Bears Coach Eberflus Needs To Be Fired


416th Theater Engineer Command Army Reserve

Bears players look on at Soldier Field on a snowy day.

It seemed things were looking up for the Chicago Bears last year following a 33-14 defeat of the Patriots. However, what followed the Patriots game can only be described as the worst football Chicago has ever seen: a 14-game losing streak in which the Bears were routinely overmatched and outplayed, culminating in a 38-20 loss to the Packers in which the effort was so terrible that Bears fans at Soldier Field were already booing in the second quarter.

The last time a team had a losing streak this bad was the 2020-2021 Jaguars, who lost 20 games in a row between two horrific years. Fourteen games is an indefensible and pathetic number of football games to lose in a row, and the blame should fall squarely on Head Coach Matt Eberflus; therefore, the Bears should fire him immediately.

Sophomore Thomas McLaughlin said, “[Eberflus] is supposed to be a defensive mastermind, but [the Bears] have one of the worst defenses in the league.” Eberflus came to Chicago after a successful tenure as the Colts’ defensive coordinator. Under Eberflus, the Colts’ defense was consistently one of the best in the NFL, allowing just 22.1 points per game while he was their defensive coordinator. During his time as head coach of the Bears, the Bears’ defense ranked worst in the league in 2022 and third-worst through five games this year. The Bears’ defensive woes are inexcusable given that he was hired as a defense-focused head coach.

Not only have the Bears been struggling on defense, but their offense has been unable to pick up the slack needed to make the Bears a contending football team. In 2022, the Bears ranked 10th worst in the NFL in points scored per game, as quarterback Justin Fields struggled with throwing the ball.

Since Eberflus is a defensive-minded head coach, the Bears’ offensive struggles fall more on Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy, but Eberflus isn’t blameless, either. One way Eberflus failed the offense was by mishandling the Chase Claypool situation. The Bears brought in Claypool midseason last year to bolster their wide receiving corps, but he was unable to make an impact, totaling just 191 yards in 10 games.

“Claypool was an actually good receiver in Pittsburgh, but [the Bears] didn’t even win a game with him [on the roster],” junior Roland Criswell said. Call it what you want, but at the end of the day, it falls on the head coach to keep their players in check, and Eberflus struggled with controlling Claypool’s ego, allowing him to tell the press that the Bears weren’t using him effectively. Some of the blame should fall on Claypool, but clearly, something went wrong for him to say that in the first place.

Roland added that the Bears “didn’t know how to use [Claypool].” Their poor usage was clearly reflected in his performance—it was obvious to anyone watching the games that Claypool was invisible on the field and did nothing positive for the team. Not only did he fail from a statistical standpoint, but his failure fell solely on the coaching staff—Eberflus’s coaching staff—that Eberflus deserves blame for because he was the one that hired Getsy in the first place.

Overall, the offense has shown signs of improvement throughout Eberflus’ time in Chicago, but it isn’t something that he can take too much credit for, given that he is a defensive-minded head coach. One thing that Bears’ fans can be hopeful about is Justin Fields’ improvement. While I won’t go into too much depth, Fields has shown steady growth throughout the season, culminating in two excellent performances, albeit against two terrible defenses.

In the Commanders game on October 5, rumors had been circulating that a loss would result in Eberflus losing his job. How could anyone assume otherwise? After all, a loss would have dropped Eberflus’ record in Chicago to 3-19 and extended the embarrassing losing streak to 15. However, it didn’t happen, as Chicago blew out the Commanders 40-20 for their first win in 347 days.

Junior Sam Apple said, “It was a good win against the Commanders, [but] the play call against the Broncos was not the best.” Sam referred to Eberflus’ decision to go for it on fourth and one against the Broncos a week prior; a field goal would have put the Bears up 31-28 with three minutes left in the game. In all likelihood, a field goal would have sent the game into overtime, but the Bears should not have let a surging Broncos offense get the ball with the score tied, needing a field goal to win the game.

It’s easy to criticize the call after the game, but that wasn’t the biggest flaw with the Broncos game. Instead, it was the collapse. Up 28-7 with the third quarter winding down, the Bears just needed one score to put the game away, but instead, they took their foot off the gas and let the Broncos back into the game.

This failure falls on Eberflus because it is a head coach’s job to sustain leads, especially when Eberflus’s defense let up 24 points in 16 minutes to allow the comeback to happen.

After the Commanders game, the Bears lost to the Vikings 19-13. Fields’ injury overshadowed the loss. Rookie QB Tyson Bagent, an undrafted free agent out of Division II Shepherd University, played the rest of the game at quarterback and led a successful drive, although he did have two turnovers. This loss doesn’t necessarily fall on Eberflus; however, Fields was anything but productive before he got hurt.

Bagent started against the Raiders in Week 7, with the Bears needing a win to hold on to any chance of a turnaround. Although he wasn’t flashy, Bagent finished the job with short passes and crafty clock management. The Raiders game was an excellent game plan from start to finish, although the win came against Raiders’ backup QB Brian Hoyer, whose last win as a starting quarterback was with the Bears in 2016.

As it stands right now, Eberflus has a 5-20 record as Bears head coach. His five wins have come against five subpar quarterbacks, the best being QBs Sam Howell and Mac Jones, two below-average starting quarterbacks. His defense has been one of the worst in the NFL, and his questionable decisions on and off the field allowed the Bears to go 347 days without winning a football game.

In short, Matt Eberflus needs to be fired. His team has shown no effort, has a terrible attitude, and has demonstrated a losing mentality that can only be described as a coaching failure. Don’t believe me? Ask Justin Fields, who blamed coaching for his lackluster start to the year.

The Bears have a substantial effect on the Latin community. Although Sam expressed frustration with the Bears’ coaching staff, he added that Fields, a fan favorite, “[had] not been put into the best situation.” Fields represents much of what Bears fans struggle with—repeated misfortunes that seem to rack up over time. Sam’s discontent represents a large portion of the Latin community that has grown frustrated with the Bears’ lack of success and seemingly never-ending bad luck.

Despite their short stint of recent success, the Bears should fire Eberflus. His poor coaching and horrific mismanagement of his players would lead any reasonable organization to show him the door. The Bears need to give Eberflus a one-way ticket out of Chicago to save their season.