Chicago Bears: 3 things fans must be tired of seeing

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears Benny Cunningham
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Special Teams failures

It started with a few questionable decisions on punt returns. Early in the season, I was left pulling out what little hair I have remaining after being a Bears fan for 38 years, while watching Tarik Cohen fair catch a few punts inside the 10-yard line.

Once is a brain cramp, but when a player does it two, three, or even four times, you start to wonder what’s going on. It continued with a number of questionable special teams plays that were all on display Sunday.

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First, the Bears capped off a nine-play scoring drive in the second quarter to go up 10 points. The Bears had scored 14 unanswered points and were kicking off to the Patriots. For reasons that are still beyond my comprehension, Cody Parkey kicked it short of the end zone. The result was a 95-yard return for a touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson. The Bears tried to get too cute and it cost them.

What was the point of that? Is the risk created by allowing a return outweighed by the potential advantage of having the offense start at the 15 or 20-yard line rather than the 25? The answer is unequivocally no. It was a turning point in the game in which the Bears lost all the momentum. Parkey needs to kick every ball into the end zone. No questions asked.

What about Benny Cunningham? Is anyone else tired of seeing him catch the kickoff eight yards deep into the end zone and still trying try to take it out? That disturbing trend has continued from the beginning of the season. As has Pat O’Donnell‘s mediocrity. The Bears currently rank 27th in gross punting yards. This is ironic because O’Donnell’s punts this year can be best described as “gross,” as he is averaging 45.7 yards per punt. Granted the blocked punt was not his fault, but it’s just another example of this special teams unit’s failures this season.

It feels like I’ve already unloaded on this unit, and we haven’t even gotten to Parkey’s missed game-winning field goal against the Dolphins, or the decision to not have him try a long field goal at the end of the first half — instead, settling for a worthless dump-off pass to Cohen.

The Bears don’t need their special teams unit to win them any games this season. They just need them to not lose any as they did on Sunday.