Mile High Meltdown – Bears Fumble Their Way to 13-10 Loss to Broncos


Before the game I said  that if the Bears were up less than 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter, I’d still be scared.  I hate it when I’m right.  Tim Tebow is the slasher in every bad horror flick.  You can’t kill him; he keeps coming back even when you think he’s dead.   It was Tebow’s 4th quarter magic and Marion Barber’s crucial errors that cost the Bears the game and quite possibly the 2011 season.

The Broncos should be giving a game ball to Barber, but I’m afraid he’d drop it.  Barber had two colossal gaffes that cost the Bears the victory in regulation and then killed the Bears in Overtime that led directly to the Broncos’ game-winning 51 yard field goal.  It’s mind numbing to think that they lost this game.  The loss, combined with wins by the Lions and Falcons, has the Bears outside looking in in the NFC playoff picture.  Rightfully so.  The way this team is playing right now, Jay Cutler or not, does not deserve to go to the playoffs.  They barely deserve my attention these last 3 weeks.

If I would have told you that the Bears out-rushed the Broncos 159 to 124, you would have thought the Bears would have won big.   Then I’d tell you that Tim Tebow attempted 40 passes and you’d be thinking that the Bears killed the Broncos.  Tim Tebow can’t complete a pass, it’s a gimme.  Guess again.  Tebow went 21/40 for 236 and a touchdown.  He did most of his damage in the fourth quarter and overtime.   I still don’t know how he did it.  I don’t know how the Bears defense could be so dominant for three quarters and fold like a cheap house of cards.

Let’s go bullet points the rest of the way.

  • In case there was any doubt, please add Caleb Hanie to the long list of Bears bust-out quarterbacks.  Hanie was off target most of the time and when he wasn’t, his wide receivers didn’t do him any favors.
  • Speaking of bust outs, it’s time to end the Devin Hester as a wide receiver sham.  Hester has been doing this long enough and yet he can’t catch a simple pass.  Sun in the eyes or not, he’s got to catch that pass.
  • Someone please put out an APB for Earl Bennett.  Since his big payday, I think he’s had one catch in the last two games.   Is he so dependent on Jay Cutler and vice versa?
  • The Bears defensive line needs to be completely overhauled.  Either that or the Broncos have the greatest offensive line of all time?  Maybe Tebow lit the holy spirit under their asses because he had all day to sit in the pocket.   Melton was OK and Izzy had a key fumble recovery and Peppers was dominant as always, but there is not enough consistency
  • It’s clear why Marion Barber is not a #1 running back any more.  Was it the altitude that got into his heads or were Tebow’s prayers answered.  Which Barber play bothered you more, running out of bounds with less than 2 minutes left or the overtime fumble?
  • The Bears were plain outcoached in that game.  Again.  It’s becoming all too familiar.
  • Kudos to Robbie Gould.  A 57-yard field goal is nothing to sneeze at, not even at Mile High.  That’s a Bears franchise record.  I only wish he had been given a few more opportunities.

There’s another post coming to explain how the Bears lost this game.  One little post on the subject isn’t enough.

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  • venomlash

    You can’t fault Barber too much for the fumble; he was holding the ball well and the defender made a very good hit. The running out of bounds, on the other hand, was his own damnfool fault.

    Also, the reason the D-line wasn’t getting much pressure was because they were being held on almost every play (especially on that touchdown drive in the 4th). Partway through the game, the Broncos O-line realized they could get away with just about anything, so Peppers and Idonije were held pretty blatantly most of the time. No, I don’t know why the refs didn’t call it. Maybe they see Peppers being held so often they don’t notice it anymore.

  • venomlash

    You can’t fault Barber too much for the fumble; he was holding the ball well and the defender made a very good hit. The running out of bounds, on the other hand, was his own damnfool fault.

    Also, the reason the D-line wasn’t getting much pressure was because they were being held on almost every play (especially on that touchdown drive in the 4th). Partway through the game, the Broncos O-line realized they could get away with just about anything, so Peppers and Idonije were held pretty blatantly most of the time. No, I don’t know why the refs didn’t call it. Maybe they see Peppers being held so often they don’t notice it anymore.

  • WhattheHellBook

    All I can say is wow… Tebow is amazing. He was off early and his receivers kept dropping balls but they played as a team from the 4th quater on. There’s no doubt they believe they can win if the game is close and it’s fun to watch. Tebow is a leader and you can’t take that away from him. 7-1, period. http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

  • WhattheHellBook

    All I can say is wow… Tebow is amazing. He was off early and his receivers kept dropping balls but they played as a team from the 4th quater on. There’s no doubt they believe they can win if the game is close and it’s fun to watch. Tebow is a leader and you can’t take that away from him. 7-1, period. http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

  • Mr.Pickles

    I’m normally a “credit where credit is due” sorta guy but all this Tebow magic talk needs to stop. Granted he was hitting open receivers the whole fourth quarter but he had plenty to choose from since the Bears were lined up in a prevent defense most of the time, hell I think I saw Conte lined up in the second row behind the end zone a few times. Tebow didn’t kick a 59 yard field goal, Tebow didn’t strip Barber, Tebow didn’t will Barber out of bounds (actually maybe he did, perhaps he prayed to god and had a divine hand shove him out). Enough with the leader nonsense while we’re at it, the only thing Tebow will lead this team to is an early playoff exit. I’m sure they’ll make the playoffs but it will be by virtue of the quagmire of a division they play in and a cupcake schedule, not the “intangibles” of Tim Tebow. End rant.

