Reliving the final minutes of Sunday’s Bears and Lions game may seem like an absolute nightmare, but it was actually a dream scenario for Bears fans.
After Mitch Trubisky fumbled with 1:48 remaining in the game, two plays later Adrian Peterson ran over Roquan Smith for the go-ahead touchdown to give the Lions a 34-30 lead, which sealed the Bears’ fate.
This needed to happen for the organization to finally realize everything must change in order to move forward as a franchise.
Chicago had a 10-point lead with 11:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, but squandered it away, giving the Bears their sixth straight loss and the first for coach Matt Nagy against the Lions in three seasons.
“It’s pretty difficult when you get into that style of game and to lose like that,” Nagy said. “Again, with our guys it’s never fun being in that locker room and after these losses.”
When the Bears started off the season 5-1, winning those games by a combined 20 points, Nagy embraced the winning-ugly mentality. And that almost manifested itself against Detroit. Gullible Bears fans and, possibly, George McCaskey, may have believed there was hope this Bears team could’ve turned the corner and made a final push for the playoffs had they defeated the Lions.
But instead, reality slapped the Bears right in the face. This time the Lions were the beneficiaries of a fourth quarter comeback, as the Bears couldn’t overcome Matthew Stafford’s 402 passing yards and three touchdowns and another scoreless third quarter by the offense (their 10th of the season).
When Nagy was asked in his postgame Zoom conference call why his team has fallen apart the past two seasons, he responded, “Yeah, I don’t know.”
And that is the problem. Nagy has no idea what is wrong with his team or how to fix the many issues that are on it.
Yesterday’s loss was only the seventh time the Bears have scored at least 30 points since Nagy took over in 2018. He clearly isn’t the “offensive guru” he was sold out to be, so there is no reason to keep him any longer as the Bears coach.
Of course, this third consecutive loss to an NFC North team wasn’t just Nagy’s fault. Chuck Pagano’s defense played a huge role as well. With the pass rush non-existent, Stafford had all day to throw and dissect the defense. Detroit went 3-3 in their red zone trips and scored five touchdowns on the day.
Against the Lions and Packers the last two weeks, the Bears have given up 75 points and 853 total yards. In the six-game losing streak, Pagano’s unit has 8 sacks and four turnovers. The defense has fallen off dramatically since the beginning of the season, and it’s clear more than ever that Pagano isn’t a part of the solution moving forward.
Blame can and should be distributed to everyone in the Bears organization. And if McCaskey was serious about making a statement, there is a list of individuals who should be relieved of their duties today.
Honestly, after 2019’s debacle, there was enough on the table to justify firing general manager Ryan Pace. But the miracle 2018 season bought Nagy and Pace at least one more year.
The Bears, most likely, won’t fire anyone during the season — even though they should. So, the next best thing Bears fans should hope for is Deshaun Watson lighting up Pagano’s defense next Sunday at Soldier Field to give Chicago its seventh consecutive loss.
Can you imagine what Bears Twitter would be like if and, at this point, when that happens?
More importantly, seeing a franchise QB the Bears passed on should infuriate McCaskey and remind him, again, this was Pace’s fault.
Let the losses keep coming. Make each one hurt more than the last. Maybe then the Bears will be forced to make the changes for this franchise to become relevant once again.