The Chicago Bears’ 38-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks was a perfect microcosm for their 2011 season. It started off a little rough, turned very promising and ended in a complete and total collapse. It was a failure on all levels – offense, defense, special teams, coaches, front office. In the end, the Bears are out of the playoff race and will be forced to play out the string against division rival Packers and Vikings on the road to finish the season.
The game started off a little rough for the Bears. On their second possession Johnny Knox caught a third down pass from Caleb Hanie but fumbled the ball in the process. While trying to recover the ball, he got bent backwards and layed motionless on the field for a while. He was carted off on a stretcher, but subsequent reports indicate that he’ll be OK.
After an impressive goal line stand by the Bears defense, a penalty on the FG attempt opened the door for a Marshawn Lynch touchdown. But the Bears bounced back. With the Seahawks pinned deep in their own end, Julius Peppers forced a Tarvaris Jackson fumble in the end zone that Izzy Idonije covered up for a Bears touchdown to tie the game.
The Bears went on to take the lead in the second quarter as Caleb Hanie seemed to gain confidence with each play. He was rolling out. He was running for first downs. But he was showing you flashes of what you saw in the NFC Championship game. The Bears went to into the locker room with a 14-7 halftime lead after Hanie hit Kahlil Bell on a 25 yard touchdown pass. Then the second half happened.
It looked as if the Seahawks went to the locker room and made adjustments and the Bears went in for milk and cookies. The coaching staff got pantsed in the worst way possible.
Tbe Bears were clearly intent on shutting down their running game, so the Seahawks would try to find the soft spots in the Cover 2 defense in the passing game. Caleb Hanie was clearly more comfortable rolling right, so they’d do some things to blow that up. It didn’t take long for their plans to pay off. Tarvaris Jackson hit a couple of long pass plays on the Seahawks first second half possession to set up a game tying touchdown run.
On the Bears next possession Hanie tried to roll right, rolled right into pressure and threw a pick-6 to another 300+ defensive linemen. I told you that Hanie showed you flashes of his NFC Championship game performance. Is this guy some kind of chubby chaser?
It got worse from there as the Bears went from a 14-7 halftime lead to a 24-14 deficit by the end of the third quarter. Things got so bad in the fourth quarter, the Bears pulled the mothballs off Josh McCown. Not to be outdone, he proceeded to throw an interception after Hanie’s second pick-6 forced him to the bench.
I don’t even have it in me right now to give you the bullet points from the game. The bottom line is the Bears are done for the season. They’re now looking up at the Seattle Seahawks for the Wild Card. In a game where they had everything to play for, the Bears wilted. The coaching staff got outcoached and out-adjusted. The defense wet the bed. The special teams folded. In their loss to the Seahawks, just like this season, the Bears collapsed.