It’s easy to be down on the Bears after their embarrassing loss to the Rams in prime time. The offense performed atrociously. The defense wasn’t particularly fearsome as the Rams ran through feeble arm tackles routinely. The game was somehow uglier than the 24-10 final score, and the Bears were exposed as the imposters everyone suspected them of being all along.
Or were they?
Just ask Rams fans how they felt after the 49ers humiliated them one week prior, in a 24-16 game that wasn’t as close as the final score would have you believe. Or ask Niners fans how they felt one week before that when the Dolphins blew them out 43-17. After quick rebounds, the clouds parted just as quickly for those teams. Huge losses seem less like season-ruiners, and more like bumps in the road that helped the team self-scout and improve.
“Next week is huge,” said Dave Wannstedt on the Football Aftershow following Monday night’s loss. “They have to bounce back. (Nagy) used the words ‘bounce back,’ ‘get it fixed.’ I think it’s really critical if they’re going to make a push at this thing. They’ve got to bounce back next week and have a big week.”
“They do need to stick together,” said Olin Kreutz on the Football Aftershow. “They do need to figure a lot of stuff out. It’s going to take a lot of leadership for them to build up and come back and play the New Orleans Saints.
“They can go in the locker room and say, ‘Look, we just played a team that got their butts beat pretty bad. But they came out and beat us pretty bad. So let’s get things back together, let’s get our team back together.’”
To the Bears’ credit under Matt Nagy, they have responded well to poor offensive showings by elevating their game the next week. In 2018, in Nagy’s third game as a head coach, the offense was awful in a 16-14 win against the Cardinals. The next week, the offense exploded for six touchdowns against the Buccaneers. Later that year, the offense looked ugly again in a 15-6 win over the Rams. The very next week the offense put up three touchdowns in a 24-17 win against the Packers. You can repeat this exercise throughout 2019, although that was a volatile season overall for the offense.
Do things look great for the Bears on Tuesday morning? Of course not. But it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom either. The defense will still put up points, and Matt Nagy sounded genuine when saying he would take the time to self-scout the offense and see if drastic changes (whether that be handing over play calling duties, or otherwise) are needed.
The Bears are still 5-2, are still a half game back in the NFC North, still have both of their games against the Packers remaining. Most importantly, Nagy will have another chance to show he can pull the team together once again.