There is nothing worse than an NFL coaching staff playing not to lose instead of playing to win. It’s infuriating. You have a lead? The coaches are so scared to squander that lead that they play scared, and give it up anyway. The modern NFL head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator all must work together to prevent a team from blowing a game, because they didn’t keep their foot on the gas pedal.

 

In comes Matt Eberflus, and Luke Getsy. Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator of the Chicago Bears, respectively. And clearly these guys need to play more madden, because many of the Bears losses can be directly attributed to their failures in being aggressive.

Let’s go to week 2: A 27-10 loss on Sunday Night in Green Bay. Down two TDs, the Bears had 4th and goal from inside the 1…and decided to go with a QB draw instead of just sneaking it. The small chance they had to win gone to waste. Aggressive? Yes. Playcall? Awful.

Week 4: The Bears kicked 4 field goals. Time and time again they would just hand the ball off instead of trying to go for a first down and a touchdown. It cost the Bears, losing to the Giants 20-12; the Giants did not settle as much.

Week 5: The Bears had all the momentum. They were down just two and Fields was dealing. 3rd and 4 inside the Vikings 35…and another draw. Kick the field goal. Bears lose again.

Week 6: Ok this time we are more aggressive in the red zone. Good. But again…use Fields’s legs, or just SNEAK IT. What is so hard about that? Yet another loss.

Now we leave these games because these were before Fields broke out. So at least the conservativeness was a little understandable if not still questionable.

Week 10: The Bears have an outside shot at the playoffs. They lead 30-24. This time the issue comes down to Eberflus, his defense getting absolutely cooked on the final drive, preventing the Bears from winning. But even back on the first drive, the Bears settled for a field goal after a single penalty. These things matter. You always have to go for the jugular, even in the first 5 minutes of the game.

Week 11: Playcalling on the final drive was atrocious. Acting like you had all the time in the world and calling two draw plays in a row? Getsy, come on.

Week 13: The game was theirs. This was the most egregious game. Eberflus called a timeout, daring Green Bay to go for it against a JV defense that admittedly was punching above their weight up to that point. Still; just go into halftime up 16-6; why risk that? Instead it was 16-10. And in the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Bears settled for two more field goals, as they again handed the ball off on third down and refused to try and throw for a TD. Infuriating. I would almost say they intentionally threw the game; Justin Fields deserved better.

 

When the QB was struggling, it made sense why they were playing conservative; well now for two straight months the QB has been playing at the best level of his career, and getting more confident in his abilities both through the air and with his legs. So while the supporting cast hasn’t been great, I ask again: Why are they not letting him cook? It is coaching malpractice.

This is a plea to Eberflus, Getsy, and everyone else on the Bears staff: Stop playing not to lose. Stop settling for field goals. Play to win. Go for touchdowns. Because if you don’t learn to do that, the Bears will never go far in the postseason, even with an elite QB. Coaching matters.

 

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