They fell to 3-2 in yet another game they were badly outplayed in and at times looked lost on both sides of the ball early in the game.
The offense came out flat, picking up one first down on its first four drives and fumbling the football twice on its first four plays. The defense failed to force a turnover for the first time all season and couldn't get off the field on numerous occasions when it needed to.
So in a business where quality of performance is often judged based on outcome, two straight losses probably have many fans pressing the panic button on this season. After all, the Bears have a new head coach, two new coordinators, a new middle linebacker and several key veterans fighting injury.
I have a message for all of those fans: Do not write this Chicago Bears team off after five games.
Despite being outplayed in four of their five games thus far (the lone exception being a dominant win on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers), the Bears sit at 3-2, tied atop the NFC North Division. They very easily could be 1-4 if not for the two fourth-quarter comebacks led by QB Jay Cutler against the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings in the first two weeks of the season.
After Sunday's loss to New Orleans, head coach Marc Trestman took responsibility for the Bears' offense not starting off well, saying, "We're certainly disappointed with the way we started this game offensively and that starts with me … accountability to get our guys going in the right direction."
Trestman, a man hired by general manager Phil Emery to bring a spark to a talented yet under-performing offense, understands what he's dealing with coaching Chicago this season. He's replacing a beloved, defensive-minded coach in Lovie Smith in a city that has grown accustomed to teams being led hard-hitting, physical defenses.
Even the most novice Bears fan could look around last season and acknowledge the inconsistencies they displayed on offense, which explains why Emery went with Trestman. Yet many fans and pundits questioned the hire due to Trestman's lack of experience in the NFL, with this being his first ever job above the position-coach level.
After two losses, the grumbles coming out of Chicago about Trestman will only grow louder. Three? Expect many to start calling for his head altogether. This season is too important to the future of the franchise, with so many key players, including Cutler, due to hit free agency at its conclusion.
Yet even during the loss to New Orleans, good things were happening. Cutler, coming off a four turnover performance against Detroit the previous week, didn't throw an interception against a Saints defense that was tied for 2nd in turnover differential.
RB Matt Forte began attacking as a ball carrier more, a welcome sign to anyone who felt he spent too much time trying to pick which hole to run through last season. WR Alshon Jeffery, the 2nd-year man who had much of his rookie season derailed due to injury, looks ready to become a household name after his 10-catch, 215-yard performance.
Defensive ends Julius Peppers and Shea McClellin applied more consistent pressure to Saints QB Drew Brees than in the past. Linebacker Lance Briggs looked fierce against the run.
The defense as a whole gave the Bears a chance to win today by holding the Saints to four field goals, including a crucial one following a Jay Cutler first-quarter fumble. Problems, such as SS Major Wright and FS Chris Conte's play in pass coverage and depth at the DT position (depending on the extent of Nate Collins' injury), still persist.
Still, the Bears found themselves with a chance to win the game late. Trailing by 13 near the end of the third quarter, they marched all the way down to the Saints' 25 with just under nine minutes left.
Then, on subsequent third- and fourth-down opportunities, Earl Bennett dropped passes he normally catches. If he hauls in either of those, are we even having this conversation? Maybe the Bears find a way to score a touchdown, ultimately win the game, and everyone is praising Cutler and Trestman again for their never-say-die attitudes.
Looking ahead, the Bears host the New York Giants (0-5) on Thursday and then head to the nation's capital to face the Washington Redskins (1-3) 10 days later. Both are winnable games, at least on paper, meaning they would head into the bye week 5-2.
How many teams would have loved to be 5-2 to start a season with a schedule that included road games versus the Steelers and Redskins and home contests against the Bengals, Saints, and Giants?
Coming out of the bye week, the Bears have five road contests out of their nine remaining games, and of those five teams, only the Cleveland Browns (3-2) have a winning record.
Chicago will have 15 days to dissect Green Bay after the matchup with Washington, and then it's home games versus Detroit and Baltimore, two teams that have proven to be very inconsistent thus far.
Road games with St. Louis, Minnesota, Cleveland, and Philadelphia follow, with a home tilt against the Dallas Cowboys thrown in the middle of that set. A home matchup against Green Bay concludes the regular season, and everyone knows what playing the Packers means to Chicago.
At the very least, the Bears have a head coach in Trestman who won't quit. He won't stop learning or getting better and he certainly won't be outworked. That's why Emery hired him: He's the smartest guy in the room, but he also has a desire to be great.
The Bears could easily be 1-4 this season, but they aren't. They're 3-2 and sitting atop the NFC North following the Lions' loss to the Packers. Things haven't perfect for Chicago so far, but they surely could be a lot worse.Billy Grayson is a Yahoo contributor from Chicago and diehard Chicago sports follower. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
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