The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley answers the Bears’ biggest questions after five weeks of the season:
The Bears’ quarterback situation is …
A long-term problem. Even if Nick Foles repeats what we’ve seen thus far the season — bursts of greatness, disappointment and then managing the game to a closer victory, all in a three-week span — the Bears must find a 2021 starter in the offseason. Dare they draft one in the first round? Perhaps a Day 2 pick would land them someone like Derek Carr—or even Sam Darnold as a reclamation project—in a trade.
Will Nick Foles start the rest of their games?
If he’s healthy. Head coach Matt Nagy and Bears assistants speak of Foles with a different tone than they did Mitch Trubisky. Mistakes aren’t big-picture concerns, they say, because they know what Foles has accomplished in his career. They can’t say that about Trubisky.
The biggest surprise of the Bears’ season has been …
A shoulder injury meant rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson didn’t play steadily alongside his teammates until the last 10 days or so of summer camp. He’s looked like a five-year veteran since the season started.
The biggest disappointment ….
The Bears failed to solve two problems that their pocketbook could have solved. It was clear since Adrian Peterson rolled past them in Week 1 that their run defense wasn’t the same without Eddie Goldman. They haven’t made a significant move to replace him — and “Snacks” Harrison was available as recently as last week. Secondly, they need to give a contract extension to Allen Robinson, a star player who is only 27 and wants to stay in Chicago.
Matt Nagy must …
Develop an appetite to run the ball. Nagy said the Bears decided to throw more Thursday when they fell down 13-0, but that was only 22 minutes into the game. There was plenty of time to be patient. Nagy is saying the right things —that the Colts and Bucs had tough fronts to run against, that he won’t abandon the run and will use the “mini-bye” to make improvements. But we’ve heard that before.
Their MVP thus far is ….
This question could have been answered the same way the last two-and-a-half seasons. Khalil Mack has been quiet at times this season — and his dropped interception against the Colts was the biggest what-if not involving Robinson—but, heading into Sunday, he was tied for third in the NFL with 22 pressures. He was a monster Thursday. And Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn benefit from the attention given him,
Are the Bears a playoff team?
A tentative yes — provided the season, and the Bears locker room, isn’t ravaged by coronavirus outbreaks. The Bears can probably get in the playoffs by going 5-6 the rest of the way — which is exactly what they did over the last 11 games of last season.