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The highs and lows of an underperforming Bears season

Halfway through the Bears’ season — which hasn’t gone according to plan — the Sun-Times’ Mark Potash analyzes what’s gone wrong and what to expect the rest of the way:

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) is 29th in the NFL in passer rating (80.0). He was 16th last season (95.4).
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) is 29th in the NFL in passer rating (80.0). He was 16th last season (95.4).
Chris Szagola/AP Photos

Halfway through the Bears’ season — which hasn’t gone according to plan — the Sun-Times’ Mark Potash analyzes what’s gone wrong and what to expect the rest of the way:

Matt Nagy’s grade halfway through the season is:

D. When there are that many points of regression — Trubisky, the offensive line, Cohen, Burton, Miller, the running back, etc., etc., — it points the finger squarely at Nagy. The league has caught up to his offensive style and he has yet to respond.

What should they do at quarterback, now and in the future?

The Bears have little choice but to stick with Trubisky and hope that Nagy finally finds a way to spark the offense and give Trubisky a chance to at least be as good as he was last year. That’s still a winning formula, with this defense. Barring a phenomenal turnaround by Trubisky, the Bears should bring in a quality veteran and a Day 2 draftee to challenge Trubisky in 2020. But if the problem is Nagy, will that even make a difference?

The Bears’ best position group:

The defensive line has done a yeoman’s job, despite injuries to Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols and now Eddie Goldman. Depth is solid, with Nick Williams and Roy Robertson-Harris providing starter-quality snaps most of the season.

The Bears’ worst position group:

The Bears have created a new football adage: ‘The team that has seven tight ends on its roster has none.’ One of the key positions in Nagy’s offense has been a resounding failure. Trey Burton has become really high-maintenance — unproductive when he’s not absolutely 100 percent. Adam Shaheen just hasn’t worked out.

Khalil Mack has been:

Effective but not unstoppable. He’s every bit the player he was last year, but opponents have made a concerted effort to force somebody else to beat them. And, with Hicks out of the picture, nobody has consistently stepped up and taken advantage. Neither Leonard Floyd nor Roquan Smith has blossomed this season.

How the Bears can pull out of their spiral:

Fix the offensive line, which might be an impossible task. The line was much more workmanlike than elite last year, but the inability to match even last year’s modest standard is one of several mystifying aspects of the 2019 regression.

The Bears’ final record:

5-11. Unlike last year’s team, this one — with virtually the same cast — doesn’t look like it has the ability to raise its game to meet the challenge ahead.