The Bears got things half right on Sunday. They played a great first half and half their team – their defense – had a stellar game. But that was the good half. As for the other half, they got it all wrong. The offense took a major step backward and if you’re going to go for the gusto and play all of your starters for the entire game, you’ve got to pull off the win. The “moral victory” sailed over the head of Devin Hester with about 20 seconds left in the 4th quarter at Lambeau Field.
I felt like it was a win for the Bears at halftime with a 3-0 lead. The defense looked stout and while the offense wasn’t setting any records, the main goal of getting out of the game healthy was achieved. If you wanted to talk about heading into the playoffs with momentum, pulling the key starters from the game at halftime of the Packers game would have been the best decision that head coach Lovie Smith could have made. Instead, he trotted Jay Cutler and all of his key players out for the second half. The Bears were outscored 10-0 in the second half and fell 10-3 to the Packers.
Sure, the Bears gained some respect around the league for playing their starters the entire game and trying to win, but that respect and $5 will get you 2 hours of parking at a downtown parking meter. It was miraculous that Jay Cutler made it out of that game in one piece. He survived another barrage of sacks, 6 to be exact, as the Bears reminded the rest of the league their biggest Achilles heel – pass protection. It only would have taken one bad fall on a shoulder to have Todd Collins piloting your offense into the postseason. Scary thought, huh?