By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) Just when you think the Chicago Bears can’t find new ways to be pathetic, they ask you to hold their beer and then get another beer and spill it down their pants.
On Sunday, they lost to a San Francisco 49ers squad that entered the game 1-10 on the season. But it wasn’t Jimmy Garoppolo, making his first start for the 49ers at quarterback, who torched the Bears, despite the Chicago area product showing why he was traded a month ago for what will be a high second-round pick. It wasn’t the 49ers offense at all, as it didn’t get into the end zone once the entire day.
Instead, it was Robbie Gould, the Bears’ franchise leader in scoring, who burned Chicago by kicking five field goals in San Francisco’s 15-14 win in a craptastic display of pseudo-football at Soldier Field. Thankfully, almost 8,500 no-shows at the stadium of a heritage franchise missed out on being disappointed in person.
Only people with nothing better to do than attend a live Bears game should be disappointed in the loss. A fourth win would only push the Bears (3-9) lower in draft position. Victory would only mask another week of John Fox showing that he somehow managed a lengthy head coaching career in this league without being able to read a digital clock.
Fox spent all three of his second-half timeouts on San Francisco’s final drive, which burned 5:23 on the clock and began at its own 8-yard line and reached the Chicago 3-yard line before the deciding field goal. But the final Bears timeout came with 1:34 left as Garoppolo was marching his team down the field. The Niners then spent a minute-and-a-half dissolving the clock while the Bears didn’t let them score to have time for a comeback chance.
Fox felt good about his field goal block team, though, so it’s cool.
Chicago is now 0-7 in the Fox era when favored by Las Vegas. There’s hardly an excuse for him to keep his job Monday, but there also doesn’t seem to be vibe that general manager Ryan Pace feels firing him after Week 13 is better than firing him after Week 17, though it would give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio a change to at least show if he’s competent overseeing 53 guys. But that due diligence would make too much sense.
“It was hard to even talk to the team after this loss,” Fox said.
That’s believable. There are only so many ways to spin a turd week after week.
Joining Fox on the way out should be offensive coordinator Dunder … Dansby? Loggains, whose unit produced 147 yards of offense against a really lowly San Fran defense. The Niners had 23 first downs to the Bears’ eight. Mitchell Trubisky was allowed to throw the ball 15 times and looked pretty good doing so. But the run game, which should be a strength, was nonexistent again. Even with a depleted roster, Loggains has yet to show a consistent viable game plan in this league.
But this week’s version of embarrassing coaching still isn’t responsible for the irony of being singlehandedly outscored by a kicker whomPace not only cut loose after being a staple here but has yet to adequately replace. Connor Barth is no longer on a roster, and Cairo Santos couldn’t kick off Sunday after tweaking a groin. Correlation vs. causation and all, but Bears special teams has been as lacking as any team in the league since Gould was cut.
Gould screaming at his former team’s sideline after putting his team ahead was appropriately insulting in a year full of insults to the senses. Poetic — albeit fifth-grade poetry — it was in a season written in crayon on a hallway wall.
“I played a long time here, and I was going against a team I have a lot of respect for,” Gould politely lied after the game. “But just coming back to a place where this is probably the greatest sports organization, the greatest group of fans I’ve ever been a part of. And now to be a Niner and see the faithful and how great they’ve been with us through thick and thin, this one means a lot to me in a lot of different ways.”
And it’s a different way for the Bears to lose — this time at home to what was the worst team in the NFC whose kicker knew exactly how the wind swirls in Soldier Field and scored more than your offense. By more than just 15-14, too, since one Bears touchdown came on a Tarik Cohen punt return.
So why you’re holding that beer for the Bears, might as well drink it. And a few more before a punter throws a touchdown pass against them next week. Then a few more until this season is mercifully over and we head into the great beyond of whatever comes next.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.