Monday, January 3, 2011

Packers 10, Bears 3. I've Seen This Movie Before

Hopefully another season ending in an ugly loss to Green Bay leads to a Superbowl berth. I'm not really sure what the Bears hoped to accomplish yesterday. They obviously straightened some stuff out on defense, and yet the offensive game plan seemed almost vanilla. The Bears didn't make any of their usual adjustments, they never used Cutler out of the shotgun outside of third and long, and it appeared as though they didn't want to show their hand for the playoffs. My question then, of course, is why even bother playing their starters the whole game? A Bears offensive line attempting to block Green Bay's front seven in a straight a man-to-man approach is a terrible idea, and the six sacks of Cutler prove that. Either way, my biggest complaint about yesterday is undoubtedly the game plan. Why not put Cutler and the offense into a hurry up Before the two minute drill? Even then nobody seemed to be in That much of a rush. The Bears really needed to decide before the game if it mattered to them, because their approach in that department was inconsistent at best.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Green Bay Packers, however. That was an excellent slugfest on defense and unfortunately they won. I'm not particularly panicked about a seven point loss at Lambeau, considering they split the season series and an unlikely rematch would take place at Soldier Field. They've got a tough game against the Eagles next week and they'd have to follow that up with a win in the dome against Atlanta in order to make it to the NFC title game and while they're certainly a talented enough team to pull that off, I don't think they'll make it.

As for the Bears? Well, I'd try not to lose much sleep over this. There's a reason you play for homefield advantage. You avoid having to go into hostile environments to face tough teams in their element like the Packers. Of the teams the Bears have lost to this year, the Packers, the Redskins, the Giants, the Seahawks, and the Patriots, the Bears can't run into the Skins or Giants again. As for the he Seahawks game, well, the Bears are a much better team than they were then, and rematches with the Patriots and Packers would be deep into the playoffs and problems I'd be willing to worry about then. The important thing is that Cutler and the Bears have every opportunity to wipe out the bad taste of this ultimately meaningless loss by making some noise in the postseason. Let's hope they take advantage.

The Good:

The front seven- Green Bay could muster little in the way of the run game, and the defense made some huge stops in short yardage situations. GB struggled on third down, and the first goal line stand was a thing of beauty. Morons are bitching about the secondary again, but if you hold the Packers to 10 points you're doing something right. This can't be pinned on the defense.

Tommie Harris: Good to see Tommie get his first sack.

Matt Forte: He went over a 1,000 yards on the season and 500 yards receiving, the first Bears RB to pull that off. His 1,547 yards from scrimmage and 9 total touchdowns are damn good numbers.

The Bad:

Lovie and Martz: Was this game important or not, guys? I'm extremely disappointed with everything I listed above, along with not giving Webb any help against Clay Matthews and allowing Cutler to take a beating by waiting until the fourth quarter to switch to the short game.

Jay Cutler: This was the worst game he's played all year, and I mean that. He was off target all day. Of his two picks, one was a terrible decision in the end zone and the other was just a really bad throw. He made the right read in Hester but didn't step into the throw and the ball sailed high and ended the Bears hopes. He, more than anyone else, needs to do something great in the postseason to get the monkey off his back.

The Offensive Line: You guys suck.

That's all for now. See you all in the playoffs.