Final takeaways: The Bears’ 2017 season is finally over … now what?

SHARE Final takeaways: The Bears’ 2017 season is finally over … now what?
trubiskyvikings.jpg

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws a pass against the Vikings. (AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — Random thoughts and observations while covering the Bears’ season finale against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

FOURTH QUARTER

1. In three seasons in charge of the Bears, coach John Fox went 14-34. It includes only three wins against NFC North teams — that’s a fireable offense. The Bears’ culture might be better with Fox, but they fell further behind their division rivals on his watch.

2. My coaching candidate list:

Stanford coach David Shaw

Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen

Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur

Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy

And … Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio

3. Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky didn’t get hurt against the Vikings. That’s all that mattered for the Bears on Sunday.

THIRD QUARTER

1. Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. had a better season than many think. But his penalties were a major problem.

2. Through three quarters, the Bears had drives that started at their own 5, 12, 2, 8 and 5. That’s awful. It’s tough to evaluate anything about Trubisky when he’s consistently put in disadvantageous situations. The Bears couldn’t run the ball with reserves Hroniss Grasu, Tom Compton and Bradley Sowell leading the way.

SECOND QUARTER

1. Trubisky’s back-handed throw out of the Bears’ end zone to avoid a sack turned into safety by rule. It was a mistake made by a rookie who still has much to learn. But it also was the result of Trubisky not having anyone to throw to and being protected by an offensive line that consisted of Grasu, Compton and Sowell.

2. Well, special-teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers went out with a bang. His trickery resulted in cornerback Bryce Callahan’s punt return for a touchdown. He hid near the Bears’ sideline before sprinting over to field the punt. The Vikings chased after Tarik Cohen.

It’s a play that former Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, now with the Chiefs, had tried. Ironically, Toub should make the rounds as a coaching candidate for teams.

3. The Vikings have real receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The Bears? Yeah, improving at receiver is a priority.

4. Shurmur, meanwhile, is a legitimate head-coaching candidate. He’s been impressive in two years as the Vikings’ play-caller. Plenty of stats illustrate it. I like this one: interception rate. Last season, Sam Bradford threw five interceptions on 552 attempts in 15 starts. Current starter Case Keenum threw seven interceptions on 481 attempts in 15 games this season.

FIRST QUARTER

1. The Vikings had a seven-play, 70-yard scoring drive on their first possession. They overpowered the Bears. It was playoff-bound team vs. one about to make a coaching change.

2. Fun fact: Trubisky won’t be targeting Josh Bellamy next year.

3. Another week, another position for Cody Whitehair because of all the injuries up front. He started at left guard after starting at right guard against the Browns. He’s the MVP of the Bears’ oft-shuffled offensive line this year.

4. The official game-time temperature is minus-11 degrees — or minus-28 with the wind chill. Good thing the game was indoors.

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