Arkush: Even Bears players don't know what's wrong

Updated 10/16/2016 8:47 PM

The Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars are two of the worst teams in the NFL, and on Sunday the Bears were even worse than the Jaguars in a 17-16 loss, their fifth in six games this season.

Consider these notes from the Bears' loss to the Jaguars:


The Bears converted 7-of-17 third-down attempts (41 percent) setting season-highs in third-down conversions and conversion percentage, but they were in fact 7-of-10 in the first half and then 0-for-7 in the second half when they blew 13-0 and 16-7 leads.

Brian Hoyer completed 30 of 49 passes for 302 yards and has now completed 130-of-189 passes for 1,396 yards, 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in 5 games in the 2016 season.

And the Bears are 1-4 in the games Brian Hoyer has played.

Only the Cleveland Browns have a worse record than the Bears with the season now a little past a third over and only the Panthers, Jets and 49ers are as bad.

With the Panthers and the Jets clearly being more talented clubs than the Bears, things will be very bleak around Halas Hall in the coming days of the short week before the Bears take on the Packers in Green Bay Thursday night, and what was supposed to be a rebuilding year is now teetering on the brink of being a lost season.

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In the locker room following their fifth loss, the Bears were confused and grasping at straws.

Kyle Long is part of the foundation for the rebuilding plan, but when asked if injuries are the problem right now he said, "I don't know what it is, but I know that there are spurts where we play well enough to win, and there are spurts where it looks like we don't know what the hell we're doing."

Danny Trevathan is viewed by most as one of the most important free agent acquisitions of the Ryan Pace, John Fox rebuilding regime, but when asked how the Jaguars game got away, he replied, "I have no idea. I have to look at the film, but I know that a couple of plays got away from us where we got to get on the same page, but we're going to get it done. There's no excuses for us."

While bright spots are certainly hard to find right now, second-year wide receiver Cameron Meredith is one, but like most of his teammates, he's searching for answers.

"It's definitely getting frustrating when you get down to the red zone and we're not able to get in there," he said. "We need to turn those field goals into touchdowns. You got to go back to work and figure out a better game plan or something, so we can be better next week."


That is a second-year undrafted player coming off his first NFL start uncertain whether or not his club's gameplan is the problem.

Hoyer is not the problem, he's just not the answer, and while he was certainly more diplomatic than Meredith in his search for answers, he was asking the same question.

"We've bought in," Hoyer said. "Like I said, if there was a magic potion, we would take it to figure out how to score these red-zone touchdowns. It just comes with hard work and reviewing what you've done, and trying to fix it."

Is that really all it is?

John Fox continues to sell things aren't as bad as they look and will be better soon.

"It's the same thing I told the team," Fox said. "It's not lack of heart, lack of trying. Our guys battled. We just don't play well enough right now and that's on all of us.

"Everybody in there, coaches are giving their all, players are giving their all, we just got to play better to win games."

I don't think anybody doubts their effort.

The fair question after their ugly loss to the Jaguars is are these coaches and players really good enough to get any better than they are right now?

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