QB1? QB2? QB3?
Two words: not ideal. Sure, Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles have both led fourth-quarter comebacks this season. But entering Monday night, the Bears were the worst team when it came to the quarterbacks’ most important job — completing passes. Whatever magic coach Matt Nagy pulled off in his first season from an offensive standpoint apparently vanished the day Cody Parkey hit the upright twice in the Bears’ playoff loss to the Eagles in January 2019. Since then, inept and mediocre have come to define the Bears’ offense, particularly with the quarterback situation still so unsettled. In fact, Nagy has regressed as a play-caller. Again, not ideal.
Yes, the Bears are 3-1. Yes, before the Packers hosted the Falcons late Monday night, the Bears were in second place in the NFC North. But look at the woeful schedule the Bears have played. The Giants haven’t won a game yet. The Falcons have been a laughing stock. And the Lions, well, they’re the Lions. It’s arguably the softest 3-1 record of any team in the NFL and simply put, the Bears could very well be 0-4 heading into Thursday night. When, gulp, ageless wonder Tom Brady and the newly-improved Buccaneers — who rallied to beat the Chargers on Sunday thanks to five TD passes from Brady — visit Soldier Field.
SCHEDULE RAMPS UP
Sunday’s loss to the Colts, the first winning team the Bears faced this season, might foreshadow a rough October. A quick turnaround to play the Buccaneers (3-1) is followed by two road trips: a possible win against the Panthers (2-2) on Oct. 18 and a flight to Los Angeles for a Monday night showdown against the Rams (3-1) on Oct. 26. The Panthers have won two in a row under first-year coach Matt Rhule as Teddy Bridgewater starts to look more comfortable under center, and the Rams’ Jared Goff is showing flashes of why he led the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2019. Still on the docket? Two games with the Packers, whom Nagy is 1-3 against with the Bears.
It’s not all doom and gloom. The defense could make Mike Ditka, Mike Singletary and the rest of the 1985 Bears somewhat proud, with coordinator Chuck Pagano’s group a top-10 defense in the league. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is proving disruptive with 31/2 sacks and former first-round pick Roquan Smith is finally delivering on the promise the Bears sought with a team-high 33 tackles. Another unexpected surprise: the emergence of rookie receiver Darnell Mooney. The fifth-round selection out of Tulane is quickly becoming a dependable No. 2 option behind Allen Robinson, with Mooney hauling in 13 receptions for 145 yards and one TD.