Yahoo Sports’ Charles McDonald is joined by Next Gen Stats analyst Keegan Abdoo on Zero Blitz to discuss the disastrous start to the season by the Chicago Bears, and debate if there is anything the Bears can do to salvage their season.
CHARLES MCDONALD: I think an important part to note about this Bears team is, I'm not sure if it's fair to say they're in rebuild mode, specifically, right? When you go out and you acquire someone like DJ Moore-- I know it came as a part of a trade to acquire more draft picks as well. You get DJ Moore. You go out and you spend a top-10 pick on a tackle. You sign two big money linebackers in TJ Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds. You are expecting to have much more success this year than you did last year.
Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards, in coverage, have combined, combined, to give up 25 of their 27 passing attempts. 25 of 27 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. So if I'm playing the Bears, and I want to target their linebackers, I can hit that for about 8.7 yards an attempt. That's crazy. Like that would be one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league. And this is just their linebackers before we even get to the rest of the defense. I don't understand how this is possible.
And, obviously, Justin Fields, it hasn't been great for him. He's been under pressure on 47.5% of his dropbacks this year, which is insane. Is there anything that can make life easier for the Bears? Or just this is what it's going to be for the whole season?
KEEGAN ABDOO: It's tough, man. I mean, a lot of these are just like, you go back, all right, you trade a second-round pick for Chase Claypool. He has done nothing. You give away Roquan Smith for a second round pick and then decide to spend a ton of money on those two linebackers that have been abused this year. Like, Justin Fields probably makes his offensive line play on All-Madden difficulty.
And it's kind of just a vicious cycle where he's not comfortable. He holds on to the ball too long. And that leads to his offensive line having to hold up for a long time. The problem is he's just not fast enough processing. And whether it's because he's uncomfortable behind that offensive line, or he's getting loaded with too much information, as he was talking about last week, he's been sacked as many times as he has had pass attempts when he holds on to the ball for more than four seconds.
In his career, he's lost 150 expected points when he holds on to the ball for over 4 seconds. Only Zach Wilson has lost more. And he's been sacked 16 more times than any other quarterback on those plays. I think he really needs a fresh start if he wants to salvage his career at all. Maybe go be a backup for a year and hopefully get another chance. But it's rough to see in the Bears.
And coming into the season, there was a lot of hype around them, and I didn't really understand it. Like, I get it. You make these moves and these big splashes, but this is still one of the bottom three roster in the league in terms of talent. So it's tough to see.