PHILADELPHIA - The Bears lost, 22-14, to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, dropping their record to 3-5 halfway through the 2019 season. Three takeaways from a loss that feels like it sealed the Bears' fate:
1. A quarterback change is not coming.
Matt Nagy will point to the good things Mitch Trubisky did in the second half of Sunday's game as reason why he's not considering moving on from him. He sparked the Bears' ultimately-futile comeback with a 53-yard heave to Taylor Gabriel, and converted a third down with a good throw to Gabriel in the fourth quarter that set up David Montgomery's second touchdown.
Trubisky's first half was an unmitigated disaster, but the Bears will also point to him not getting much help - Tarik Cohen had two drops, the offensive line was shaky and the Bears committed eight penalties. Later, it was not Trubisky's fault that Montgomery dropped a screen on second and nine, a play on which he certainly would've picked up a first down into Eagles territory.
Credit Nagy and Trubisky with finding something in the second half. Because a repeat of his first half would've forced the Bears to seriously consider benching the guy they, collectively, have so much riding on.
But at this point, with the Bears' chances of making the playoffs all but gone, why bench Trubisky? If the Bears indeed move on from him after this season, or at least bring in a quarterback to compete with him, they need to be absolutely sure in their decision. That might mean you're stuck watching some suboptimal football over the next eight weeks. But the Bears have no choice.
Chase Daniel is not saving the Bears' season. Trubisky isn't either. But for 2020 and beyond, the Bears need to have as much information as possible on Trubisky, and that means keeping him at quarterback for the remainder of 2019.
2. The Bears have not quit on 2019.
It's probably not a coincidence the Bears' defense started playing much better after the offense scored its first touchdown of the game, coming in the third quarter. The defense seemed to finally break when Jordan Howard dashed untouched for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 19-0, but dug deep to steel itself and keep the Bears within striking distance.
A team that's given up on its season would've been blown out on Sunday. The Bears did not look like one of those teams, but does it really matter?
3. Their season is, effectively, over.
There are no moral victories in the NFL, and a 3-5 team with a difficult schedule ahead should not be expected to compete for a playoff spot. It would be a colossal surprise if the Bears ripped off seven or eight wins over their final eight games; even if they did, this team does not control its own destiny. The Eagles hold a wild card tiebreaker over them, though it feels foolish to even entertain the thought of playoff contention right now.
The Bears can stay positive based on their comeback effort, but there is no such thing as an encouraging loss halfway through a season. The Bears are who they are: A team with a bad offense that rarely shows busts of brilliance, and a defense that is good, but not elite (as evidenced by the four failed opportunities it had to get off the field on third down on the Eagles' game-sealing drive in the fourth quarter).
Those teams don't make the playoffs. And the Bears are one of those teams.