By Dan Pompei–
(CBS) For awhile, the Bears were giving Chicago a feel-good even though they were losing. That ended Saturday with an abysmal 41-21 loss to Washington at Soldier Field that raised some troubling questions.
Here are my observations.
1. If Bears defensive backs had a chance to defend against Matt Barkley on Saturday, one of them might have had an interception. Maybe.
2. Barkley tried to be the NFC Player of the Week on every throw. He has to learn to live with a punt, checkdown, a throwaway or even a sack. Instead, he threw five interceptions.
3. A quarterback who comes unglued when things go poorly the way Barkley did has no chance.
4. For once, it would be nice to see Barkley given a chance to manage a game when he isn’t trying to make up for a deficit and when the passing game can work as a complement to the running game.
6. Barkley had one awful start out of his first five NFL starts. Nobody should give up on him for that. It’s still too soon to determine what he could be.
7. Likewise, nobody should give up on Tracy Porter. He’s been one of the Bears’ best, most consistent players all year. He just had one awful game.
8. The Redskins’ smart offensive game plan completely exposed the Bears’ secondary. It’s a wonder it hasn’t happened more frequently this season.
9. The Bears defense has completely fallen apart the past two games. Attrition is clearly a factor, but at this point fit it’s fair to question focus and effort.
10. Two straight passes from the 4-yard line when the Bears were down 7-0? The Bears don’t deserve to win with play-calling like that.
11. Jordan Howard remains a bright light in a dark period, kind of like Walter Payton was early in his career.
12. What stands out to me about Cameron Meredith is his sharp route running. It’s remarkable for a player who was a quarterback just two years ago and is getting his first extended playing time at receiver.
13. The falling-backward, high-point, 37-yard catch by Alshon Jeffery against the highest-paid cornerback in football is why you do not let Jeffery leave. He does things hardly anyone else can do that can’t be defended. And he makes his quarterback better
14. The only place where there was more wide open space than the Bears’ secondary was in the stands.
15. If the Redskins don’t want Kirk Cousins as their long-term quarterback, the Bears should have a contract drawn up and ready for him to sign.
16. Thanks for reading, and wishing all a peaceful and merry holiday.
Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670’s Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and theathletic.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.