After last night, the Bears are now the recipients of last place in the NFC North. Wow! Seems like just yesterday I was in Bourbonnais standing next to Michael Irving talking about how this could be the year for the Bears. It’s heartbreaking as a fan to be 5-8 when your vision was being in the hunt to win the division. Well, as Cubs fans would say, “next year.”
Think about that for a second…next year. What will the team look like? Same coaches, maybe. Same QB. Same offensive scheme and a defense, how could it stay the same with so many question marks? This year’s debacle could be next year’s reality. Man! This is not the path I saw Marc Trestman heading down when he took over the reigns as head coach of the Chicago Bears! Watching last season’s offense, 2nd in total points, which had the ability to score at-will, even with the backup QB. Now, I see an offense that has regressed to 19th in points and was never able to regain a glimpse of their prior identity. Hold on, let me check myself, the offense does have an identity, a pass first team that relinquished the run game.
My biggest concern moving forward is how to fix the defense as we end this season. Week in and week out, Bears fans walk up to me and ask “What’s up with the D?” with a question mark in a bubble cloud over their head. I’ve came to the realization that blame has to be put on Mel Tucker because he is the man in charge. I also understand that you also have to take a deep look at the personnel. It has never been a question of heart with the guys on the defensive side of the ball. They work hard in practice and games.
The Defense’s problem is highlighted by the numbers opposing Offenses put up. Before playing the Cowboys, the Bears were giving up 376.2 ypg, placing them 26th in the NFL. The Cowboys put up 397 yards of total offense on Thursday. The D-Line had a tough night last night, let’s be real. Missing Jeremiah Ratliff caused the D-Line to struggled getting pressure on Tony Romo. They also had a tough time slowing down DeMarco Murray, who finished the game with 179 rushing yards on 32 carries. The Linebackers had a rough outing as well, but the spotlight was on Jon Bostic with Lance being out. Bosstic did lead the team in but seemed to take bad angles and be non-existent vs the run.
As most know, I am very critical of Jay Cutler as a football player. Hey, that is going to happen when you are making the most cheddar in the NFL and you’re not living up to your potential. Last night Jay had one of his best games this season. Cutler had just 100 yards on 10 attempts in the 1st half then he went off in the 2nd half finishing with 341 yards through the air on 32 attempts. The funny thing is that even with the improved numbers, every Bears fan is going to remember the INT at the end of the game. If Cutler played like he did in the 2nd half of last night’s game…this offense might not be in the position it has been in all year.
Every week at the press conferences all we hear is that this team has to be more balanced. Just stop talking about it and be about it please! Matt Forte, the BEST player on the Bears, was coming off of a 5 carry game against the Lions had just 13 Thursday night. If I could get clarification on one thing before the season is over, I would like for the Bears offensive staff to explain why your offense is not RUN THOUGH YOU BEST PLAYER…Forte!
The next guy up, Brandon Marshall, was on the way to a huge game before injuring his ribs. He did finish the game with 3 snags for 64 yards. Say what you want about BMarsh, but don’t ever tell me he doesn’t love the game of football and that he is not a passionate about winning here in Chicago. I won’t believe you need more people (happy belated BDay Jay-z). A big question is, how will the offense perform when he’s out on the 15th against the Saints. Alshon Jeffery came into the game with hamstring issues, but fought hard and finished the game with 6 catches for 95 yards. Martellus Bennett also came in banged up and also played well with 12 catches for 84 yards. I said yesterday on JHS that he would be a big factor if the Bears were going to have success on the off side of the ball.
My ears are also open to the fans, unfortunately for the players and coaches, and they consistently talk about change. I understand and I share some of those same feelings, but my change is whatever it takes to reshape what I’ve been seeing this season. It has to be done. You can have great players, but if you don’t have a strong team you’re not winning anything. People have to buy into what you’re selling. Every man in that locker room has to be on the same page, with the same goals to win a championship. I’ve never won a Super Bowl, but I have been on championship teams, including one college team that had similarities to an NFL team. The common element to those successful teams was everyone bought into what coach was saying, but we also were accountable to one another. If it wasn’t good for the team, bye bye you have to let it go. Together Everyone Achieves More! If guys aren’t going to buy in, so long, see ya! The Bears have to figure out their identity, not just in the 3 phases of the game, but also as an organization. I have blue and orange running through my veins and the Bears C tattooed on my arm. I’m a fan for life. I just want the truth as we are nearing the end of a disappointing season. If it’s not the best thing for the organization… it’s got to go. Nothing is bigger than the C on the side of the helmet. Remember that it stinks that I have to come to the realization that there is no way in Jim Nantz the Bears are still in the hunt for the Playoffs. #BearDown