Or not. I can't pretend I ever wanted to write this damn thing but my sense of completeness compels me and I no longer have the valid excuse of being on the interstate driving as I was Sunday night or working late the other nights of the week. It is time to discuss this.
And you know what? I'm not that mad. I'm really not. Not that the loss isn't upsetting, not that it isn't disheartening that the Bears still haven't closed the gap with the Packers, but things are far from grim. I believe the rest of the Bears schedule is shaping up to be fairly favorable, they appear to be getting somewhat healthier as a team, and, if you dig past the box score, there were some good things that happened in this game.
There were obviously more bad things, however, and that needs discussin'. I naturally spent all of last week in a healthy state of fear about the game, and once it was revealed that Jared Allen was a late scratch, well, that gave me a pretty unshakeable sense of foreboding. Not that Jared Allen alone could have prevented the massacre Rodgers committed, but even one or two sacks that stopped drives might have changed the complexion of the ball game. Without Allen and Ratliff the Bears defensive line lost the ability to constantly shift and rotate players on the DL that had been so pivotal to their success early in the season. Despite the Packers frequent struggles in pass protection over the years, they have two very, very solid guards in Josh Sitton (who may be the best pass-protecting guard in football with Evan Mathis out), and TJ Lang. If you want to get to Rodgers you need to threaten his tackles, and the Bears lacked the guy who draws the most attention out on the edge.