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SportsMonday: Bears Bereft

You had to laugh. Bitterly sure, but still, it is amazing how sports work out sometimes.

What else was a fan to do as Robbie Gould screamed at the Bears sideline after his chip shot game-winning field goal Sunday at the end of the Bears' 15-14 loss to the 49ers. Gould, who is the Bears all-time leading scorer but was summarily cut from the team before last season, had actually said during the previous week that there was no such thing as a "revenge game."

His actions spoke slightly louder. Or should I say his screams actually were much louder.

Less funny was the fact that the 49ers had a much-better play-caller (head coach Kyle Shanahan) helping their much-better young quarterback have a much-better game than the Bears' Mitch Trubisky.

Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garoppolo was in command all over the field. Well, not quite all of the field. The red zone was certainly a problem. But it's hard not to believe that the 49ers will take care of that and then some in the next few years. They are a team with a bright future.

The Bears? Not so much.

Except for the ridiculousness - that was awesome and there is certainly the promise of more of that ahead.

Tarik Cohen's punt return touchdown was more ridiculous than even Devin Hester's craziest scoring effort. But perhaps the most unbelievable part of the play was the fact that no Bears committed penalties as Cohen first went backwards one way then the other and then in the blink of an eye broke upfield and didn't stop 'til he made it to the end zone. Sure enough, when Cohen broke another return in the second half, it was called back due to tight end Ben Braunecker's crushingly stupid, and completely needless, block in the back.

Cohen's score gave the Bears a decent lead and it felt like they were on their way. Well, maybe it felt that way for a couple minutes. Then the 49ers embarked on one of their half-dozen extended drives on the day and the optimism faded.

As far as the big picture goes, well, I got nothing new for 'ya.

As has been pointed out in this space more than a few times, firing the coach will not be enough. Surely that is more and more obvious. The 3-9 Bears don't even have as much talent as the bereft 2-10 49ers. I understand that teams need stability, but general manager Ryan Pace is the wrong guy to stabilize around.

For awhile I thought firing John Fox before the end of the season might be worth doing just to hand the offense completely over to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to see how it might play out.

But that doesn't matter at this point. Trubisky and the Bears will have to start again with a new offensive mind in the offseason. Whatever happens during the final month of this season is immaterial.

And when the Bears bring in that new guy, the potential for a downward spiral will actually be considerably higher than the chances for a turnaround. A huge factor in Aaron Rodgers' success in Green Bay has been stability in the front office and in the head coaching position. Mike McCarthy has been his coach the whole way through.

The possibility of using that model will end for the Bears' rookie signal-caller in the near future.

I think the laughter I hear at this point is coming from everywhere else in the NFC North.


Comments welcome.

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Posted on Oct 11, 2021