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I was ready this morning with a column breaking down the reasons the 3-5 Bears still can't quite get this season going heading into the bye week. But the latest reports on Zach Miller's health made it all seem so inconsequential.
Injuries make the NFL a tough watch way too frequently. What happened to Miller as he hauled in a touchdown pass during the Bears' eventual 20-12 loss to the Saints was a fluke, but you knew as it was happening that it was bad.
And then we had the geniuses in the NFL office in New York changing a call that no one in the stadium or the booth (play-by-play man Justin Kutcher and analyst Chris Spielman) thought was even controversial. Essentially everyone who watches that play still thinks it was a touchdown except a guy or two in New York.
So the review occurs (as it does on all scoring plays). And it drags on, and on. And the Superdome scoreboard operators show the replay of the catch and the injury again and again and again. Atrocious.
A fluke injury like the one Miller suffered may be impossible to avoid in a physical sport. But it all could have been handled so much better.
As for the rest of the story well, here it is. The defense played well again. The Bears clearly have something going on on that side of the ball after they gave the team a chance to win in New Orleans, which has only been the home of the best offense in the NFL so far this season.
But the Bears won't go anywhere as long as the offense can't do better than it did on Sunday. And it must be stressed again and again that the big problem on that side of the ball isn't a conservative head coach and it isn't the play-calling of the offensive coordinator.
The big problem is the Bears don't have enough players. And that of course is on the general manager. There have been plenty of calls for the Bears to open up their offense. Open it up and throw to who?
So no scapegoating the coach for gosh sakes. That would be same coach, John Fox, who brought in coordinator Vic Fangio and has worked with him to create the defense that has been so good the last few weeks. If the Bears go on to lose a bunch of games in the second half of the season then I have no problem with everyone getting the boot.
But no way does Fox take the heat alone.
Next up for the Bears by the way are the Packers at home followed by the Lions. Win those two games and you are in the hunt for a playoff spot.
But that seems far away now. First we need to hope for the best for Zach Miller. Then we can worry about how the offense will improve during the second half of the season like the defense has in the first. Not bloody likely I know, but certainly what needs to be the focus going forward.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Jan 22, 2021