Are Bears Fans Over-Reacting to the Loss to the Packers?

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic answers your questions:

“Is this season, after just one game, the most reactionary by fans that you can remember? I’m finding it hard to believe the number of people calling for coaches and the GM to be replaced after just one and a half years on the job when they’ve been very transparent about a long-term rebuild. [-Bob A.]

“Sunday’s loss looked like so much of the same. The quarterback wasn’t good. The play calling wasn’t good. The pass rush wasn’t good. I get why some think there’s no coming back from this, that this won’t be one of those Week 1 fluke games. Instead, it’ll be a harbinger for another long season, and the latest addition in the Bears’ ugly cycle.

“The 2019 opener had significantly higher expectations, and the offense was a disaster in the 10-3 loss. But the defense was outstanding. In 2021, the defense was a mess in a rout against the Los Angeles Rams, but fans at that point were simply counting down the days until [QB Justin] Fields took over.

“This game had two bright spots: running back Roschon Johnson and kicker Cairo Santos.

“But to answer your question, Bob, this is the most reactionary I’ve seen fans after a season opener — and while the calls for in-season firings are over the top, this franchise hasn’t done enough to earn the benefit of the doubt that it was “just one game” after a performance like that.

“The Bears have an opportunity to bounce back against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has low expectations but is 1-0 after upsetting the Minnesota Vikings. Maybe Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy figure things out, the defense creates turnovers and the mailbag tenor is different next week.”

Fishbain is spot on with his response but he didn’t really answer the underlying question. “Are Bears fans over-reacting to the loss?” The answer is “No, they’re not.”

There’s a rumor going round that Bears Chairman George McCaskey and CEO Kevin Warren met with head coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles after the disastrous performance against the Packers. I hope its rue because it means that:

  1. The message sent probably wasn’t a pleasant one for Poles or Eberflus
  2. Given that McCaskey isn’t the kind of confrontational personality that would have initated such a meeting, Warren almost certainly did.

As Bob points out, the Bears have been very transparent about the fact that they are in the middle of a rebuild. But that doesn’t mean that the coaching staff gets a free pass. Fans have a right to expect to see improvement. And last week looked a great deal like most weeks last year. Yes, there were some improvements – they did stop the run and indications are that they finally have a screen game. But the eseentials – especially the performance of Fields from the pocket – were the same. The Bears came out and, despite an influx of at least some talent, whoed little improvement over what we saw in 2022. They also flat out didn’t look ready to play and that’s an indictment of the couching staff.

Whether this possible effort to hold Eberflus accountable will bear any fruit is an open queston. Even last year when the Bears had so little talent, you could argue – and I would argue – that the coaching staff should have been able to do more with what they had. I saw very little last year to indicate that nay players on the roster punched above their weight to exceed even the low expectations that observers had.

Assuming that the rumors are ture, Bears fans can all hope that the new leadership in the front office is going to make a difference and that a new dawn may be about to break for this frachise. But I wouldn’t hold mey breath thinking that its going to be apparent this season.

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