Following a blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, which officially eliminated the Bears from the playoffs, the only question for Bears fans now may be, is it more important to try and win these next two games or play David Fales at QB and see what we have? I mean, currently the Bears record is the same as last year at this time under Marc Trestman, so there is some who will argue it is critical for the Bears collective psyche and the John Fox regime to win these final games.
On the other hand, what do these last couple of games truly mean in the long run? Not much. They won't get you into a playoff game and while they may temporarily make the players and fans feel better, any momentum gained is extremely unlikely to carry over into next season.
Meanwhile, it might be more revealing for Chicago to find out what they have in Fales, if anything. Is he going to be a bust, a career backup, or does he have an actual chance to be a starting QB in this league? The Bears need to find out, and they certainly won't discover this with Fales standing on the sidelines holding a clipboard.
Look, this is not a punishment for Cutler, who hasn't played too poorly this season. And while he struggled Sunday, which Bear didn't? With the way the offensive line played, who could blame Cutler for not having his best game? Hell, Joe Montana in his prime would have been challenged with the way the Bears played on Sunday.
Really, there is not much for the Bears to lose by starting Fales. They get to find out if he's any good, while putting themselves in position for a better draft pick.
Yet again, there are those who say that to end up with the same record as last year would be too depressing and make people wonder if the team is heading in the right direction. This could affect free agents from wanting to come to the Bears and lessen the confidence that the Bears coaches have in preparing for next season.
But I say that is nonsense. First of all, players usually go where the money and opportunity is. And fans have short memories and will support this team no matter what. Plus, Fox and company have no choice but to keep on truckin' as that's what they get paid to do. And, what if Fales actually performs well? Not only could they win a game or two, they could raise Bears fans hopes for next season.
For we don't know for sure if Jay will return as QB next season. I think he will, but it doesn't matter what I think, I don't have a say so in the decision. But if nothing else, at least we'll have a better idea if we actually have a backup QB that can be of value even if Cutler does come back, for what if he gets hurt?
So who is David Fales anyway? In case you forgot, Fales was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. He played his college football at San Jose State, starting as a junior after transferring from the University of Nevada (where he redshirted behind Colin Kaepernick) and Monterey Peninsula College for two years. San Jose had their first-ever BCS ranking with Fales at QB in 2012. Fales tossed 31 TDs and was the MVP of the Military Bowl.
Fales started the final preseason game of the 2014 season, and he went 13 of 24 for 146 yards and a touchdown. But the Bears waived him, and after he cleared waivers, he signed with the practice squad. After the Patriots tried to sign him, Fales was elevated to the 53 man roster in 2014. He replaced Jimmy Clausen after he again was targeted, this time by the Ravens, and became Cutler's backup this season.
But lots of college QBs had great stats and never made it big in the NFL. Yet the Bears have an opportunity to find out what they have without it affecting their chances at a postseason berth. Isn't it better to find out now rather than after Jay goes down next season, or after another team trades for him and he excels?
I say let the kid start the last two games, what have they got to lose?