Cleat Geeks

Bear Down: Bears Identity still in Question

Starting 0-2 is never a pretty sight but 0-3,even worse.  

The Chicago Bears are winless through week three of the NFL season as they lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night 31-17. The Bears were without notable starters, Jay Cutler and Danny Trevathan, but that does not excuse the lack of effort and energy from primetime at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.

The Cowboys jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the ballgame and seemed to be getting out of hand fast. The Bears first two possessions were only 2:37 and 1:34 to the Cowboys who never punted in the entire first half. The Bears could not get a pass rush on Dak Prescott nor could they stop rookie Ezekiel Elliott all night. His first run from scrimmage went for twenty-one yards to which led to 140 total rush yards on the night. The Bears had no answer to the Dallas Cowboys offense. Dak Prescott had all the time in the world to go through all his reads and complete a pass. Prescott was 19/24 and threw no interceptions. The Bears had no sacks and only hit the rookie QB once.The Bears have pass rushers in Willie Young and Leonard Floyd, but failed to execute leading to an embarrassment for the supposedly upgraded front seven.zachmillercenter

The Bears offense struggled early, failing to score in the first half. Brian Hoyer threw for 314 yards 30/49 completions. The backfield has still failed to live up to the hype. Jeremy Langford had 3 carries for 31 yards. Langford left the game in the second half due to an ankle injury that is expected to sideline him four to six weeks. Through all the inconsistency in the offense right now, rookie RB Jordan Howard was a bright spot.  Howard ran for 45 yards on nine carries, one being a 36 yard run that many hoped would get the offense going. Hoyer did not look good all night. His lack of touch hurt the offense and stole a possible touchdown away from Cameron Meredith. One positive though was Hoyer was able to find TE Zach Miller all night. Miller had two touchdowns and maybe a start to a bigger role in the offense. Kevin White looked okay too. We saw some of his speed and seems to be getting his feet under him after missing all of last season.

0-3 is never good. Jobs start to be questioned. It is still too early to let go of a coach no doubt but game planning has to be re-evaluated.  Losing Adam Gase hurt and it is showing. Dowel Loggins looked to be an okay fit but now seems like a mistake. Vic Fangio is great at what he does, but Leonard Floyd is not a cover guy, especially against a long time veteran in Jason Witten. The staff this week should go back to the basics. The defense should play a lot of zone, considering the lack of depth in the secondary. And for the offense, the run game has to be established. Jordan Howard has to be used a lot more for he has produced whenever he has touched the ball. And with Langford out now, Howard should get at least 20 carries on Sunday vs. Detroit.

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The main question really comes down to what is the team’s identity? Through three games, nothing has stood out significantly to where the Bears have drawn any attention. The only positive I’ve seen is Jerrell Freeman. Freeman’s aggressiveness and vision at the linebacker position backs up why he was the second leading tacker for the Colts last year.

Can injuries be used as an excuse for the 0-3 start? Maybe. The Bears have been without CB Kyle Fuller for the first three games and now is going to the IR due to his knee. Jay Cutler exited the Eagles game and missed the Cowboys game. Danny Trevathan had to get surgery on his thumb and is out indefinitely. NT Eddie Goldman goes down with an ankle. And now Jeremy Langford hurt his ankle in Dallas and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. And the list goes on and on, the Bears injury report has gotten bigger every week. Not having your starters on game day is going to show, but the Bears have no energy. It’s one thing for the offense to look different without Cutler but there looks to be no care when the Bears take the field.

deiondre-hall-1There is not much else to say. The rookies need to play. Start Deiondre Hall at cornerback on Sunday.Fuller is out a long time, time to see how the rookie does playing more than a few snaps. Nick Kwiatkoski should get the start too. He made some tackles and stuffed Elliott a couple times in the hole. And hopefully Deon Bush is back because he is another play-maker that needs to see the field.

Also, do the Bears have their go to play? There was a time in the game It was 3rd and 2 and Loggins calls a pass? You have two all pro guards and a rookie center doing pretty well and you decided to pass? The play-calling has been in question and it should be. The Bears have yet to establish a running game but this week is the perfect time to start. Give Jordan Howard 20 carries. The Lions are missing guys on defense. Howard has played well when giving reps so now let him have a workload and be apart of the game plan.

Oh by the way, this is not a 0-16 team. The Bears will beat someone. But more than six wins…highly unlikely.

This team needs a win more than ever. No one saw this team starting 0-3, especially playing two rookies quarterbacks in week two and three. It’s a must win game this week. Not only for the team moral but for the outlook of the rest of the season. There is still a lot of football to be played, and Bears fans need something to cheer about other than another possible top 10 pick come the spring of 2017 .  

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