Fox, Chicago Bears at a crossroads

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, left, and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 31-3.

    Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, left, and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 31-3.

 
 
Updated 11/27/2017 8:14 PM

After the Chicago Bears' most lopsided loss in nearly a year, coach John Fox told his 3-8 team Monday that it's at a crossroads with five games remaining.

"Big-picture wise, we talked about there are two numbers," Fox said. "There's 3-13, and there's 8-8. That all starts on Wednesday, when we start preparing (for the 49ers). You get this out of your system and then you start getting ready for San Francisco."

 

With a home game Sunday against the 1-10 Niners and the home finale three weeks later against the 0-11 Cleveland Browns, there is time for players to salvage some respectability

But a fourth consecutive season of double-digit losses is a virtual certainty, and considering Fox will have presided over the last three, his departure is presumed.

Respectability won't be enough to save Fox's job.

Bears observers who expect Fox to return in 2018 for the final year of his contract could convene in the bathroom of a 747. But Fox professes to not be concerned that time might be running out for him.

"I don't do this as a job," said Fox, who is 12-31 as the Bears' boss man. "I do this as a profession, so I don't really worry about job security, time and all that. It's obvious we're in a performance-based business. I get that part. I'll just try to control what I can control."

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Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Eagles at Philadelphia was out of control by halftime, when the Bears trailed 24-0 and had failed to make a first down. The margin of defeat matched the 38-10 spanking the Vikings put on the Bears in the 2016 season finale at Minnesota.

Monday morning on WBBM 780-AM, Fox said: "Record-wise, it's the hardest job I've had in my career."

When asked about that comment at his Monday afternoon news conference at Halas Hall, Fox explained.

"I think what I said was 'the sequence of seasons,' " he said. "I don't know that I've experienced that before. Which I think is honest and real."

In 17 seasons as an NFL head coach, Fox had never experienced back-to-back losing seasons until he came to the Bears. In his first year, Fox's team went 6-10, then plummeted to 3-13 last year. Now he's practically guaranteed to make it three straight seasons below .500 in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Bears would have to run the table in the final five weeks to make it to 8-8.

But a .500 record seems miles away for a team that has gone 7-25 in its last 33 games.

"I think we are what we are," Fox said. "We have five games remaining, and what that final record will be is our season record. I've never been big on finger-pointing. Right now we're 3-8, and that's what we are."

That's the bottom line, and in the NFL, which as Fox said is a performance-based business, the blame always lands on the head coach.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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