(670 The Score) I could've taken a walk, on an unseasonably lovely November afternoon in Chicago. I could've been breathing the fresh autumn air, savoring the new and palpable taste of freedom it now carries and smiling contentedly at some pathetic flags and lawn signs.
Instead, I watched the Bears. I stared at them losing to the Titans, 24-17, in Nashville on Sunday afternoon in a game not nearly that close, tripping all over themselves to fall to 5-4 in an exhibition of what only nominally can be called football. What the Bears do is something less and more grotesque than that, a disjointed amalgam of failure and error that coach Matt Nagy keeps calling a "process," in the way that certain cheap meats are mixed with nitrites, chopped and reformed into a congealed and grayish paste.
It's not really a choice, truth be told, because I'm responsible for having words ready in this space in the way that these are. So here are words.
I could've raked the yard but instead took in an offense that couldn't take advantage of an opposing force that came in allowing more than 400 yards per game and six per play. A line made up of fringe NFLers played like a line made up of fringe NFLers, but it was veteran Rashaad Coward authoring one of the very worst games in recent memory. Charles Leno Jr. contributed a false start too, amid the Bears' five penalties that added to their league-leading total.
It seems coaching is more of a problem each week, as yet another inexcusable sequence began the third quarter. It's now consecutive weeks coming out of the locker room confused and undisciplined with a fumbled snap, a near-interception and a drive killed by consecutive false starts. I won't be surprised if next week the Bears take the field after halftime with helmets on backwards or forgetting pants.
I could've gone to Scooter's Frozen Custard before it closes for the winter, enjoying a vanilla concrete with Oreos mixed in. But no, I treated myself instead to the Pat O'Donnell festival of punting and David Montgomery putting on a clinic at having to juke linemen immediately after receiving a handoff. And he also gave us the fumble after yet another incompetently executed screen pass, something of a Bears specialty.
I could've gone to the park nearby with a fresh Wall Street Journal cryptic crossword, a clipboard and a portable chair, staking out space under one of the cottonwoods. As an alternative, I bore witness to a team headed quickly in the wrong direction, now having dropped three straight games after a heady 5-1 start that seems like some other season already. This isn't going anywhere meaningful.
Nagy is in tough right now with crippling personnel issues, but it's no excuse for ongoing clock management and communication problems that plague his precious offense. The only time the Bears gain yards with any consistency is after the opponent has raced to a lead that allows them to drop into a zone shell that runs the clock down, and mercifully so for those of us beholden. It's a garbage-time, exhibition game mirage in the total final numbers, obscuring myriad deficiencies that have no easy fix. Not when the Bears can't block.
Their defense deserves better. I feel for those guys, still going hard at all that they are asked to do, playing relentlessly to yet another bitter end.
And they have to watch this, too.
Dan Bernstein is the host of the Dan Bernstein Show on middays from 9 a.m. until noon on 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.