A question was put to coach John Fox after Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Washington Redskins, a game marked by lethargic play early and too much sloppiness throughout: Did he feel somehow that he was losing the locker room?
“If (the players) get lost, they get lost,” Fox bristled. “I think right now (coaches are) not losing faith in them, so I don’t perceive that being a problem.”
Something is a problem, however, in the inability of the Bears to translate physical, competitive practices into fire on the field in games. The Bears have either failed to start or to finish too many games through their first 13, inconsistency traceable to individual players not executing assignments, drawing penalties or other issues surfacing.
The Bears matched the Redskins in yardage (Bears 377, Washington 374) and were relatively even throughout, except for a woeful first quarter and start of the second, a stretch that left the Bears down 14-0 and out-gained 141-18.
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Washington had failed to score more than 20 points in any of five previous road games, yet put 24 on the Bears with Kirk Cousins throwing for 300 yards and completing 24 of 31 passes.
The pace of the offense was puzzling in a game where the Bears needed some momentum and something to change the tempo of a game that was solidly in Washington’s hands. Jay Cutler repeatedly had the play clock running down with his linemen in their stances.
The specter of penalties arose on offense, with four of the five offensive linemen accounting for a walkoff, several in costly situations.
“It wasn’t that they had 400 yards or 500 yards or something crazy,” Fox said. “It was just that we shot ourselves in the foot at inopportune times, whether it was a play on defense, an execution on offense, pass blocking, catching the ball or missing a guy. We don’t have a large margin for error, and it’s kind of the same song for too many weeks.”
Moon's Grade: D