A few late touchdowns against softer zone pass coverages let the Bears escape with a face-saving deficit Sunday night in a 41-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
That is, it was a face-saver as much as there can be one during a decapitation.
In reality, this game came very close to becoming a nightmare along the lines of the 2014 defeat the Bears absorbed in Green Bay when they trailed 42-0 at halftime and fell 55-14.
"Talked to the guys in the locker room afterwards," coach Matt Nagy said. "There's guys that care. I think that's what's important to us.
"But they care and they know that we've got to do it on the field; it's not about what we say."
John Fox and Marc Trestman's teams had guys who cared too. They got fired anyway.
This automatically leads into the next topic Nagy had to address after the game, his job security. Coaches with quitting teams can start to clean out their desks.
There are degrees of quitting, however. When teams absorb punishment and instead of doling it out, they've quit.
The Bears came close to this Sunday night.
"No, I'm not," was Nagy's answer to whether he's worried about the job status. "I just think that right now with our team that this is the stuff through the season that you go through.
"It's about fighting adversity, it's about building cultures and staying together. That's where we're at. So that's what I do, that's what our coaches do, that's what our players do. We stay together and we understand where we're at and that when you have games like this, you've got to figure out, you've got to soul search and you’ve got to be able to stop the bleeding."
The trouble is the bleeding has continued for five weeks. How much blood letting is enough to cause a firing?
Virginia McCaskey was at the game and once before when they had a firing after the season her son, George, said she was "pissed" about the way the team had been performing.
After the McCaskeys and Ted Phillips have failed repeatedly to build a viable team, they don't deserve the chance to feel that way again.
That right is reserved by fans only, the ones who really care, the ones who demand the family sell the team.
Running Game: B-
They really were able to finally start running again with 122 yards on 16 carries and a 57-yarder to start out by David Montgomery. The trouble was their defense couldn't keep the Packers in check long enough to let their running game develop into anything meaningful. Montgomery ran with a fire and broke tackles while the altered offensive line with Sam Mutipher at center, Cody Whitehair at left guard, Alex Bars at right guard and Germain Ifedi at right tackle at least showed some promise.
Passing Game: F
Mitchell Trubisky's three touchdown passes don't offset two interceptions and the lost fumble when he was sacked. Trubisky again seemed hesitant to run out of the pocket when the receivers were covered and use his speed. Just like when the season started and throughout all last year, he looks like he can't see past the pass rushers into the secondary when the blocking begins to break down. Buying time with your feet at that point to find a receiver makes no sense when you can't even see them anyway. He's better off running it right away. This natural ability seems to have been coached out of him. Charles Leno Jr. looked like a blocker playing on one foot, which he was. Anthony Miller should be doing more in his third year than a 28-yard effort on three catches. His season has been a disappointment.
Run Defense: F
They didn't have Akiem Hicks. Let's throw them a pity party. Not having Hicks and the season-long absence of Eddie Goldman makes for too big a hole to overcome, but the linebackers don't have to be blown so far out of every play that the center of the field resembles a freeway. The Packers averaged 4.7 yards a carry on 39 attempts, and when this happens it says physical dominance. Roquan Smith with zero solo tackles and five assists says it all.
Pass Defense: F
Eddie Jackson seemed to have his mind somewhere else. He was out of position, didn't wrap up on tackles and probably should have been replaced by Deon Bush or DeAndre Houston-Carson. Kyle Fuller whiffed on a tackle and missed a coverage. Buster Skrine was an easy touch again in the secondary. A defense so strong on third down and in the red zone throughout the year gave up 6 of 11 on third downs and TDs on four of the five drives inside the red zone. The only stop in the red zone came when the Packers chose to mercifully run out the clock inside the 20.
Special Teams: C-
The Packers had a plan for stopping Cordarrelle Patterson at the beginning and that was just keep him from returning it. Then, when they let him do it, they led by so much it didn't matter. Kicking became almost irrelevant in this game, except for the Bears butt being kicked by the Packers.
Two weeks and changes in play callers and quarterbacks resulted in this kind of game. There's nothing left to change but the coaches and GM. They could have spent some valuable time in the second half running constantly and trying to build some needed continuity in the run blocking but kept going to pointless passing. We've already seen Trubisky enough to know he's not doing anything different. The running game could have helped in the future. Nagy is now 0-3 after byes. It's a good thnig they did all of that self-scouting or the score might have been 55-14.
Here's some advice for Mrs. McCaskey and her family: Stay home and watch on TV because there's an on-and-off button on the remote. Fans are using this, as well as the channel changer.