The Bears' search for answers continued on both sides of the ball in their 15-14 loss to San Francisco in Week 13. The 49ers came into Soldier Field with a 1-10 record and a new starting quarterback in Arlington Heights native Jimmy Garoppolo.
Here are three questions as the Bears prepare this week for a road trip to Cincinnati to play the 5-6 Bengals, who will be coming off a Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
1. Will someone get fired Monday?
Someone probably should, but that isn't usually the Bears' way. Still, if team matriarch Virginia McCaskey was peeved enough that the ill-fated Phil Emery-Marc Trestman experiment was blown up after a 5-11 season in 2014, this 3-9 group is living on borrowed time. But firing John Fox doesn't make much sense this late in the season. It's not as if a shake-up could snap this team back into the playoff race. At this point, losing only helps with the team's positioning for next year's NFL draft.
2. If Fox did get fired, who would get the job?
The only name that makes any sense is defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who has been mentioned as a head-coaching candidate in the past because of his sterling reputation as a defensive coordinator. The past two weeks haven't done much for Fangio's resume, but he'd be more fun for the media to cover, given his straight-shooting nature and low tolerance for bull.
3. Didn't the Bears used to be able to run the ball?
Yes. Once upon a time they were No. 5 in the NFL in rushing yards. That was two weeks ago. Since then, they have a two-game total of 68 rushing yards on 33 attempt for a 2.1-yard average. It doesn't help that the offense only ran 36 plays Sunday and 49 a week ago, but the offensive line has been exposed as overrated and overpaid. And it doesn't help that their offense hasn't posed much of an aerial threat. In Mitch Trubisky's eight starts, he has thrown for 180 yards or more once.
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