Rozner: Bears' season slipping away after fourth straight loss

  • Bears running back Tarik Cohen cannot make it into the end zone against the Eagles' Brandon Graham (55) during a game Sunday in Philadelphia. The Bears have lost four in a row, and they haven't hit bottom yet.

    Bears running back Tarik Cohen cannot make it into the end zone against the Eagles' Brandon Graham (55) during a game Sunday in Philadelphia. The Bears have lost four in a row, and they haven't hit bottom yet. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/4/2019 8:54 AM

If there's a positive, it's that the Bears haven't hit rock bottom.

On the mildly negative side, that's because Ryan Pace's five-year rebuild is in free fall -- searching for a bottom.

 

The Bears (3-5) have lost four straight after a complete no-show for the first 30 minutes in Philadelphia on Sunday, a 22-14 defeat in a must-win situation that looks better on the scoreboard than it was in reality.

It had pretty much everything on the Bad Bears Bingo Card -- minus the always popular kicking failure -- an effort so poor as to leave even the biggest Pace supporters jumping ship after years of promoting this as the next great NFL dynasty.

They are still pumping up their quarterback, the superstar formerly known as Mitch Trubisky, who wasn't any worse in the first half than he usually is, overthrowing and underthrowing receivers, and generally looking lost on an NFL field.

The Bears were down only 12-0 after their worst offensive half (9 yards) in 40 years, because Eagles coach Doug Pederson has some serious Matt Nagy tendencies, unwilling to take what the Bears were giving him and insisting on throwing the football.

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As for Nagy, he spent weeks telling you he had no idea what was wrong and couldn't figure out what to do.

Yet, when the Bears were down 19-0 and finally moving the football in second half, twice inside the 10 he ran the football for a pair of easy scores, something he refused to do a week ago.

Complicated stuff. Hand the ball off to David Montgomery from the 1-yard line and collect 14 points.

That's pure genius right there.

Maybe he was motivated by watching former Bears back Jordan Howard taking it 19 times for 82 yards, including a 13-yard TD run against his ex-teammates.

The Bears' defense was as bad as the offense in the first half, though it should be noted that the offense managed to go more than 29 minutes without a first down, the first 5 drives of the game going 3-and-out.

So, yeah, the defense was a bit tired.

But not to give them a pass, the defense committed 6 penalties in the first half, helping the Eagles keep drives alive and post a 12-0 lead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

After Nagy ran it 4 times in the first half vs. 13 pass attempts, in the second half, Trubisky threw it 8 times against 14 runs and the Bears got it going as Trubisky was better on a couple throws.

But when it mattered most late in the game, the quarterback could not get it done.

That won't stop Nagy from selling the pair of good Trubisky throws as proof that it's all coming together for the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.

Two good throws. That's progress for the 2019 Chicago Bears.

Nagy was pleased with Trubisky's improved body language and the way he comported himself on the sideline, so that's great, and Nagy was certain his team wouldn't quit on a season that has gotten away from them.

"I'm learning right now that our team is very, very strong," Nagy said. "They're built tough."

Not quite tough enough.

With the score 19-14, the Eagles put together a 16-play, 74-yard drive with 4 third-down conversions that took 8:14 off the clock and essentially ended the game with a field goal, leaving the Bears only 25 seconds.

That brings us to Adam Shaheen, the 2017 second-round pick out of Ashland, often called another Pace steal by the experts.

He was targeted one time all day, on third down before the last Philadelphia drive, but the 6-foot-6, 257-pound Shaheen could not outfight 5-foot-9, 184-pound Avonte Maddox for the football and the pass fell incomplete, thus ending the Bears' drive on their final offensive play of the day.

And then in a fitting conclusion, with the Bears down 8 points, Shaheen muffed the kickoff and fumbled the ball after collecting it, and the Eagles recovered to finish the contest.

All in all, you have to search hard to find the good in losing again, but that never stops Bears coaches and management from selling you hope for the future.

That's what they do best.

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