  • Mr.Pickles

    I’m normally a “credit where credit is due” sorta guy but all this Tebow magic talk needs to stop. Granted he was hitting open receivers the whole fourth quarter but he had plenty to choose from since the Bears were lined up in a prevent defense most of the time, hell I think I saw Conte lined up in the second row behind the end zone a few times. Tebow didn’t kick a 59 yard field goal, Tebow didn’t strip Barber, Tebow didn’t will Barber out of bounds (actually maybe he did, perhaps he prayed to god and had a divine hand shove him out). Enough with the leader nonsense while we’re at it, the only thing Tebow will lead this team to is an early playoff exit. I’m sure they’ll make the playoffs but it will be by virtue of the quagmire of a division they play in and a cupcake schedule, not the “intangibles” of Tim Tebow. End rant.

  • BearGogglesOn

    Agree on all accounts except that Barber got careless with the ball and allowed it to be stripped. Game situation would dictate that from that distance, the only hope for the Broncos was a fumble. At altitude, it would have been a chip shot field goal from that distance had Barber not gained another yard. Basically, the Bears did virtually the only thing they could have to allow the Broncos to pull that game out. @venomlash

  • BearGogglesOn

    Agree on all accounts except that Barber got careless with the ball and allowed it to be stripped. Game situation would dictate that from that distance, the only hope for the Broncos was a fumble. At altitude, it would have been a chip shot field goal from that distance had Barber not gained another yard. Basically, the Bears did virtually the only thing they could have to allow the Broncos to pull that game out. @venomlash

  • kengrad

    3rd week in row a former cowboy has had a huge contribution to the bears decline if I remember correctly.
    Vs raiders barber lined up wrong to take 7 off the score in a 5 point loss. Roy Williams’ goal line hand off of an int.vs the chiefs, and now barber. To be fair in barber’s defense he has at least been good at what he was brought in for, pounding out the short, hard yards. This whole collapse just shows how much the bears need cutler; ironic it took an interception to learn that lesson to its fullest. This also shows how badly forte is needed, because without him opposing defenses don’t need to do anything but rush the passer. No screen, no swing routes, no substantial receiver threat; Just get to the passer.

  • kengrad

    3rd week in row a former cowboy has had a huge contribution to the bears decline if I remember correctly.
    Vs raiders barber lined up wrong to take 7 off the score in a 5 point loss. Roy Williams’ goal line hand off of an int.vs the chiefs, and now barber. To be fair in barber’s defense he has at least been good at what he was brought in for, pounding out the short, hard yards. This whole collapse just shows how much the bears need cutler; ironic it took an interception to learn that lesson to its fullest. This also shows how badly forte is needed, because without him opposing defenses don’t need to do anything but rush the passer. No screen, no swing routes, no substantial receiver threat; Just get to the passer.

  • kengrad

    Sorry I was wrong, barber’s formation mistake was also vs the chiefs.

  • kengrad

    Sorry I was wrong, barber’s formation mistake was also vs the chiefs.

  • flowermike

    You guys missed Boomers most profound point, the Bears got out coached… again.

    Anyone else think that before we took the field to run out the clock, Lovie would call everyone aside and reiterate that the clock should not be stopped? Sure, it seems rhetorical to us, but obviously the obvious must be pounded home. Barber should have had that message ringing in his ears. Seriously, three kneel downs and the game is over, why are we even running toward the sideline?

    Next, the reason Jeebow was channeling Montana was our fascination with the retreat 2 defense. Our corners were playing so far off the ball, why? Are we scared of giving up the big play against Jeebow??? It’s always said that our d is a great red zone D. Why? Because we run out of run to retreat off the snap. That soft zone kills us with any patient QB and let’s face it, Jeebow had lots of time.

    Jeebow made it look easy because it was.

    ANd the real joke is that we had no field to surrender with that dude banging 60 yard kicks.

    Where is our coaching, gameplan or adjustments? And we’re just lucky that they didn’t get the onside kick because THEY SHOULD HAVE.

    Let’s face it, the poor receiver for the Bronco’s had an awful game until we went into prevent, then he looked like Jerry Rice. Yes Beargogglers, I used Joe and Jerry as metaphors for Jeebow and Dropsy. That’s how bad it ended.

    To think that we were 7-3 with Oakland, KC and the Bronco’s on deck…. wow, there goes the playoffs.

    Disgusting.

  • flowermike

    You guys missed Boomers most profound point, the Bears got out coached… again.

    Anyone else think that before we took the field to run out the clock, Lovie would call everyone aside and reiterate that the clock should not be stopped? Sure, it seems rhetorical to us, but obviously the obvious must be pounded home. Barber should have had that message ringing in his ears. Seriously, three kneel downs and the game is over, why are we even running toward the sideline?

    Next, the reason Jeebow was channeling Montana was our fascination with the retreat 2 defense. Our corners were playing so far off the ball, why? Are we scared of giving up the big play against Jeebow??? It’s always said that our d is a great red zone D. Why? Because we run out of run to retreat off the snap. That soft zone kills us with any patient QB and let’s face it, Jeebow had lots of time.

    Jeebow made it look easy because it was.

    ANd the real joke is that we had no field to surrender with that dude banging 60 yard kicks.

    Where is our coaching, gameplan or adjustments? And we’re just lucky that they didn’t get the onside kick because THEY SHOULD HAVE.

    Let’s face it, the poor receiver for the Bronco’s had an awful game until we went into prevent, then he looked like Jerry Rice. Yes Beargogglers, I used Joe and Jerry as metaphors for Jeebow and Dropsy. That’s how bad it ended.

    To think that we were 7-3 with Oakland, KC and the Bronco’s on deck…. wow, there goes the playoffs.

    Disgusting.