CHICAGO – Have we been here before? Yes, in fact, the exact same spot in the era under Matt Nagy.
In 2018, the Bears started the year 3-1.
In 2019, the Bears started the year 3-1.
Guess where the Bears are after four games in the 2020 season? It’s not hard to guess where this is going.
Following a lackluster afternoon against a much-improved Colts’ team, the Bears are sitting with three wins and a loss after the first quarter of the season. This marks the third-straight year that the Bears have that record, with all of those seasons being under the leadership of Nagy.
It that a bad thing? Not really.
It certainly is a solid start to a season and give the team a boost as they try to earn a playoff spot over the next three quarters.
Are Bears’ fans feeling like their team is on the path to a championship? That would be a stretch.
What’s odd is that the feeling about the team remains the same after the first four game in each of the last three years. Perhaps there was more optimism in 2018 since a start like that hadn’t happened in five years, but the general idea of what the team was at that moment seemed clear.
In each season, there were some moments of hope from the Bears’ offense in the first three games, but generally, there were more questions than answers. Inconsistency still reigned in the group that Nagy was expected to transform, and that certainly remains the case in 2020.
After his outstanding relief performance against the Falcons, Nick Foles wasn’t nearly as effective against a Colts’ team that came into the contest in the top two in the NFL in yards and scoring. Unlike their first three games, the Bears’ rushing attack was non-existent as it gained just 28 yards in 16 carries.
Foles has just 107 yards passing in the first half as the offense could only manage a field goal. It wasn’t much better in the second, where he had just 52 yards passing before a 90-yard scoring drive in the final minutes gave him 249 for the game on 26-of-49 throwing with a touchdown and an interception.
“You know what, it wasn’t the best game, no. You know what, and I think the Indianapolis Colts are a
great team. But I didn’t execute well enough, and you know, we didn’t execute well enough,” said Foles of his first start with the Bears. “But we will look at it. We’ll move on. We’ll improve. This is just part of football. This is part of building those relationships and understanding plays and continuing to grow.
“I have to be better. I have to be more crisp, and it’s a simple as that.”
On the flip side, the Bears defense remains a source of positivity when it comes to looking forward to the next 12 games. Outside of their opening drive, where a long pass aided the Colts’ only scoring drive of the day, the defense held the Colts to four field goals as the offense continued to put them out on the field quiickly after short drives.
They allowed just 289 total yards and a 2.7 yards per rush to Indianapolis on Sunday. Perhaps they could have gotten off the field quicker on the Colts’ final field goal drive, but allowing just 19 points typically is enough for the win.
“At the end of the day, if they don’t score, they don’t win. So when you live with that mindset, at the end of the day they got too many points on us,” said linebacker Roquan Smith. “So that’s not the goal, so we’ve just got to get better. Obviously, we didn’t play good enough to get the “W.”
Once again, they’ve got more of those that “L’s” in the first quarter of the season. But for a third-straight year, the trajectory of the season isn’t quite clear as the tale of two sides of the ball continues.