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No Bears Football Can Be Educational

The Bears being off on the weekend let interesting facts about the team come to light through the games played by other teams.

A weekend without the Bears during a mini-bye produced several self-evident truths about football and even life.

The Bears are essentially playing out the string now and trying to win as many as they can with hopes they can save their coach's job, if not their GM's.

Their defense has been depleted by injury. 

The only reason for watching them doesn't even exist at the moment, because Justin Fields is sidelined. 

Or are they? 

The Miami Dolphins on Sunday added a fourth straight win to their streak after they were once 1-7 on the season. Now at 5-7, they're making noise about getting back in the wild-card chase.

If the Bears pulled off something like this, it would mean an electrified fan base.

As is usually the case when NFL games are played, we learn something about the Bears even without them on the field. Here's what a Bears-free weekend taught.

Time to Wake Up

The Dolphins taught us it's never too late for the Bears to dream. Then again, the Dolphins didn't have to play Arizona and Green Bay in back-to-back weeks. The Cardinals are an alarm clock for the Bears. Get up and stop dreaming.

Forget the Miracle Finish

The Bears would need to beat Green Bay and there appears to be maybe only one other team at the moment who could do this, possibly two, after they blasted the Rams on Sunday. The Bears in their current state will be fortunate to be within 21 at Lambeau in two weeks. Looks like the Bears will still be owned by The COVID King. They'll also be fortunate to get within 14 at home against the Cardinals. Arizona had the best preparation of all this weekend for playing the Bears—they had a bye week and will arrive rested and fresh. 

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Two Possible Bears Wins Ahead

The Bears can still win two games because they have two left with the Minnesota Vikings. Matt Nagy is 5-1 against Mike Zimmer and the reason is the Bears outrush the Vikings in those games. Matt Nagy forgets to run against everyone else, but not the Vikings. With all the chatter about the Vikings defense being revived under Zimmer this year, they gave up 208 yards rushing to the 49ers on Sunday without quarterback Trey Lance contributing any rushing yards in spot duty or as a scrambler. Three weeks earlier the Baltimore Ravens ran for 247 yards on the Vikings. As long as this is the case, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert would have a chance to get the Bears running game going, provided Justin Fields is back by the Vikings game on Dec. 19, because the Bears can't run the ball when they have a pocket passer at quarterback. They've proven this over the past 2 1/2 years.

Don't Discount Wins Bears Have 

The Bears might be better than we all give them credit for being. The Cincinnati Bengals were manhandled at Soldier Field and they have since gone on to slaughter both the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday and before that the Baltimore Ravens while establishing themselves as playoff threats. And the Raiders on Thanksgiving outscored football's version of the Golden State Warriors, the run-and-gun Dallas Cowboys. The Bears scored their easiest win of the year over the Raiders in Vegas. 

The Raiders are 6-5 and Bengals 7-4. If the Bears are the wretched refuse of the league, how did they manage to win those games? One explanation is those happened before all the injuries the Bears have experienced. 

You're not supposed to use injuries as an excuse, they say. Guess what? The truth hurts.

Matt Nagy Coaching Replacements

If the Bears part ways with Nagy, forget about all this Joe Brady stuff. Just because Brady was in New Orleans, where Ryan Pace came from. doesn't mean he's Sean Payton, and a 5-6 Panthers record to go with their 10 lousy points Sunday in a 33-10 loss to the Dolphins pretty much dooms him to the ash bin of possible coaches. Throw any assistants from the current Saints on that ash bin as well, like Pete Carmichael. The Saint are 5-6 without Drew Brees around and that's one game better than the Bears are, for all of their faults. Forget New Orleans for a coach, and Kansas City too.

The Man Who Should Be Coach

The coach who should be hired, if the Bears decide they've had enough of Nagy, once again showed on Sunday why he's the best choice. The New England Patriots are on fire because Josh McDaniels has Mac Jones playing like Tom Brady. 

A 123.2 passer rating, 310 yards, almost 10 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Tennessee Titans defense is nothing to sniff at. The rookie did this in an offense with no one rushing for more than 46 yards while his top wide receivers are Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, who have never reached 60 receptions before. He also has retread Nelson Agholor, who had only 29 receptions coming into the game. 

McDaniels has trained up a quarterback who was laughed at during last year's draft run-up because of his immobility. Just think whe might do with one as mobile as Justin Fields. You want a top Chicago Bears coaching candidate? Ladies and gentlemen I give you Josh McDaniels.

Old Bears and Old Tricks

It was revealed Bears hall of fame defensive lineman Dan Hampton was pulled over in Indiana on a DUI charge. It's happened before, prior to his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Sun-Times reported was sentenced to a week in jail for drunken driving charges in 2002; and also was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 1996 and 1997. After those he said he had learned his lesson. A refresher course could be in order.

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