completed 21-of-34 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.

Rookie quarterbacks were 1-15 on Monday Night Football. Add another tally in the win column now.

Oh, and Connor Barth smacked the upright with his first Bears field goal attempt from 31-yards out in the first quarter. Did you hear the “Robbie, Robbie” chants at Soldier Field too?

As expected Fox wasn’t jumping overboard following the humbling defeat speaking as someone who understands exactly what’s ahead for this team 18 games into his regime.

“We didn’t get a chance to look at [tonight], but obviously it looked bad,” said Fox. “Without looking at the tape, any time you are minus-three in turnover ratio, it can look like that. But it definitely wasn’t a clean game.

“I think we are capable of better. We’ve got to do better.”

The latter statement is true, but is the first?

Perhaps the thoughts of an improved team were a little premature. Never was that more apparent during this Monday nightmare.


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