OK Bears fans, you can resume hating the Green Bay Packers. Those scumbags from north of the Cheddar Curtain failed to beat the Minnesota Vikings, leaving the Bears on the outside looking in of the NFC playoffs.
The Vikings jumped out to a 10-0 lead while on a mission to get comeback player of the year and MVP candidate Adrian Peterson the single season rushing record. AD needed 208 yards to break Eric Dickerson’s longstanding record. At the end of the day filled with back-and-forth scoring, Peterson fell 9 yards short, but his last run, a 26 yard run in the closing moments of the 4th quarter, set the Vikings up for the decisive score to pull off a 37-34 win.
It’s easy and lazy to blame the Packers for the Bears being out of the postseason. The Bears need look no further than in the mirror for whom to blame for missing the playoffs. After starting the season at 7-1, going 3-5 the rest of the way is the reason they’ll be enjoying the playoffs from the same vantage point as you and me – from their couches.
The Bears had their shortcomings on both sides of the ball. I can think specifically of the 97 and 80 yard drives that the Seahawks executed to beat the Bears at Soldier Field a few weeks ago. That game was a real backbreaker and in the end, it probably cost the Bears a trip to San Francisco.
In general, though, the Bears failed on the offensive side of the ball. With the talent at the skill positions, including Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, along with complimentary players like Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery, the whole of the Bears offense was not as good as the sum of its parts. That falls on coaching. Yes, the offensive line was miserable for much of the season. It’s true, they don’t have a tight end to speak of.
They had a first time OC in Mike Tice and he didn’t get the job done. He frequently didn’t get the plays in on time, forcing Jay Cutler to burn time outs. He failed to get into a rhythm calling plays and as a result, the Bears were out of sync on offense. The Bears failed to have an offensive identity and that’s on the coaches.
It would be easy to send Mike Tice packing and let Lovie, whose defense found the fountain of youth, select another offensive coordinator. But how many OC’s does he get to select? In his 9 year run with the Bears, Lovie has selected 4 OC’s – Terry Shea, Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice. Do we really need to see a fifth? Is there any evidence Lovie can get it right this time?
At the end of the day, Lovie needs to be held accountable for the product on the field. Lovie needs to be held accountable for the Bears missing the playoffs in five of the last six seasons. It’s time for a change at Halas Hall. It’s time for a new voice. Lovie can’t beat the Packers any more and when he needed them to win, they didn’t.