The Chicago Bears defense has held strong for most of 2020 despite rough circumstances having to carry a practically dead offense. However, Sunday night in Green Bay was their low point. They gave up 34 points on the evening, never touched Aaron Rodgers, and allowed over 150 yards on the ground. It was a complete letdown that reached a crisis point late in the game when the Packers basically ran it down their throat which culminated in a 13-yard TD run by Jamaal Williams where several Bears bounced off. Former head coach Tony Dungy asserted it looked like the defense gave up. A comment that didn’t seem to sit well with Chuck Pagano.
The Bears defensive coordinator came under a lot of scrutiny after that game. Not just for the effort his players gave on the field but how unprepared they looked. Green Bay was a step ahead of them all night long. He admitted that failure fell on him. He needs to be far better at finding ways to get them in better positions to excel.
However, when the Dungy comment came up?
It seems the veteran coach didn’t take kindly to it. Now understand Pagano is not a guy who goes on rants and gets violently angry. It isn’t his personality. That being said, there was a palpable tension when the comments were brought up to him during his recent press conference. He made it crystal clear that his players don’t quit. They never quit.
They just had a bad night against the best quarterback in the NFL.
Chuck Pagano has his work cut out for him
People keep talking about Matt Nagy’s future as head coach. It’s easy to forget his fate is tied to the rest of this staff. That includes Pagano himself. The odds are pretty strong he’ll have to search for work in 2021 if the Bears can’t finish the season strong. With Mitch Trubisky back at quarterback, it is clear the defense will be needed in order to maintain some kind of stability. That’s if they want any chance of making the playoffs.
It won’t be easy. While the schedule looks lighter than usual, the final five games will feature some noteworthy quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson, Kirk Cousins, and a rematch with Rodgers. Not an easy slate. They already lost to Cousins and Rodgers. They should’ve lost to Stafford and Watson will be plenty motivated thanks to the 2017 snub he got from Chicago for taking Trubisky.
If they keep getting that defense from Sunday night?
The Bears are in serious trouble. Chuck Pagano is a good coach. He’s been around the league for a long time. He isn’t a stranger to adversity. Aside from beating cancer, he head coached the Indianapolis Colts to some good seasons despite questionable overall talent. Odds are he’ll find a way to get the defense back on track. Whether that’s enough to compensate for an offense that remains bad? Well, that is something out of his hands at this point.