CHICAGO -- The blame for Sunday’s inexcusable loss to the Green Bay Packers starts at the top with coach John Fox.
The Chicago Bears (3-6) had an extra week to prepare for the Packers, who on the contrary had to play last Monday night against Detroit.
Let’s face it: Green Bay’s season looked sunk. They arrived at Soldier Field with a three-game losing streak and ineffective quarterback Brett Hundley -- not perennial Bears killer and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers -- at the controls of the offense.
On the other hand, the Bears had won two of their past three games, largely because of Vic Fangio’s stingy and opportunistic defense.
Chicago was excited again about the Bears.
All the ingredients were in place for the Bears to pull off the elusive victory over their hated NFC North rivals.
Or so it seemed.
Instead, the Bears came out sloppy, disorganized and undisciplined – they had six flags thrown on them in the first quarter alone -- and dropped an ugly 23-16 decision.
That’s a direct reflection on the coach.
It sure seemed like Fox didn’t have the team ready to play.
To add insult to injury, Fox’s botched challenge on the Benny Cunningham play backfired so badly that officials changed the call to a touchback and gave Green Bay the ball at the 20. Fox inadvertently took points off the board.
That reversal sums up Fox’s tenure in Chicago.
Almost nothing has gone according to plan.
The Bears have lost 29 of 41 games since Fox came to town – the worst record of any NFL coach dating back to 2015.
But Sunday was supposed to be a referendum that – finally – the Bears were headed in the right direction.
This felt like one of the few games in the Fox era that Chicago was supposed to win.
The first step toward respectability is winning the games you’re supposed to win, right?
Remember, the Bears were actually favored over Green Bay for the first time since 2008.
Now the Bears have to host Detroit (tough game) and travel to Philadelphia (forget about it) on Nov. 26. They're staring 3-8 right in the face.
The Bears are buried in the division -- again.
How can Fox possibly convince Bears general manager Ryan Pace and the McCaskey family (boy, do they hate the Packers) that he’s still the right man for the job?
It probably won't be easy.