Stepping on to and off of the ledge
I've been trying to think if there has been a regular season Bears loss this devastating in my lifetime, and I can't come up with anything. Whatever good will the Bears accumulated this year is now gone. Yesterday's beat down was that bad. The worst thing about it was how the Bears just laid down after the Packers got ahead. They were resigned to their fate the entire time. For a game that had so much riding on it, that's truly disappointing.
Had the Bears won this game, the coast would have been clear for the third division title of the Lovie Smith Era. Losing to the Bears at home would have crippled the Packers, and with zero over-.500 teams remaining on the schedule, a playoff birth would have seemed like a lock.
Now everyone is wondering how this team is even 5-5 to begin with.
A few thoughts....
- It's time I stop making excuses for Devin Hester. He was absolute garbage yesterday, as he has been the entire season. It would be one thing if he wasn't able to duplicate the historic success he had in his first two seasons, but that's not the problem. Hester has become below league average as a returner. There is little question that D-Manning is more dangerous on kickoffs right now. I've pinned Hester's troubles on the blocking before, and sure, that has some to do with it. But at some point, if you're the best ever at something, don't you have to break out of it? Field position has murdered this team, particularly in the last two games.
- Where the fudge is the pass rush? The only way the much maligned cover-2 works is when the d-line can consistently pressure the quarterback, and it hasn't happened all year. Make no mistake, that is the number one thing wrong with the Bears this year. Joe Buck said during the game "the Bears have three defenders (Urlacher, Harris, Briggs) paid like quarterbacks." If those guys are making so much money, shouldn't they be getting some fucking sacks? It's not even the sacks, there is just no pressure. I know the the zones Urlacher and Briggs play in make the cover-2 go, but even when they are blitzed, no heat is ever put on the quarterback.
- Want to some up Rex Grossman in three seconds? Look no further than the unreal sideline "air ball" he "threw" while warming up.
- Now for the unpopular part of the program.....don't tie cinder blocks onto Lovie's feet and push him into Lake Michigan just yet. Everyone is incredibly pissed at he and Babich right now, and rightfully so. But yesterday's problems lie deeper than the coaching. Also remember that, hey, the Bears really aren't supposed to be any good this year. I thought they'd be lucky to win five or six games. So sitting atop the division - albiet a terrible one with only a .500 record - shows, in my opinion, that he's not 100 percent awful.
I'm not the biggest Lovie sympathizer in the world, though Friday's post probably made it look that way, but I do think he's competent. With the exception of last year, the Bears have overachieved every season he's been the coach, without question. I think they're doing it again this year.
- Hide the women and children....it's Bulls "Circus Trip" time. With Tyrus and Noah playing like shit, and with Aaron Gray playing at all, I'd be happy with two or three wins this time around. Derrick Rose may have to do it by himself, though.
- Cubs fans are so horribly distraught over the departure of Kerry Wood, it's great. And has there been a gheyer editorial in newspaper history than the one the Sun-Times ran about Wood a few days ago? I'm still not sure if that made me happy or sad.
- In news that hits close to the hearts of many of the commenters around here, The Get Up Kids launched their first reunion show last night in Kansas. Should be fun.