Back on the roller coaster we go. Once again in this young and still early NFL season, the Chicago Bears have their fans and the rest of the league wondering just what type of team are they. Are they good? Are they great? Elite even? How do the Bears stack up against the rest of the NFC? The only real answer is that we don’t know yet. We can say that about a number of teams in the NFL. The Cowboys looked dominant through the first three weeks and have looked a shell of themselves the last two. The Colts lost to the Raiders at home last week and beat the Chiefs in Kansas City this week. The Rams look good, then they don’t. Same can be said for the Eagles, the Ravens, the Seahawks, and yes even the Packers. The NFL and the world for that matter doesn’t deal in “coulda” or “shoulda” scenarios. To say the Bears “should” be 4-1 or 5-0 or 2-3 is a wasted energy. They are 3-2, just like they were through five games last season. Similar to last season there are questions that surround the team. Who are these guys? What is the team identity on offense and defense? Is this performance against the Raiders an anomaly or a sign of what’s to come? We can crunch numbers, watch the tape, talk to coaches and players, but until the Bears string together some consistent performances, these questions will remain.

We get it, the window to compete in the NFL is limited and the Bears find themselves in such a window. The fan base and organization realize this and have taken steps to acquire the talent to compete for titles; not conference titles or NFC titles, but Super Bowl titles. Anytime there is a deviation from what we believe is the “norm”, the panic button is not just pushed, but shoved through the console. Coming into Sunday’s game, yes the Chicago Bears were favorites against the Oakland Raiders. The expectation was Khalil Mack would get his “revenge” and the Bears would dominate defensively and Chase Daniel would manage the offense effectively enough to lead the team to a win. Instead, the Raiders dominated both sides of the line offensive and defensive line and with the exception of the 3rd quarter, handled the Bears with relative ease. Coming in, the Bears knew the Raiders would be fairly one dimensional offensively and Josh Jacobs still rushed for over 100 yards and had two touchdowns. Missing Akiem Hicks in the middle of the defensive line proved to be more detrimental than against the Vikings, but the Raider offensive line is also superior to the Vikings. Offensively, the line has yet to get into any kind of rhythm and is consistently allowing pressure in the the passing game and failing to open holes in the run game. While fingers have been pointed at Trubisky and Daniel, consistent and accurate performances from your quarterback is more difficult when defenders are consistently harassing them and pushing them out of the pocket. The Raiders pushed the Bears all over the field Sunday leaving the fans scratching their heads and wondering what happened to the team that shut down Dalvin Cook the previous week. It’s these inconsistencies that have the fans scratching their heads and looking for answers to questions about the Bears.

To paraphrase, “one game not a season makes” and as fortune would have it, the Chicago Bears next game is in two weeks. In that time span, the coaches will look at game tape, assess player performance, and throw down another challenge to the team. Matt Nagy, for all his inexperience as a head coach, play caller, and leader of a franchise has done nothing to spread the sense of fear and desperation that accompanies a loss against a perceived inferior opponent. The pride of this team will be tested and addressed in the next two weeks. Back sides will be chewed in meeting rooms and on the practice field. We the fans won’t be privy to all the conversations and interactions. We won’t see reactions and hear comments in the press or on social media. We may not know the answers to the questions listed at the beginning of this article, but we know this team will respond. For all the Doubting Thomas’ that are billowing about concerning the Bears and this team’s chances, be prepared to eat some humble pie. They will respond, they will rebound, and they will fix the glaring issues we all see. It will happen because of Matt Nagy, because of Khalil Mack, because of Mitchell Trubisky, because of Akiem Hicks, because of the sense of pride and unity this team has cultivated over the last season. What we do know about this Bears team is they are poised to rebound and go on a run through the rest of the schedule and the playoffs. Tune in and enjoy the show.