I've spent a lot of time around these parts defending Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. Lovie far more than Angelo, but still, my general feeling has been that it's hard to fire a regime that's won more than it's lost. Well, I'm done. I'm tired of seeing the Bears go into these situations completely outmanned and outgunned. I wouldn't be pissed to see this team keep Lovie and fire Angelo, as I think Lovie generally wins when he has enough players to do so, but I'd not be heartbroken to see them both thrown overboard at this point. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte played as well as two players possibly can play with no one around to bail them out. Cutler dropped back 43 times and was able to set his feet maybe twice. That's inexcusable.
As for Forte, he's only averaging 157 yards from scrimmage this year and Jerry refuses to spend any chunk of his 31 million in cap room to lock him up. Devin Hester made one nice catch tonight and had several terrible misses. The difference between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions tonight was pass protection and Calvin Johnson. Detroit's managed to resurrect itself in two years by building up front and finding a playmaker. Jerry's had 10 years to do both and has done neither, and I'm tired of it. This team may salvage 8, 9, or even 10 wins out of the rest of this schedule. It won't matter. They're not elite, and it's only getting worse. Peppers, Urlacher, and Briggs aren't getting younger. Charles Tillman proved again that, although he may be great at forcing turnovers when everything's great up front, he can't cover a guy like Calvin Johnson on his own.
This is everything we feared before the season. It's a team in decline. I was worried on opening day when Michael Turner ripped off 100 yards, but dismissed it in the win. Since then the Bears have shown they can't stop the run, and that's step one in the entire Cover 2 defense. If they can't do that, nothing else works. Tonight they let JAHVID BEST run for 155 yards against them. That's all you need to know. It's going to be long and ugly and we can only hope that at the end of it all someone new is in charge. Hopefully it's someone who can identify the guys we know are worth keeping (Jay Cutler, Matt Forte) and whoever else on this roster might be worth it (Carimi?) and then clean house and rebuild. I know it can be done. Just look at the team that won tonight's game.
Oh, and I'm not going to do a Good/Bad breakdown for tonight's game because we all know Matt Forte and Jay Cutler played their hearts out and no one else did. I will, however, single out Frank Omiyale and Brandon Meriweather. Those guys don't belong on an NFL roster. Or a CFL roster. Or an Arena Football Roster. Hell, Frank Omiyale's caused me (and Jay) enough pain over the years that I don't think he really belongs among the living.
That's all for tonight. Good night, folks. Good night, 2011 Bears.