An odd paradox has begun emerging with the Chicago Bears down the back stretch of this 2023 season. The consensus is that the offensive struggles are emblematic of the lack of synergy and connection between play-caller and quarterback and the internal belief the team has about the potential to run the table for a late playoff push.
Yes, it’s true. The Chicago Bears are in the hunt! With a schedule to end the season bookended by two tough divisional matchups and a trio of winnable games in between, there is a scenario where the Chicago Bears could find themselves going into Lambeau Field in week 18 with a playoff berth on the line.
The optimist in all of us fans calls out the fact that the Bears would be 6-6 and in the thick of the playoff race had they won the two games where they endured historical collapses: Week 4 against the Broncos and Week 11 versus the Lions.
It’s easy to look at what should have been and use that to predict what should now happen as the Bears look toward these last five games; that’s definitely what is happening inside Halas Hall. Yet, while the defense has been steadily improving throughout the season, it is the offense that has struggled to gain any form of consistency week to week.
For the Bears to win out the rest of the season would necessitate a consistent, high-performing offense. This would invalidate every criticism held of Luke Getsy to date. There isn’t a scenario where Luke Getsy remains ineffective, at times lost play-caller and the Chicago Bears find a way to win 5 games in a row to make the playoffs.
This is the paradox; the two outcomes cannot coexist. Frankly, it makes this last month of the season so interesting for the Bears.
The Chicago Bears are going to find out exactly who they are this month.
These last five games could signal to the front office, to the fans, to the local and national media that we’ve been wrong all along and that there is top-to-bottom alignment between the coaching staff and players. On top of that, it would surely lead to the retention of this staff going forward.
However, these 5 games could prove the opposite (the more likely outcome) by providing a collection of “almosts”, a string of tantalizing performances that underscore what could have been yet always ending the same way: in a loss.
These disappointing outcomes would reemphasize what the core problems are on this team and what needs to be changed going forward leading to likely coaching changes, and potentially significant roster ones as well.
Between recent comments from D.J. Moore and Jaquan Brisker, highlighting the sheer difference in coaching style and teamwork experienced on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, respectively, and the 30-game playcalling sample from Luke Getsy, it would be unrealistic to believe that the Bears can magically turn this around to end this season; hence the paradox.
But hey, if they can revamp their entire offense on a mini-bye who’s to say they can’t do the same on a full one?