Week 1 of the 2023-24 NFL Regular Season was supposed to a new era for the Chicago Bears; it was not supposed to be another chapter in the National Football League’s version of Groundhog Day.
Loving Chicago may be toxic enough to require a Chicago Sports Anonymous support group. Hi everyone, my name is Phil and I have a problem: I’m a Chicago sports addict.
After yesterday’s demoralizing, embarrassing, and borderline-pathetic 38-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the prevailing feeling in Chicago is no longer hope. It is now doubt, anger, and disappointment.
It feels as if I was personally betrayed by my favorite team, but I believe in optimism and keeping perspective.
Chicago’s victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 last season is a good example of Week 1 results being a poor indicator of season-long success or failure. Let’s hope that this ultimately serves as a lesson instead of serving as a prophecy.
Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Chicago Bears’ crushing 38-20 Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.
1. The Chicago Bears coaching staff left much to be desired
The Chicago Bears coaching staff has, to this point, been excused for their poor win-loss record because last year’s roster was intentionally not constructed to win. If you believe in the personnel moves Ryan Poles has made as I do, yesterday’s loss feels like the right time to begin wondering if this is the right staff for the job.
When Matt Eberflus was hired, much was made about his ‘HITS’ philosophy, his desired culture, and his apparent defensive prowess, but color me skeptical. None of that talk has translated on the field so far, especially on defense.
He also hired the other two men I’m holding primarily responsible for yesterday’s debacle, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and defensive coordinator Alan Williams. In a twist I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, Getsy delivered serious Matt Nagy vibes.
Getsy managed to turn things around after the loss to Washington last season, but it seemed yesterday like he forgot everything he learned. He abandoned the mobility and electricity of Justin Fields almost entirely in favor of a bewildering screen-heavy and risk-averse approach that never seemed to adapt to the situation.
It’s hard to know how much blame Alan Williams truly deserves with Matt Eberflus being a defensive coach, but it’s hard not to hold the entire defensive staff accountable. The Chicago Bears defense never adjusted to put pressure on an inexperienced Jordan Love in the second half and he made it look easy.
Again, it’s Week 1 and the rest of the season may alleviate these concerns, but it could also heighten them. Ryan Poles should not be afraid to heat up Eberflus’ seat if things don’t improve soon.