The Chicago Bears’ Fourth Quarter Collapse: A Coaching Crisis
In a devastating turn of events, the Chicago Bears once again let victory slip through their fingers. With a 12-point lead and only four minutes remaining, the game seemed all but won. However, this team has proven time and time again that no lead is safe. Just weeks after squandering a 28-7 advantage in the fourth quarter against Denver, the Bears repeated their collapse against the Detroit Lions.
Head coach Matt Eberflus failed to provide any explanation for this brutal meltdown. All he could muster was a vague statement about the team needing to “finish better.” But the evidence speaks for itself. This marked the fourth time in a calendar year that the Bears relinquished a lead in the final 15 minutes of a game. For a coach known for his strong defenses, such a trend is inexcusable.
Even opponents are recognizing the root of the Bears’ issues. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune spoke to a top Lions player who acknowledged the talent on the Bears’ roster. “You could see it on film,” the player said. “They have a great team.” However, it’s clear that the problem lies with the coaching.
Talent Isn’t the Bears’ Problem
Coaches often speak highly of their opponents, but the assessment from a top Lions player is telling. “They have great personnel,” he said. Defensively, the Bears boast two exceptional corners, a strong linebacker room, and a formidable defensive line. Offensively, the return of Justin Fields, along with players like Cole Kmet and DJ Moore, provides the necessary talent. The issue lies in putting it all together.
Despite the Bears’ dominance for 55 minutes against the Lions, several conservative coaching decisions in the final moments opened the door for their opponents to steal the game. This collapse cannot be attributed to a more talented team overpowering a less talented one. Instead, it was a result of a coach who prioritized not losing over taking risks to secure victory.
Matt Eberflus is part of a long line of defensive head coaches who fail to adapt to the offensive nature of the game. Winning in the NFL requires an aggressive mindset, and Eberflus has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of it. His shortcomings extend beyond game management, as his personnel decisions and inability to instill discipline in his players have also come into question.
When talent is no longer the problem within an organization, it becomes clear that coaching is the issue that needs to be addressed. Eberflus is not the solution for the Bears, and decisive action must be taken in the coming weeks.