They say legends don’t die, they just fade away. Is that what we’re witnessing with this legendary Bears defense after a total and complete collapse at the hands of the Seahawks. The Seahawks seem to have the Bears’ number as they outscored the Bears 31-0 in the second half of last season’s 38-14 calamity that spelled the end of the Bears’ 2011 season.
You have to question the defense following this collapse. People will point to the decision to go for it on 4th and short in the first quarter, but that wasn’t the issue. Just like last season, the Bears defense hid behind Caleb Hanie and his miserable performances, but they really let down then and they let down on Sunday. When it mattered most, the defense allowed the Seahawks, led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, to march for 97 and 8o yards late in the fourth quarter and in overtime for touchdowns. What happened to bend don’t break? It looked bent and broken on Sunday.
Just like Brian Urlacher, the defense looked slow and old. Urlacher could read the plays, but he just couldn’t consistently get to the ball in time to make a play. Late in the game, poor tackling killed the Bears. They weren’t able to make plays to get themselves off the field. When the Bears miraculously came back to tie the game to force overtime, the coin toss sunk them. The defense had been on the field far too long late in the fourth quarter. There were gassed and got dominated by the younger, more energetic Seahawks. They showed their age late in that game, just like they’ve showed their age late the last couple of seasons.
There are still four games for the Bears to make up some ground, but it’s looking a little grim. Three of their four remaining games are on the road (@ Minnesota, @ Arizona and @ Detroit) while their lone remaining home game is against the Packer, who’ve had their number the last couple of decades for the most part.
After this performance, Bears fans have to be wondering what the team’s chances really are. Following their loss and the Packers’ win, the Bears dropped from the #3 seed to the #5 seed with a trip to New York in their future if the playoffs were to start right today. It’s a missed opportunity as the 49ers lost to the lowly Rams, which would have moved the Bears into the #2 seed with a win.
The division will likely hang in the balance when the Bears face the Pack at Soldier Field on December 16th. A playoff berth is on the line when the Bears face the Vikings next week and the remaining games. On the day when the offensive line seemed to pull it together and Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall were special, the defense let down. This team needs to get all phases going and get on a run through December and beyond. If they can’t it could spell the end of this team as we know it, starting with head coach Lovie Smith.
What do you think? Can the Bears pull it together this season to make the playoffs? If they do, can they make a run or will they be a one-and-done? Let’s hear your Comments.