Loss to Packers seemingly level of no return for John Fox


As defenses go, the one Bears coach John Fox provided Sunday at Soldier Field after the Bears’ 23-16 loss was as flimsy because the one he noticed flailing all day towards the Packers.

“In nine games, two of them we didn’t give ourselves a chance, but in seven games we’ve had the opportunity to win every single one of them,” Fox said. “The actuality is, we’re Three-6.”

The actuality is, teaching makes the distinction in shut video games, and the Bears’ sixth loss threatens to turn out to be the one historical past remembers as the purpose of no return for religion in Fox. In 4 futile, irritating quarters towards a beatable opponent at house, the Bears undid eight video games’ value of progress.

It was untimely to take a position about Fox’s future round their open date as a result of a decent begin put the Bears in place to realistically method a .500 season. But these of us who thought of the potential for Fox saving his job with a robust second half now can concede the Bears trying so sloppy and unprepared after a weekend off make that unlikely. Dropping to 1-5 towards the Packers will get the McCaskeys’ consideration faster than some other of Fox’s shortcomings. In different phrases, be happy to start out jonesing for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels or Googling Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Dave Toub anybody?

Save any badeyed optimism concerning the Bears coming shut or rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky making progress for an additional day, one maybe after they weren’t outcoached and outplayed by a Packers staff taking part in on quick relaxation with backups at quarterback, working again, tight finish and offensive sort out. This is what occurs when a Three-5 staff will get stuffed with itself, fattened by what-ifs and maybes in a soccer metropolis starved for fulfillment.

Opportunity knocked to see if the Bears needed to save lots of their season, and Fox left it standing on the entrance porch of chance, ignored. So say hi there once more to Bears hostility, all people. Any feel-good vibes that surrounded Halas Hall for the final month or so vanished, someday between Fox’s ill-advised problem and his protection’s poorly timed give up. We might construct a case for the brilliant aspect by inspecting the relative ease of the remainder of the Bears schedule, however that may create the misunderstanding that it issues. It does not, not for a Bears staff that dedicated 11 penalties within the first half (4 have been declined) and gained zero yards within the third quarter.

Sunday’s most memorable mistake got here courtesy of Fox, who challenged a ruling that working again Benny Cunningham was out of bounds on the 2 as he dived for the pylon on a second-quarter run. Had Fox accepted the ruling with out difficult, the Bears would have confronted first-and-goal on the 2 and, in all probability, tied the sport at 10. Instead, Fox threw the purple flag. Replay officers in New York decided that Cunningham fumbled the ball into the tip zone — leading to a touchback that gave possession to the Packers. Officials ought to have positioned the ball on the 20 wrapped in a bow.

In technically profitable the problem, Fox misplaced the good thing about the doubt in Chicago, most likely for good. Fox took duty for the fake pas, probably the most egregious half being that no one with the Bears had the presence of thoughts to think about a possible touchback.

“That wasn’t part of what we thought we would be the result,” Fox stated. “Maybe you can see it after looking at it 50 times like some people are able to do.”

The Bears might be replaying this loss of their heads for a very long time, particularly defensive gamers who didn’t again up a lot mbadive discuss.

The Brett taking snaps for the Packers was Hundley, not Favre. Yet the quarterback making his third NFL begin executed and improvised like a seasoned professional, finishing 18 of 25 pbades for 212 yards and a landing with a pbader ranking of 110.eight. But the play that affected the result most — the one which will have signaled the start of the tip for Fox — got here on a 17-yard scramble on third-and-2 with 7:12 left and the Packers defending a 16-13 lead. Rather than punt the ball again to the Bears, the Packers scored two performs later.

Hundley outplayed Trubisky, who confirmed enchancment once more by finishing 21 of 35 for 297 yards however contributed to 5 sacks by holding the ball too lengthy. A reasonably 46-yard landing go to Josh Bellamy confirmed good contact, however different performs revealed a rookie uncomfortable within the pocket. Fox referred to as it Trubisky’s better of his 5 begins, nevertheless it appeared like faint reward given how little confidence the teaching employees confirmed within the quarterback at two important moments.

The first got here on Cunningham’s fumble: Fox challenged as an alternative of accepting first-and-goal from the two, indicative of a coach fearing one thing dangerous might occur. The second instance occurred when the Bears referred to as a fast display screen for Kendall Wright for four yards on third-and-10 on the Packers’ 35 with four:06 left, organising Connor Barth’s 49-yard discipline purpose. Why not belief Trubisky to make a play downfield which may result in a landing?

Will Fox remorse this recreation most if the Bears change head coaches on the finish of this season, an inevitability that apparently will not have an effect on him?

“I’ve been doing this too long,” Fox stated. “I’ve never worried about my job security and I won’t start moving forward.”

After a disappointing Sunday, most followers would agree with Fox: He undoubtedly has been doing this too lengthy.

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Twitter @DavidHaugh

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