It was a sloppy day on the sloppy Soldier Field turf, as the Bears fell 21-14 to the hated Green Bay Packers. Talk about two teams headed in opposite directions. The Pack roll back up north riding a 5-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, the Bears have lost 7 out of their last 9 games and the 2 wins came against the Lions and Browns, so do those really count? Then again, they haven’t beaten a winning team all season, so as Tommie Harris so eloquently put it, “It’s just one of those years.” Um, understatement much? Anyone can have a bad century, right Cub fans?
The tone for the game was set on the Packers first play from scrimmage, a 62-yard touchdown scamper by the Pack’s Ryan Grant. Green Bay kept threatening to turn it into a blowout, but to the Bears’ credit, the defense got organized and actually kept it close.
This week it was the offense’s turn to spit the bit. Jay Cutler’s added 2 interceptions, running his league leading t0tal to 22. There’s nowhere else to look besides JC on these picks.
I’m sick and tired of trying to defend Cutler, trying to say he doesn’t have time or his receivers are no good. It’s time to hold him accountable for what’s going on between the white lines.
Most of all, though, this sloppy game falls on the coaching staff. 13 penalties for over 100 yards is all about discipline and that speaks to coaching. Clock and time out management fall squarely on Lovie and his staff.
Let’s review the time out fiasco and see if we can figure out what in the hell is going on. This from Mike Mulligans’ piece:
It wasn’t just the penalties, but the stupidity of them that was so shocking. Chris Williams, Frank Omiyale, Olin Kreutz and Greg Olsen were all whistled for false starts. This was a home game with a muted crowd that included an announced number of no-shows at 4,665, but it seemed a like a lot more. The Bears weren’t playing in the Metrodome in front of a bloodthirsty fan base.
Something has gone terribly wrong here as was evidenced by the ridiculous double timeout sequence in the fourth quarter. The Bears took a timeout after an incompletion to Greg Olsen stopped the clock with 4:58 left. Quarterback Jay Cutler said the play clock was clicking down to 12 seconds “so I had to burn one.’’ Then during the timeout, the Bears opted to throw the red challenge flag which cost them a second timeout. Why not throw the challenge flag and keep the time out for later?
“Anytime there’s a big play or there’s something downfield that’s up for grabs like that, guys are pushing and shoving and getting off the field and talking to the refs and trying to figure out what happened, the clock’s running during that time,’’ Cutler said. “You can’t second-guess that. He’s probably trying to see the TV replay up in the box and I’m not worried about that. I’m trying to get the play and I look up and there’s 10 seconds on the third down, I’m going to burn one, period.
“Lovie’s not in my headset talking to me saying, Hey, hold on a second,’ so you can’t blame him for that at all.’’
But Turner is in Cutler’s head set and he said there wasn’t a problem.
“Offensively? We didn’t have anything that wasn’t right,’’ Turner said.
Everybody was on the same page?
“Yeah, oh yeah,’’ Turner said.
It sounded like [Cutler] took a timeout for a separate reason …
“No, we were fine,’’ Turner said.
We haven’t seen this kind of confusion around the Bears offense since Brian Griese was leading a late charge down the field against Philadelphia one day and apologizing for it the next. Smith went to far as to say “it was two different incidents and situations,’’ and “in the end the time outs didn’t hurt us.’’
What? Wouldn’t having a time out or two on the final drive allow the offense to use the middle of the field more? Someone joked in the press room the better question to Smith would have been: was their any scenario in which you could have burned all three time outs at once?
So Lovie, Jay and Ron, could you guys huddle up and come up with one story and go with it? This is emblematic of the lack of communication and organization of this team.
Lovie’s goal when he took this job were clearly stated:
#1: Beat Green Bay
For the first time since he took over here, he’s been swept by the Packers. He’s failed. It’s time. Buh Bye!
Some other notes:
Chris Williams is bad.
Frank Omiyale is worse.
Devin Aromashudo should have been on the field 14 weeks ago, but why would we want playmakers on offense.
Johnny Knox reminds me of my golf game. There’s that one shot that brings you back for another round. Unlike my golf game, there’s hope for Knox.
Lovie Del Negro managed his timeouts late in the game as if we were playing the Celtics in the playoffs last spring.
My favorite Jay Cutler moment was Jay calling for the facemask penalty with in the act of being taken to the turf. Jay, you crazy multi-tasker, you!
We can’t run the ball and I’m starting to think this is more than just a line problem. Matt Forte is this millennium’s Anthony Thomas. Nice kid, but just not that good.
Lance Briggs is still ballin’ out there. He’s about the only one on defense who is.
Tommie Harris is now officially good for no more than 3 explosive plays per game. Like a genie from the magic lamp; use them wisely.
I’m running out of gas and bad analogies to describe this team. What jumped out at you watching this game? Hit it in the Comments.