As I type this the game isn't over, but the Bears are nonetheless done. I'm not even going to bother doing the good/bad. The defense was outstanding when it could have made a difference. That's all I've really got on that side of the ledger.
Chris Collinsworth certainly wore out the angle that Cutler held the ball too long, and I'd agree on 3 or 4 of those sacks. You know what that means? The Bears still gave up 6 sacks where it wasn't the quarterbacks fault. I've got news for you: That's fucking abominable.
This doesn't make the Bears 3-0 start hollow. Don't let people fool you. The stalwart defense that helped them to that start showed up tonight. They still have a great quarterback, assuming that he'll ever start another game for them. The offensive line that had managed to patch and scheme it's way through the last three games, however, has finally run out of ideas.
I really wish I knew how Jerry Angelo is still gainfully employed. In his time at the helm this team is now 79-69. Throw out the 13-3 record in 2001, when he took over after the draft and had little to no role in building that team, and his record drops to 66-66. In those 132 games since 2002 the Bears have given up 334 sacks, or over 2 1/2 sacks per game. They've absolutely sucked at running the ball in that time period as well, with an average finish of 23rd in the league. My point is that Jerry has no fucking clue as to how to build an offensive line, and this isn't going to change. During the only run of competence this team had from 2005-2006, Angelo simply signed the consensus best offensive linemen on the market (Tait, Brown, and Miller) then watched them all age without making any plans whatsoever to replace them. The one promising young lineman they've had (Josh Beekman) was benched for Frank Omiyale and then cut.
Of all the stupid, overused coach-isms in the sport of football, the one that holds true without change is that you win up front. Angelo seems to believe this wholeheartedly when it comes to the defensive line, since he's thrown away four picks in the top two rounds of the draft on defensive linemen since he's arrived (Micheal Haynes, Tank Johnson, and Dan Bazuin look great right now, don't they?) and spent just two on offensive linemen (Marc Colombo and Chris Williams).
The Bears have a franchise quarterback. The media can tell you he sucks all they want, but Cutler has performed like a great fucking QB since he's arrived. He had three god awful games last year against the Packers, Ravens, and 49ers, but in his other 16 games as a Bear before tonight he's posted the following numbers: 340/531 (64.0%), 3858 yds, 32 TDs, 16 INTs, 7.3 YPA, 241.1 YPG, and a 93.2 Rating. He's been nowhere near as bad as people want you to believe. In fact, he's been really good.
The Bears have, believe it or not, a solid wide receiver corps, with Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and even Aromoshadu all having had their moments of greatness.
They have two backs that have both been solid players before and look good when they have any daylight in Matt Forte and Chester Taylor.
They have a tight end corps so deep and talented that they could actually bench Desmond Clark without any kind of negative impact.
They have a defense that hasn't allowed more than 20 points in any game this season and even kept them in this trainwreck until the 4th quarter.
I can't even blame Lovie for this. And as much as I want to hate on all of the offseason and early season hype about Mike Martz and Tice, I really do believe they've done the best job they could. There's just not a fucking thing in this world that a coach can do to fix the lack of talent on that line.
Is it going to get better? Probably. Chris Williams sucks, but he's at least a raw talent that can offer some hope of competence. Maybe Frank Omiyale really is more "comfortable" on the right side. Not everyone has Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyora. The Bears do still have a favorable schedule. But it's all going to be moot because they're eventually going to run into this again. You want to laugh at Favre's failures and the fact that the Vikings suck? Yeah, that's great, but wait until Jared Allen and the Williams Wall are lining up on the other side of the ball. You think Cutler's going to survive a half against the front seven of the Jets?
I'm sure I'm overreacting. God knows I was willing to believe that the 3-0 start meant something. Those games happened, and the Bears certainly won them, regardless of what anyone else will tell you. There will be better games than tonight in the future, but it's only a matter of time.
Hopefully that statement applies to Jerry Angelo, as well. Get fucked, Jerry.