Despite win over Bucs, Bears still without a franchise quarterback

Nick Foles isn’t the answer, but he and Mitchell Trubisky combine for just enough competence to win

Congrats Nick Foles, you’ll survive another week from the flames of the critics found on the Twitter-sphere.

Yes, while the shining spotlight of Super Bowl LII makes it seem as though he can do no wrong, Foles’ status in Chicago is far from safe. If Matt Nagy and the Bears are smart, they realize the future under center has yet to arrive.

Between the Jekyll/Hyde experiment that is Mitchell Trubisky and the mixed bag of tricks better known as Foles, the Bears somehow have competence at quarterback. Barring injury, this is Foles’ team moving forward, possibly because he keeps Nagy calm on the sideline and away from pulling the hairs off his chin. In reality, neither “franchise guy” is worthy of holding the clipboard, let alone leading a team looking to contend in the NFC.

Bears are getting in their own way at finding a franchise signal-caller

Chicago picked up the 20-19 victory at home thanks to Foles’ flares late. That, and an implosion from the Tampa Bay secondary that looked solid most of the evening, gave way to the Bears winning ways. Several completions proved that the veteran was worthy of getting the nod over the former No. 2 pick yet again. And then, well there were passes that should have been picked and taken back for six.

Foles, who helped complete the comeback and end the 28-3 jokes in Atlanta, made his second start in the Windy City with his former offensive coordinator. Yes, he threw for 243 and a score, but let’s not forget what will likely go down as the worst throws of Week 5 in line to Allen Robinson. Then there was the interception caused by Carlton Davis as Foles targeted Robinson once more.

Credit to the defense to turn the clock forward on Tom Brady and force the six-time Super Bowl champ to struggle. That alone keeps Chicago in contention with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North as they enjoy a long weekend. Brady was held to 253 passing yards and one lone touchdown.

Then again, this was more of a defensive battle than anything. Tampa missed the likes of Chris Godwin to take pressure off Mike Evans. OJ Howard will miss the season with a torn Achilles. And even Leonard Fournette, who has proven his worth in a short time in Bruce Arians’ scheme as a capable runner, also missed Thursday’s outing.

As for Chicago, well, they’re on a quarterback carousel that even the most exciting amusement park fans would be cautionary to ride.

It’s not as if the Bears are knocking on the door as the next big offensive regime entering mid-October. David Montgomery scored the first rushing touchdown of the season, yet still managed to only tally 27 yards on the night. The wide receivers combined for 253 passing yards, with Jimmy Graham being the only factor in his Renaissance revival at the tight end position.

It all leads back to Foles…or Trubisky if you’re being honest. Neither can be effective with the deep ball, but short dump passes will keep drives alive. Foles, who picked up his 12th game-winning drive, saw two passes travel longer than 20 yards on the night, and only one traveled that far through the air.

Short connections were Foles demeanor, leading to a lopsided stat line playing in his favor. Then again, his 17-yard connection with Montgomery with just over a minute left to set up the Cario Santos kick will keep him employed for another week.

In reality, Trusbiky likely could do the same if Nagy designed the playbook to his liking. Heck, even Tyler Bray, who recently was activated from the practice squad, could likely do the same.  The offense does just enough to get by, and relies on defensive pressure to carry the way.

Chicago sits at 4-1 for the first time since 2012. That year, the Bears finished 10-6 despite having a sup-par offense and average defensive unit. Can the Monsters of Midway repeat history once more? If so, Chicago will likely take home the honors of “worst .500 team in history” come January.

In a way, with each win, Chicago loses. Foles isn’t the answer and Trubisky is waiting to join forces with Bill Belchick as the new Brian Hoyer of the NFL. In a looming 2021 draft class with three potential franchise quarterbacks, Chicago is finding ways to fizzle out of the pocket-passer equation.

The Bears could be contenders for 2020, but their future is without a foreground. That alone is a problem for the team that still believes in fairy tales like “defense wins championship”. Even Mike Dikta would struggle hoisting a Lombardi with these two options for quarterback.

Next: Tom Brady choked and forgot it was fourth down so Twitter roasted him

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