The Chicago Bears finally won consecutive games under head coach Matt Eberflus.
It only took 30 games for that to happen.
Going 5-4 after a 0-4 start has the Bears on the playoff fringes. The Bears need to win out and get some help to sneak into the playoffs. Some help is putting it politely as the team has a 7% chance of making the playoffs.
Eberflus deserves a lot of credit for this recent turnaround. He coached his best game in Sunday’s victory against the Detroit Lions.
The defense was dominant in the second half. The unit forced three turnovers and the Lions were 1-5 on fourth down.
He has complete buy-in from the locker room.
While that is nice and all, the Chicago Bears need to part ways with Eberflus after the season.
It is harsh to say especially after an impressive win, but this is a move that needs to happen.
It is nothing personal, it is just business. Keeping Eberflus is not going to be best for business.
Eberflus is nothing more than the most over-promoted defensive coordinator for a franchise with a history of over-promoting those types of coaches. Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron, and even as far back as Neil Armstrong (the football coach, not the astronaut), had some moments of success, but they inevitably failed spectacularly. They were always let down by unimaginative offensive coordinators that could not develop quarterbacks.
We are in the same situation with Luke Getsy running the offense. You might suggest just firing Luke Getsy then. Well, if the Bears keep quarterback Justin Fields, it will be his third offensive coordinator in four years.
If the Bears land the No. 1 overall pick again because they own the rights to the first-round pick of the terrible Carolina Panthers, they have a chance to draft a generational talent at quarterback in USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
You do not want Eberflus picking the offensive coordinator for either of them after Getsy failed to work cohesively with Fields.
You also do not want Eberflus’ H.I.T.S principal near that type of talent.
Being smart situationally has led Fields, and even backup Tyson Bagent, to be risk averse. While you do not want another Jay Cutler out there, you do need a quarterback willing to take a chance for a big play payoff.
Some bright offensive minds will be available to pair up with Williams or Maye. To pass up on guys like Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Houston Texans OC Bobby Slowik, or Seattle Seahawks offensive play caller Shane Waldron is organizational negligence.
Keeping Eberflus also ignores the context of his record.
Yes, winning is winning but when projecting if a coach can be a long-term winner, you have to take into account how the wins and losses came.
He is 8-22 overall and 2-9 against the NFC North.
To be fair, last year’s team was designed to lose to get the No. 1 pick. This year the talent was upgraded, and it is only now in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The team was woefully unprepared to start the season and that falls on Eberflus.
Twice this season the team found ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. A big reason for that was Eberflus being conservative down the stretch. If those were victories, the Chicago Bears are holding onto a playoff seed right now.
Eberflus has defeated just two teams with a record over .500. He beat the Las Vegas Raiders with Josh McDaniels as their head coach and Brian Hoyer as the quarterback. Not exactly a signature win. The Bears crushed the hapless Washington Commanders and the Panthers, the worst team in the NFL.
If the Bears win out, it will include wins over the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers so those are two more signature victories. Those are going to be tough victories to get. Just like sneaking into the playoffs will be incredibly hard. Winning in the long run will also be difficult if Eberflus remains the head coach.