(Image credit Daniel Bartel/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
You want to hear another shocking piece of news that nobody expected, the Chicago Bears have also been eliminated from making the playoffs. I know right, super shocking as everyone believed that the Bears would be playing in the playoffs. Okay, I will be cutting the sarcasm again as this was unsurprising news. With their latest loss against the Green Bay Packers it pretty much was the nail in the coffin with their chances. Long term though it was probably a good thing. There are many issues and reasons why the Bears did not make the playoffs but I decided to narrow the reasons. So let's get into it and take a look at the 3 main reasons why the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs.
1. Failing to surround Justin Fields with talent
Entering the NFL Season, I contemplated writing an article titled “Have The Chicago Bears Given Up on QB on Fields?” I decided not to and let the season play out, but boy were the Bears not helping Fields out. They did not fix an o-line that was terrible and almost traded OT Teven Jenkins. Thank goodness they did not as Jenkins has performed better this season and if they traded him it would not be a great look for GM Ryan Poles. On the o-line they are lucky that Braxton Jones has looked decent this season. Excluding Darnell Mooney earlier in the season the Bears had no other weapon. N’Keal Harry they acquired, but he is a scrub. The Bears did get Chase Claypool at the deadline, but he has not impressed so far. At least the Bears have David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert at running back, but besides that they did not have much. From the beginning Fields had little to work for and it clearly hurted the Bears this season.
2. All a Part of the Tank
I want to ask you a question, did you really have expectations for the Bears this season? A majority of people did not, including myself and I ranted about hating the moves this team made during the offseason in the War Room Podcast on the NFC North. Luckily they have not ruined Justin Fields yet as that is one of my biggest fears regarding the Bears entering the season. They were a favorable bet heading into the season getting the 1st Overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears were clearly tanking and some had the idea that if Fields failed, then they could easily take their next QB as the 2023 NFL Draft was rich in that position. I am interested to see what they do now that the tanking will continue.
3. Fire Selling Pieces during the Trade Deadline, Especially on defense
Yes, I know the Bears also bought during the trade deadline by getting WR Chase Claypool, but they were massive sellers during the trade deadline. Especially on defense when the team traded their two best defensive players in DE/EDGE Robert Quinn and LB Roquan Smith. Look everyone knew that the Bears were going to lose both of them as they were not the future, but they were clearly the best players on that defense. With them no longer on the team their defense got worse and thus lowered their chances of making the playoffs. In the long term making this deal is a big benefit long term in getting draft picks, but it had a big effect this season. We will see if the Bears use the picks right, by drafting the right players.
On The Bright Side - The Bears may have finally found there franchise Quarterback in Justin Fields
I got to say despite Fields coming in the season with little to no weapons, a bad o-line, and an inexperienced offensive coordinator he has performed like a franchise quarterback. He has carried this offense so many times and made games closer than they should be. If he performs this well now, imagine how well he will perform if they surround him with weapons and a good o-line. Yes the coaching is still a question mark, but the Bears are on the right track and could have found the franchise quarterback that they have been seeking since the Jay Cutler years. I would love to see him play like this again next season as I debated between him or Zack Wilson as the 2nd best QB in the draft.