Zachary Kendall is a second-year media major for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.
It was around Halloween 2022 when the Bears lost a 49-29 blowout to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T stadium in Texas. Later that week, the Bears traded what was considered a cornerstone piece of their defense in Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a couple of picks.
That same decision coincided with the Bears having the worst rushing defense and the worst overall defense in football last season. While quarterback Justin Fields did his best to dazzle fans with his many exciting rushing plays, it couldn't stop the Bears from losing their last ten games.
However, there was some hope with Fields' electric playmaking with what many thought could be an improving passing opportunity with better weapons around him heading into the 2023-24 season.
Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles had a multitude of resources in the offseason to turn the team around. This included the No. one overall pick and over $100 million in cap space to work with.
The Bears wasted no time, starting off by trading the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for multiple draft picks, plus a No. one wide receiver in D.J. Moore. Then it was time to shore up the worst defense in Bears history.
In free agency, they signed two linebackers, Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards, for a combined $31 million. To improve the defensive line, Chicago also added Andrew Billings, Demarcus Walker and Yannick Ngakoue.
Then came the promise Poles delivered in his first Bears press conference.
“We are gonna build through the draft,” he said, and having 10 draft picks to sort around, Poles went to work on the front lines for both sides of the ball. Chicago first selected promising rookie right tackle Darnell Wright to shore up the dreaded offensive line and then Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens for the defensive line.
Through all the weapons acquired on both sides, this was supposed to bring hope to Chicago after finishing the previous season with the worst record in the NFL. However, we are two weeks into a new season and the Bears look just as bad if not worse.
It has boiled down to lackluster playcalling, a lack of effort, and very little attention to detail.
In week one, the Bears suffered their eleventh-straight loss and their ninth straight to their rival Green Bay Packers. Then came week two in Tampa Bay.
After week one, Fields admitted he wanted to take more deep shots to guys like Moore and Chase Claypool.
What followed was another dud of an offensive game in which Moore, who only was targeted twice in week one, was targeted twice on the opening drive and not thrown to again until the late third quarter. Claypool showed more effort in this affair and even scored a touchdown, but also had a killer penalty that stopped a first down.
Then an intercepted screen pass for a pick-six by the Buccaneers’ defense dropped the Bears to 0-2.
What has followed is a fanbase growing impatient with loss after loss. Blame and criticism has been thrown around from the penalties, to the playcalling, to Fields not throwing with anticipation and making more plays with his arm.
What the Bears have to do now is go back to the drawing board and come up with a way to get the new playmakers they acquired more involved. Fields is only going to be able to do so much with his legs, and it hasn’t resulted in wins so far.
The Ohio State product has gone 5-22 in his starts for Chicago.To make matters worse, the Bears travel to Kansas City to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. If the Bears don’t figure things out fast, there will be jobs at stake and certain players won’t be on the roster much longer.
What started with offseason hype and anticipation has turned into a position Bears fans and their organization have been all too familiar with.
Contact Zachary Kendall with comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @Kendall_Zachary.