I guess there’s no REAL reason to watch. Even though the Bears can technically still make it to the playoffs, there is a better chance that John Fox will give a useful response to a media question in his postgame interview.
Still, this is what we expected and wanted. We wanted a team that at least looked like an NFL squad instead of a pee-wee lineup waiting for its next juice box and apple slices break (skypoint…miss those thoroughly). John Fox and his crew of all star coaches have given us a watchable product with a collection of scraps that changes on weekly basis due to injuries and constant reshuffling at the bottom of the roster.
You should watch on Sunday because every single person in the organization is trying to prove something. That includes the coaches, as Vic Fangio and Adam Gase will both be candidates for head coaching jobs come this offseason. Gase seems like he would be the first to go as owners are always looking for the next young guru. His offense’s recent lack of success probably hasn’t deterred any owner with him on their radar from taking a close look, but Gase has failed to fix a couple of nagging issues such as red zone production.
Fangio has perhaps had the larger uphill climb this year. His personnel coming into training camp was a bunch of guys who we weren’t even sure if they were NFL players. Even the few players that had a decent track record were now thrusted into a completely different defense not knowing if their skillset would translate. While the Bears defense is still inept at times, Fangio has maximized the production of what almost looks like a good college roster.
Then we have the players. So many guys are competing not only for jobs, but life in the NFL. More recently, it doesn’t look like there is an NFL caliber inside linebacker on the Bears roster right now. Christian Jones has failed to pick up any sort of consistency and Shea McClellin has less explosiveness than a firecracker. Jonathan Anderson has that explosion but literally never knows where he is supposed to be. It will be interesting to see if bottom of the roster guys like Lamin Barrow and preseason standout John Timu get any opportunities in the coming weeks.
On offense, it’s all about getting some sort of familiarity with what will likely be a similar lineup in 2016. Cutler has not had his three top weapons on the field at once all season long. Now that Kevin White is officially out for the remainder of the year, Jay must focus on establishing a connection with Eddie Royal. Assuming they can all stay on the field, Royal, Cutler and Jeffery need to sound up their play together.
Then there is the running back situation. Matt Forte is likely gone after this season, so expect his touches to continue to drop as they did last week. Jeremy Langford has shown he has what it takes to step in and control the starting job, but he still needs reps to get rid of any rookie mishaps.
So why watch? First of all, everyone knows you’ll be watching football on Sunday. Whether you’re watching your fantasy team or have simply been hypnotized by the NFL to block of your calendars on Sundays, you’ll be watching. As you take in the Bears game, remember to watch it from a standpoint of looking into next season. Think Cubs of 2014. The only difference is that the Bears don’t have all stars in their farm system. Nor do they have a farm system. Nor is this baseball. But basically it’s the same.