Sport: Rich Campbell: The Bears look more like also-rans than contenders after an inexcusable performance - - PressFrom - US
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Sport Rich Campbell: The Bears look more like also-rans than contenders after an inexcusable performance

07:20  21 october  2019
07:20  21 october  2019 Source:   chicagotribune.com

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CHICAGO - The head coach and quarterback trudged to the lectern Sunday night, one after the other, because it was their obligation and because this monstrosity needed some explaining. And as Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky tried to account for the Bears' latest offensive meltdown following their 36-25 loss to the Saints, answers were as hard to come by as precious yards.

a man wearing a baseball uniform throwing a ball: Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears watches the action during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on Oct. 20, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.© Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images North America/TNS Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears watches the action during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on Oct. 20, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

"We're just searching," Trubisky said. "We don't have any rhythm. We're not the offense we were last year."

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The koala is a small bear - like animal that looks like a soft toy. The animal is cute and non-aggressive, but it’s difficult to see a koala in the Zoo and no one ever keeps them as pets. The leaves are tough and feel like rubber. They have very few calories and they are poisonous to most animals.

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Nagy wanted to rewatch the game before issuing explanations and indictments. But after having lived the Bears' nightmare on an overcast afternoon on the lakefront, he was stuck on the endless list of familiar questions about his broken offense.

"I'd love to give you more answers," he said. "I just know: not good."

Not even close.

The Saints came here without injured future-Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees. Without injured star running back Alvin Kamara. They faced a Bears team coming off its open date, playing on its home field with Trubisky back from a left shoulder injury.

The Bears couldn't have asked for a more timely matchup against one of the teams they're supposed to be contending with for the NFC title.

And they got whipped in all three phases, booed off the field after almost every offensive possession.

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Many can fend for themselves without any parental supervision almost immediately — picture baby sea turtles hatching on the sand and then somehow finding their way to the ocean. Other animals, like newborn giraffe calves, are able to clamber upright and walk around on their own within hours of birth.

"That's a game we've got to win," Nagy said.

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The Bears fell to 3-3, which is where they were after six games last season. But this was different. This was gross. This defeat felt like seven.

There is no 9-1 heater coming to finish this season. Not with a Bears offense that averaged an atrocious 2.5 yards per play before the Saints softened their defense with a 29-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Not with a quarterback who completed 14 of 27 passes for 84 yards - 84 yards! - and was sacked twice before it was 29-10.

Not with a rushing attack that gained 17 yards on seven measly attempts, two of which were lost fumbles.

"You say, 'It's just one of those days.' But for us, it's been one of those weeks," Nagy said. "We need to pull together. Seventeen yards - you have to be able to run the ball."

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Chicago's honeymoon with Nagy ended sometime between David Montgomery's lost fumble on the Bears' first snap of the third quarter and the second three-and-out that immediately followed it.

Afterward, the second-year coach directed his focus toward the running game. Exiting the week off, Nagy had felt confident and optimistic that he and his coaching staff had found solutions during their self-scouting sessions.

Instead, they gained fewer yards on the ground than in any game since Nov. 26, 2017, which, if you recall, was the equivalent of the Offensive Stone Age for the Bears.

But here they are, back again.

Nagy fielded questions about Trubisky but zoomed out with responses about the whole offense.

He said he didn't consider benching Trubisky - for all of Trubisky's herky-jerky play, he still gives the Bears the best chance to win and, oh by the way, is the franchise quarterback. But obviously the quarterback is not headed in the upward direction Nagy and his coaches believed he was before his Sept. 29 injury.

Trubisky's worst throw was a misfire on third-and-5 on the second possession. He had Taylor Gabriel open on a corner route near the left sideline.

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Wide open.

"I ripped it all week in practice," Trubisky said.

The ball sailed high, beyond where Gabriel had any chance of making a play on it.

"Really frustrating for me," the quarterback said.

And for the coach. And for all the fans who booed him off the field. Because if Trubisky can't take his quality throws in practice and make them in the game, then where is his career headed? Where are the Bears going?

On Wednesday, Nagy said we're about three weeks from the annual NFL split, the juncture at which teams divide themselves into those that will inspire their fan bases with meaningful football in December and ones that scuffle to the finish line - or worse.

On Sunday, the Bears flicked their blinker on and waved out the passenger-side window for the other cars to make room.

They jerked over into the far-right lane and are now hugging the shoulder, squarely headed toward the road with the pretenders, underachievers and also-rans.

Unless, that is, they skid off into the ditch first.

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Related slideshow: NFL season (provided by imagn)

a group of football players on the field: San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (26) is tackled by Washington Redskins defensive back Troy Apke (30) while carrying the ball in the fourth quarter at FedExField on October 20, 2019. 

Bears are on a slide and they're melting down over criticism .
Bears are on a slide and they're melting down over criticism

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