After the Chicago Bears’ Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, the blame game was in full effect. Fans everywhere have their theories and opinions on just what went wrong.
In short, a lot went wrong.
But, there were two significant pain points for the Bears on Sunday night, and both theoretically stemmed from one major mistake made by general manager Ryan Pace. That mistake? Cutting former All Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller.
Think about it this way…
The first pain point Sunday night was obviously the secondary. Eddie Jackson played arguably the worst game of his entire career and was a huge reason why both long touchdowns happened. But, had the Bears had Fuller on this roster, the defense would have been better off.
Does Fuller cover up all of the defensive woes from Sunday night? Absolutely not. But, having him on the field makes this defense so much better.
Cutting Kyle Fuller was an unforgivable mistake that will cost the Chicago Bears in a big way.
In conjunction with the defense getting a boost from Fuller, keeping him would mean the Bears never had the money to sign Andy Dalton. By cutting Fuller, remember, the Bears cleared $11 million in cap space, only to turn around and sign Dalton for on $10 million deal.
Therefore, if Fuller had not been cut, we would have seen Justin Fields playing against the Rams.
“Does Justin Fields play defense, too?”
Of course not, but there’s something to be said about a young, confident, bonafide superstar in the making and how he would energize the entire team. Nothing about Dalton energizes the team. Nothing he can do will mesmerize the fans or his teammates.
Fields, meanwhile, scored his first career touchdown and the place went crazy — might I remind you, it was a road game.
If Fields had started this game, chances are that the offense sustains more drives and puts more points on the board. Does that mean the Bears end up winning? Probably not. But, are we feeling much better about this team if Fields started in Dalton’s place? Absolutely.
Therefore, if Pace had never cut Fuller early in the offseason, the Bears could have a much different feel to them right now. That one, single move had a ripple effect on the rest of this roster.
That one, single move is what is going to keep this team in limbo for at least this year.
Pace has his work cut out for him in terms of fixing this defense, and a lot of the worry could have been put to bed had he kept one single player. Instead, Pace chose to cut Kyle Fuller so that he could sign Andy Dalton.
The rest is now history.