4 biggest questions heading into the Bears’ bye week

Alyssa Barbieri
·5 min read

Following an impressive 5-1 start, the Chicago Bears have fallen after losing four straight games heading into their bye week. The problem hasn’t been the defense, which has once again been a top-five unit in the league. Even the special teams has been solid with kicker Cairo Santos and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson.

Of course, the issues remain on offense, which is coming off an embarrassing outing against the Minnesota Vikings where they put up just 149 yards of offense. This is nothing new for this offense, which hasn’t been in a rhythm since 2018. And it seems to get worse with each passing week.

Here are the biggest storylines for this Bears team during this much-needed bye week.

Who gets the start at quarterback in Week 12?

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Matt Nagy has a decision to make at quarterback ahead of next Sunday night's game against the Green Bay Packers. Assuming both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky are healthy, of course. But following another dud of a performance by Foles against the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago's four-game losing streak, Nagy finally opened the door for the possibility of Trubisky's return. “It’s all on the table,” Nagy said. There's an argument to be made for why the Bears have to go back to Trubisky at this point. While Foles isn't the only reason Chicago's offense has struggled, he's made the same mistakes that got Trubisky benched. The one thing you could say about the offense when Trubisky was in there is that it looked better that it has with Foles in there. Which goes back to the kind of offense the Bears ran with Trubisky, where they utilized more snaps under center, which seemed to help the offensive line. Perhaps going back to Trubisky and that offense could give Chicago some kind of spark. But, assuming Trubisky is healthy, let's see if Nagy is bold enough to go back to him.

Is there any fixing this offense?

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The short answer is likely no. That's what we've seen from this Bears offense over the last month in a four-game losing streak. There isn't a quick fix for this offense. It would be so much easier if there was. But it's up to Nagy and his coaching staff to try and find a way to get this offense going heading into the final stretch of the season. Everyone deserves part of the blame for the offense's shortcomings, whether it's the quarterback, offensive line or play callers. Nagy already tried making a change at play caller, which yielded similar results. Now, he's not ruling out a return to Trubisky at quarterback, assuming his throwing shoulder is healthy. The frustrating thing is that Chicago's offense has looked putrid against some poor defenses, which makes you wonder if there's a game remaining on their schedule where the offense can manage to look even a tad competent. For all of the struggles last season on offense -- not unlike this season -- the Bears had a couple of performances on offense that were encouraging, including games against the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. But we haven't seen that with this Bears team.

How long will Bill Lazor continue calling plays?

Dylan Buell/Pool Photo via AP

Matt Nagy did the impossible and handed off play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor for the Vikings game on Monday night. While the results were pretty similar to when Nagy was on the call, Lazor will get at least one more chance to continue calling plays for this offense. “I don’t think it’s in a good position to give him one game, and this happens, and then all of a sudden you’re going back the other way,” Nagy said. “I expect him to be calling the plays.” But if the Bears offense comes out on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12 with a nearly identical performance to last week, how long before Nagy takes over calling plays for the remainder of the season?

How will the remainder of this season dictate Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy's future in Chicago?

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Heading into this season, it was believed that Matt Nagy's seat was a tad warm in Chicago. Still, it felt like Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace would surely be back in 2021. After all, Nagy is 25-17 as a head coach. But those numbers are skewed by an impressive 12-4 campaign in 2018. It's quite possible that Nagy's Bears could finish 8-8 yet again and miss the playoffs for a second straight season. So how hot are Nagy and Pace's seats now? And how hot will they get as the remainder of the season plays out? After all, the Bears continue to put a frustrating product on the field with this offense. And another championship-caliber defense is being wasted on an offense that can't seem to get out of its own way. Thinking big picture here, would it be wise to give Pace another chance to draft a franchise quarterback? Especially if both Pace and Nagy are gone after the 2021 season?

1

1