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Analyzing the Bears’ biggest questions with six games to go

During the Bears’ bye week, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley answers the biggest questions the team faces the rest of the season.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is recovering from a shoulder injury.
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is recovering from a shoulder injury.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

During the Bears’ bye week, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley answers the biggest questions the team faces the rest of the season:

Should the Bears start Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky against the Packers?

Are you sure there’s not a third choice? Assuming both quarterbacks are healthy, the Bears need to go back to Trubisky, if for no other reason than this: When Trubisky runs for his life behind a bad offensive line, at least he has a chance to escape.

Will offensive coordinator Bill Lazor call plays for the rest of the season?

Yes. Abdicating the play-caller role was one of the toughest choices of Matt Nagy’s professional life — and one of his finest moments as the Bears’ coach. It was an admission that he rather would give up his self-identity than keep doing something that doesn’t work. Snatching the reins back would undo any goodwill he gained, and that might prove important when chairman George McCaskey evaluates his future at the end of the season.

When will the Bears’ losing streak end?

At home against the Lions in two weeks.

Besides the quarterback, the Bears’ biggest problem is:

After six games last season, Nagy told us he wasn’t an idiot and knew his team needed to run the ball better. The Bears finished the season with 3.69 yards per carry, the fourth-worst in the league. Their 3.6 this season is the second-worst. The Bears identified a problem long ago and couldn’t fix it. That’s damning of everyone involved.

Under what circumstance would general manager Ryan Pace and Nagy keep their jobs in 2021?

Either win or lose pretty. That means making the offense effective — and fun — for the first time since 2018, then selling their bosses on it taking off next season with a different quarterback. Also, beat the Packers — maybe twice. Those games are an important measuring stick for the McCaskeys — and for Bears fans everywhere.

This Bears player deserves a Pro Bowl nod:

Through 10 weeks, inside linebacker Roquan Smith leads the NFL with 15 tackles for loss, 96 tackles and 70 solo tackles. But that’s not as impressive as Allen Robinson ranking second in targets and eighth in receiving yards while playing with two quarterbacks under two play-callers in a dysfunctional offense.

The Bears will finish the season with this record:

8-8. They have the NFL’s ninth-easiest strength of schedule the rest of the way. The four teams they’ll play not named the Packers are a combined 11-25.