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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

    The Chicago Bears Collapse?


    It feels as if the Chicago Bears have already been through four regular seasons’ worth of drama and controversy already, and we are only approaching Week 6 of the NFL’s regular season. Currently, the Bears have a record of 1-4, with a rank of dead last in the bitterly contested and animosity-filled NFC North.

    The Bears have been a franchise in the NFL since the league’s genesis, in 1922, and for a long period of time, were considered the gold standard for excellence in football. Lifetime Bears fans will recall the famous 1986 Bears, who terrorized teams with a hard-hitting defense and impressive run offense on their way to a 14-2 regular season and Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. The backbone of this formidable Bears team was formed by Hall of Fame inductees on both the offense and defense, most notably running back Walter Payton and middle linebacker Mike Singletary. 

    Unfortunately, the 21st century has been far less favorable for the franchise. They have not managed to win a Super Bowl since the virtually flawless 1986 season. 

    The team’s most recent playoff appearances have both ended in embarrassing fashion. They were drubbed 21-9 by the Saints in the Wild Card in 2020. They also lost to the Eagles in the 2018 Wild Card game due to the infamous “double doink” off the crossbar in a game-winning field goal attempt from former Bears kicker Cody Parkey. 

    Distraught Bears fans have spent the last few years looking towards a hopeful future, as they used their first-round pick in 2021 to draft highly athletic dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields and also acquired prolific wide receiver D. J. Moore from the Carolina Panthers. With Fields and Moore came the promise of restoring relevancy to a franchise largely starved for success in recent history.

    However, these hopes and dreams seem to be just that: hopes and dreams. The Bears began this season on a horrendous four-game losing streak that came with just as much off-field drama and dysfunction as there was on-field disappointment. Both the offense and defense seemed unwilling — and unable — to do their jobs in the first two weeks of the season, recording losses to the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

    Amidst the disappointment of these losses came a loss to the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams was not on the sidelines at the game against the Buccaneers and resigned from the team quite abruptly after the Week 2 loss, citing “family problems and health concerns” as the motivation for his sudden resignation. 

    The story that broke soon after this resignation indicates the real reason that Williams resigned is far more troubling. ESPN’s Pat McAfee confirmed that during Williams’s absence from the team, the FBI raided his home. The motive behind this raid is unclear but troubling nonetheless. 

    Current FBI agent and former Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman reportedly broke the news to the Bears’ head coach, Matt Eberflus, that Williams’s house had been raided by federal agents. This news left Eberflus crying and many members of the football community, of which Williams has long been a member, utterly shocked. 

    Co-host of Black and White Sports John Matrixx called the Williams resignation the “weirdest resignation” he could think of. 

    “If you truly resigned for your health, OK, not a big story,” Matrixx said. “But there is so much other stuff now that’s come along with this, and it’s just gotten really weird now. I mean, I am just stunned.”

    Williams’s attorney made no effort to deny the fact that his client’s house was raided by the FBI but did not shed any light on why this raid occurred or what alleged crime it pertains to. If you can believe it, this was not the only public relations nightmare the Bears had to deal with the day this news broke.

    In what has been referred to by McAfee as “one of the worst news days for a sports team in history at this point,” the Bears organization faced additional heat in relation to Field’s postgame comments after the loss to the Buccaneers, where he partly blamed poor coaching schemes and adjustments for the team’s pitiful start. 

    The Bears organization was hobbled by this off-field controversy, and unfortunately for them, the regular season continued on, and the stalling Bears were forced to play the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. Their low morale as a franchise was on full display in this game, as they lost 41-10, and Fields failed to eclipse 100 yards passing and threw 1 interception.

    The team then looked to regain its footing in Week 4 against the equally disastrous Denver Broncos. In a game referred to as the “Toilet Bowl” by online jokesters, both teams were winless coming in. Despite a promising performance from Fields, who was facing numerous accusations of being a bust, the team lost in heartbreaking fashion, 31-28. 

    The team sat winless coming into Week 5 and seemed to regain its composure in an incredible Thursday Night Football showing against the Washington Commanders, recording a decisive 40-20 victory. Fields and Moore were finally the feared duo people wanted them to be. Fields threw for 282 yards, 4 TDs, and 0 interceptions. Moore exploded for 230 yards on just 8 receptions and caught 3 TDs. 

    The team looked rejuvenated on both sides of the ball in this game, as the defense limited the Commanders to just 29 measly rushing yards and forced an interception that allowed the Bears to gain an insurmountable 27-3 lead before halftime. 

    NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson was disgusted by the Commanders’ lousy effort in this game and voiced his concerns on X. 

    “The Commanders played with no intensity or fire,” Johnson said. “We didn’t compete in the first half and got down 27-3 heading into halftime. It was too big of a hole to climb out of and that is why we ended up losing 40-20.”

    The long sought out win and promising outings in the last two games from Fields have restored hope in some Chicago fans for this season. The early hole they have dug themselves is quite deep but not impossible to return from. 

    I will continue to follow the Bears season and news about the former defensive coordinator, but it is important to remember that one win against a mediocre Commanders squad does not vindicate the widespread dysfunction and disarray we have seen out of this team this season both on and off the field.

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