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John Fox Going Down Fighting For Irrelevant Field Position

"It was just a football game against a division team that was in playoff contention," Adam Hoge writes for WGN-AM.

There, you just read the worst lede in the history of sports writing.

Except that sentence is actually a direct quote from the head coach of the Chicago Bears after John Fox fell to 3-14 against the NFC North with a 20-10 loss to the Lions Saturday at Ford Field.

"Overall, I think it was just a football game against a division team that was in playoff contention," Fox said as he opened his postgame press conference. "We just didn't start fast. We had penalties, in particularly on offense. To spot them 13 points in the first half, the guys battled, kind of semi got back into it. But a little bit too little too late."

By "semi got back into it," Fox means the Bears scored their first touchdown of the game with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter before "semi" trying an on-side kick by pooching the ball 37 yards downfield where there were exactly zero players wearing Bears jerseys.

Fox also "semi" tried to score points earlier in the game before punting on 4th-and-1 on his own 45 yard line. And, according to him, he never even "semi" considered going for it, despite trailing 6-0 early in the second quarter - or, perhaps more notably, owning a 4-9 record.

And so on.

At least we won't - presumably - have John Fox to kick around much longer. Ryan Pace, inexplicably, appears to be a different story.

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"Whenever the Chicago Bears win a game, which has happened a grand total of 13 times in three years, GM Ryan Pace is labeled a genius and the Bears are Super Bowl bound," Barry Rozner writes for the Daily Herald.

And whenever the Bears lose a game, coach John Fox should be fired.

Never has a Bears narrative run so askew.

Fox is always wrong. Pace is always right. Might be something wrong with the math on this one as they are joined at the hip.

Fox is 13-33 in Chicago, but so is Pace, who owns the roster after three years of drafting and signing.

Now 4-10 in 2017 after a loss in Detroit Saturday, the Bears' problems today are nearly all the same problems they had when Pace got here.

Three years is an eternity in the NFL where rebuilds can be done quickly if you draft and sign impact players who can change a game instantly.

Who does that for the Bears consistently on either side of the ball?

Only Tarik Cohen - on special teams, which technically isn't either side of the ball.

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"Chicago Bears coach John Fox's decision to punt on fourth-and-1 from the team's 45-yard line on Saturday caused a stir amongst Windy City sports fans," Jeff Dickerson writes for ESPN.

At 4-10 (the Bears were still 4-9 when Fox elected to kick on fourth down) the season is virtually over. Why not just go for it? What do you have to lose?

"Yeah, you do got something to lose, that's called field position," Fox said after the Bears fell 20-10 to the Lions. "We failed to have that much of the day, largely to some of our inability to move the ball, in particularly the first half. I think, sure, you can go for that, but it can bite you too."

There's no denying the Bears had trouble moving the ball. Chicago went to the halftime locker room with only five first downs and 90 total yards.

Still, showing a little faith in your offense to pick up 1 yard isn't a bad thing. The Bears do have Jordan Howard, who's rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

On cue, the Lions marched 92 yards on 10 plays and scored a touchdown immediately after Fox attempted to play it safe.

Missing from the reporting: What do the analytics say about going for it on fourth down there?

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"Later, after the Bears scored a touchdown to make the score 20-10 with 2 minutes, 32 seconds remaining, Fox had kicker Mike Nugent try a pooch kick with the regular kickoff coverage unit instead of a traditional onside kick with the hands team on the field," Rich Campbell writes for the Tribune. "

The Bears had all three of their timeouts.

The Lions recovered that ball easily.

"Again, it's field position," Fox explained. "There was time enough left in the game."

If it was about field position, you would have just had Nugent kick the ball deep. If it was about going out trying, an onside kick would have been in order - especially after noticing, as Fox should have, that the Lions' hands-team was not on the field. The in-between is death.

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Ha ha.

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Comments welcome.

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