Emma: Bears-Eagles Observations

The Bears' offense continues to regress under Matt Nagy's watch.

Chris Emma
November 04, 2019 - 10:38 am

PHILADELPHIA (670 The Score) -- It's hard to believe the Bears' season has come to this.

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The Bears lost their fourth straight game Sunday, falling 22-14 to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. For a second straight season, Philadelphia handed Chicago its fifth loss of the season -- this one coming in early November instead of wild-card weekend in January.

Eight games remain in this season, which already seems so empty. That means eight more games of asking: Why?

Related: Haugh: All the Bears inspire is doubt

Nucleus imploded

At the root of the Bears' first-to-worst tumble in the NFC North is a serious crisis. 

The Bears aren't losing because of bad breaks or league parity. They're 3-5 because the head coach and quarterback they paired together look to be a poor fit -- and not the long-term answers they once believed.

Chicago set its sights on sustained success with the belief that the partnership of coach Matt Nagy and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could lead the Bears to championship contention. Instead, Sunday further showcased the broken dynamic between Nagy, Trubisky and the Bears.

The Bears posted only nine yards of offense in the first half -- the fewest for any NFL team in 40 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info -- as Nagy didn't trust Trubisky to take chances. Nagy appeared far too concerned about the potential for a miscue, running a conservative offense that the Eagles were ready for. Each of the Bears' six possessions before halftime ended in punts.

When it was over, the Bears had only 164 total yards of offense. It was the lowest mark in Nagy's first 25 games as head coach and came days after Nagy felt the Bears took "a big step" in re-establishing an offensive identity.

What's the identity of this Bears offense? It's not displaying the creativity that it flashed in Nagy's first season, and it didn't establish the run as Trubisky's passing struggles continued Sunday.

It's hard to imagine the Bears making a major firing at the end of this season, but general manager Ryan Pace has to be honest in his assessment of the team he has built.

Unless a significant change in performance occurs in the final eight games, the Bears have to accept Trubisky isn't their quarterback and make a move at the crucial position ahead of next season.

A sliver lining?

What's the good of being bad? For the Bears, it's the chance to accept reality.

Just a few months ago, Pace and the Bears were planning for the future with an eye on balancing the books, as it seemed a handful of key players -- including Trubisky -- would be due significant contract extensions. Certainly for Trubisky and perhaps for others, that's no longer the case.

In acknowledging their reality, the Bears can reassess their roster and take inventory for who should stay long term and who should go. The remaining eight games offer Pace and his brass the chance to make an honest evaluation of each individual on the roster and coaching staff.

While Nagy continues to preach togetherness for the Bears, Pace needs to evaluate every aspect of his floundering organization.


The Bears committed four offsides penalties on defense, and Nagy claimed it wasn't their doing.

Star pass rusher Khalil Mack agreed, citing pre-snap ball manipulation by Eagles center Jason Kelce.

"You see the bull―," Mack said. "Kelce was kind of throwing with the ball, moving it a little bit. But even then, you can't really make excuses."

The Bears sacked Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz four times, but their penalty issues proved to be costly. Chicago committed nine penalties for 70 yards, gifting Philadelphia three foul-induced first downs.

Third down for what?

Somehow after an ugly first half and a mostly forgettable game, the Bears had a chance in the end.

The Bears trailed 19-14 midway through the fourth quarter, but their defense couldn't get off the field. The Eagles drove 16 plays and 69 yards while eating 8:14 off the clock. Wentz was 4-of-4 for 45 yards on third downs on the drive, which ended with a Jake Elliott field goal with 25 seconds remaining.

"We just couldn't get off the field that series," Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said.

Change coming?

Could some changes be coming for the Bears this week? It's worth wondering after that kind of loss. One player in jeopardy of being released is veteran running back Mike Davis, who signed to a two-year, $6-million deal this past offseason. Davis saw zero snaps on offense Sunday.

If the Bears release Davis this week, they retain the fourth-round compensatory pick for safety Adrian Amos, who's now with the Packers. Davis has 11 carries for 25 yards this season.

Tight end Adam Shaheen may also be in jeopardy. The team is juggling its tight end position, and Shaheen hasn't provided much. He has nine receptions for 74 yards this season and muffed the kickoff with 22 seconds remaining Sunday.

Extra points

-- Perhaps the low point of Nagy's tenure was the second quarter Sunday when the scoreboard revealed the Bears' offense had minus-10 yards of offense.

-- Eagles running back Jordan Howard had 19 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. The Bears basically gave him away to the Eagles in a trade last March.

-- Would the result have been different if running back David Montgomery caught the screen pass in the fourth quarter with the Bears trailing 19-14? I guess we'll never know. He had plenty of daylight ahead of him.

-- Entering Sunday, quarterbacks had averaged 256.1 passing yards per game and thrown 16 touchdowns against the Eagles. Mitchell Trubisky finished 10-of-21 for 125 yards and no touchdowns in facing the same defense.

-- The Eagles' struggling secondary took Bears top target Allen Robinson out of the game. He had one catch for six yards on five targets. 

-- Nagy confirmed postgame that safety Deon Bush experienced an illness leading up to the game, which is why he was inactive for the first time this season.

-- Bears defensive end Brent Urban fit well on the team's defensive line. Signed in late October, he posted three tackles and a pass defensed.

-- Bears linebacker Roquan Smith had another strong performance, tying safety Eddie Jackson with a team-high 10 tackles.

-- The Bears opened as three-point favorites against the Lions on Sunday.

-- Eight games feels like an eternity.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.