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Good morning, Chicago.
Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears are officially on the clock.
Sunday’s 17-9 loss to the Packers was a letdown, but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that the Bears are still sitting in a good position as they enter the offseason.
Let’s get to the thoughts …
- Another Packers game, another loss. That’s 10 straight against the Packers, eight straight at Lambeau and the 27th loss in the last 32 tries. The Bears had a chance to land a knockout blow to the Packers’ playoff hopes and not only could they not manage a win, they couldn’t manage a single touchdown. Yes, the Bears entered the game down Jaylon Johnson, Darnell Mooney and Lucas Patrick, but the effort still didn’t match what was said at Halas Hall all week. Despite not having a chance at the playoffs, the Bears were still playing a de facto playoff game against their blood rival and could’ve entered the offseason with the best vibes of any team that didn’t win the Super Bowl. It’s disappointing the Bears had that chance and couldn’t follow through on it like the Lions did against Green Bay in last season’s final game.
- But as Adam Hoge pointed out in the postgame show, maybe the loss wasn’t all that bad. An unchecked parade into the offseason might’ve obscured just how many parts of the team need to be upgraded before the team transforms into the contender we’re hoping it will become.
- As for Justin Fields, it felt like a good to great performance against Green Bay — even in a loss — would’ve kept the public firmly on his side as Poles weighs the future of the quarterback position. He instead posted a meager line of 11-of-16 passes for 148 yards and just another 27 yards on the ground. While Poles’ evaluation duties remain the same as they did before this loss, the idea of a Fields-free future became a little more palatable for the undecided portion of the Bears’ fanbase (myself included).
- Meanwhile, it’s incomprehensible and unfair that it appears the Packers have hit on their third straight quarterback. Jordan Love was 27-of-32 for 316 yards and two touchdowns while having his way with the Bears secondary all day. We entered the season hoping that not only Fields would undoubtedly prove to be the Bears’ future at the position, but that Love would prove NOT to be the answer in Green Bay. Like the Bears against the Packers this season, we ended up 0-for-2.
- There are people who want to keep Justin Fields at all costs and there are people who can be talked into a future that includes Matt Eberflus. I’m not sure I’ve heard from anyone who’s stumping to keep Luke Getsy around.
- The Bears never trailed by more than a single possession and yet it still felt like a blowout. A lot of that had to do with the amount of chances the Packers gave up and the Bears refused to capitalize on, from a missed field goal in the first quarter to running out of time at the end of the first half to a big fumble by Jordan Love in the second half.
- Aaron Jones might not be the best running back in Packers history, but it sure seems like it whenever he faces the Bears — another 22 carries for 111 yards for the vet.
- The unit was trying to battle through a lot of injuries in an ultimately meaningless game, but I think it’s worth asking just how confident we are in the future of the offensive line.
- The Bears opponents for 2024 are already set and here’s something that stands out: If the team sticks with Justin Fields, there’s a chance it could face all four of the top quarterbacks they passed on in the 2023 and 2024 drafts. That’s because the schedule features Carolina (Bryce Young), Houston (CJ Stroud), Washington (Caleb Williams?) and New England (Drake Maye?)
10. For a 7-10 season, it sure was an interesting one. Thank you to everyone who read this column week after week. Now we enter what is arguably the most important offseason in the team’s history. I’m looking forward to covering it from every angle at CHGO Sports and hope you’ll become a Diehard and join what has become the best Bears fan community around.
As always, Bear Down.
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