Embarrassing. What else can sum this game up? Either the Bears were a gracious host or the Cardinals were a rude guest as they pounded the Bears 41-21 at Soldier Field to hand the Beloved their first home loss of the season. Let me try another way to express what happened at Soldier Field on Sunday. For anyone with an eating disorder out there needing some help purging, here is the “highlight package” from NFL.com.
This analogy is a little crass, but that’s OK; so am I. Critics have often described the renovated Soldier Field as looking like a toilet bowl. If that’s the case, have you ever heard of an upper decker prank? It’s when you’re at someone’s house and drop a deuce in the upper toilet tank. That is the equivalent of what the Cardinals did to the Bears today. They came into our house and crapped in our upper tank.
When the media and fans raised concerns about an ugly win against a bad Browns team last week, head coach Lovie Smith told us that a win is a win and there is no such thing as an ugly win. How do you feel now Lovie? Is there such a thing as an ugly loss? When the most notable play of the day is Tommie Harris punching a guy in the face and getting kicked out, can you describe this as anything but an ugly loss?
Smith’s defense rolled over and let the Cardinals run up and down the field on them all day long. The Cardinal punter didn’t even have to find his helmet until there were five and a half minutes left in the third quarter. The longer the third down, the easier it seemed for the Cardinals to convert.
This marks the 2nd time in 3 weeks that the Bears have let up 31 first half points. And can you even count the Browns as a real NFL team? So in reality, the last time the Bears faced real NFL teams, they have given up 62 first half points. It’s hard to judge the offense when they are forced to be so one-dimensional, but I’ll give it a shot.
That being said, there are still plenty of opportunities to let the offense have it. Jay Cutler must be getting battered woman syndrome for the abuse he’s taking on a weekly basis. You can say what you want about Jay, but he’s a tough son-of-a-bitch. That guy is getting pounded on a weekly basis and keeps coming back for more. There is still no running game to speak of, but again, when you’re down three scored before most fans have settled into their seats, can’t expect much of a ground game.
And here’s my #1 criticism of Ron Turner and his offensive coaching staff: The Bears were down 34-7 late in the 3rd quarter. The Bears had the ball and there was no hurry up offense, not a glimmer of a no-huddle. Nothing.
Fine. The Bears were ready to throw up the white flag and call it a day. If that’s the case, then why in the name of Papa Bear Halas is your franchise quarterback still out there?!?! Why isn’t Caleb Hanie not taking a few shots? And if you’re not conceding and want to make a go of it, where’s the sense of urgency? Pick a lane!
The Bears went on to score 14 straight points to cut the lead to 13 and chase relief pitcher Matt Leinert back to the bench in favor or starter Kurt Warner. I wish it had been like in baseball where the starting pitcher can’t come back in and Leinert had to stay in. The Bears might have had a chance. Nah, not even Leinert could be that bad, could he?
And while I’m criticizing the offensive coaching staff, where were the moving pockets and the bootlegs that were talked about during the week? Were they just sandbagging, trying to throw the Cardinals off? Ya, that really worked!
As I sifted through the steaming pile left behind at the Mistake by the Lake, there were a few peanuts, but very few:
- The Bears ran screen passes that looked like they were being run by a professional NFL team. More of that please.
- Hey Greg Olsen, welcome to the 2009 NFL season. Better late than never. Bonus points for the 33 yard TD. That is what I’ve wanted to see from Olsen ever since he came into the league: using his size and speed to create mismatches down the seam, not hitting little 5-yard outs.
- Devin Hester continues to develop as a wide receiver. How about that pass play deep down the right sideline that set up the first TD? It seems like forever ago that this games was going to be a shootout. The Bears just ran out of bullets after the first series and couldn’t re-load until it was too late. Way too late.
The Bears don’t have the benefit of sitting around stewing over this loss. They head to San Francisco for a Thursday night date with former Bear legend turned head coach Mike Singletary and his 49ers. They shouldn’t even waste time watching film on Monday. Get right to practice – they desperately need it.