Written by Joe Tidei/Special to Bears Backer
John Fox thought his team was close against the Texans and his comments in Tuesday’s presser echoed it.
“I think [they are] things that we can clean up,” the second-year Bears head coach told ChicagoBears.com. “We created it, we just didn’t finish it. Much like our whole outing on Sunday.”
Fox was mostly talking about performance of his players, but his quote can also be attributed to the coaching performance.
His teams usually get better and stronger as the game goes on. Him and his staff are well known for making adjustments, but that didn’t happen on Sunday. Fox was a few moves behind in the second half and it showed.
Houston defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel dialed up stunts and blitzes the Bears weren’t prepared for, Dowell Loggains couldn’t find a rhythm with his play calling in his first game as the offensive coordinator and Fox had some questionable decisions on challenges.
Entering his second season with the Bears, Fox has coached 17 regular season games. Week to week, his strategy and philosophy are consistent. Control the ball, limit turnovers and remain poised. None of those three things happened offensively on Sunday and it’s why they lost the game. The Bears looked rattled on offense.
Disappointment is an appropriate word for their performance in Houston, but it’s a one game sample size and it doesn’t match up to what we’ve come to expect from Fox’s team.
Despite their poor play after halftime, the Bears had the lead going into the fourth quarter against a good Texans team.
What we saw from this team isn’t the norm, at least in terms of their usual poise and composure. The Bears also had two players and one coach making their debuts; Cody Whitehair at center, Kevin White at wide recevier and Loggains at offensive coordinator, all of whom you can expect to improve as the year goes on.
There has to be extreme caution when trying to extrapolate one game into something bigger. Every week is different in the NFL and the first game isn’t always an accurate indicator of what will transpire during the season.
The San Francisco 49ers finished 5-11 in 2015, but they won their season opener a year ago 20-3 and looked good doing it. Do you know who they played? The Minnesota Vikings, who went on to win the NFC North.
In my season preview last week, I pegged the Bears at 9-7 and I stand by it despite how they looked in Houston. This is a solid team capable of being highly competitive but lacks the overall talent to make noise in the NFC this season.
Their performance against the Texans wasn’t indicative of anything other than a 23-14 loss, so don’t try to make it more than that.
Fox didn’t sound worried or concerned in front of the media this week. He believes everything is correctable. He believes this game was an outlier and they are a better team than what they showed in Houston.
He’s right. It was an anomaly, not a cause for concern and if anything, there should be a cause for optimism and we’ll likely see it Monday night against the Eagles.
Author’s note: Joe is an associate producer at CSN Chicago. Give him a follow on Twitter @Joe_Tidei. He talks Chicago sports all day every day.
Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button to get all the latest Bears Backer articles sent directly to your inbox.