So much for rolling into the bye week with some momentum. Instead, the Bears enter with a thud and have twice as much time to contemplate how they arrived here at 3-5.
One of the more worn-out cliches in the league is that you’re never as good as you think you are when the tape is reviewed, and you’re never as bad as you think you are. It’s true. So the Bears will dissect the 16-7 loss to the Detroit Lions today at Halas Hall and determine there were small factors here and there that collaborated to create a humiliating performance against a Lions team that had closely resembled the Washington Generals away from Ford Field since Matt Millen took over as general manager in 2001.
Fine. So the Bears discover all hope is not lost after pushing play-rewind-play until their thumbs hurt.
Here’s the problem: There isn’t a fancy saying for the inability of a team to sustain any consistency whatsoever. Answers to that won’t be found in film study of the Lions’ game, or any other. That’s what is truly leading to the downfall of this bunch. Success breeds success because of consistency. What this team is breeding is sloppy, dull, uninspired play.
Lovie Smith’s bunch looked lost when it fell at Detroit on Sept. 30, dropping to 1-3. Then there was the rally at Green Bay the following week that injected some life into the team. The Bears turned around and were steamrolled by Minnesota at home. All hope was lost. Not so fast. A 97-yard touchdown drive at Philadelphia following a defensive effort inspired by Brian Urlacher created another victory to revive hope. But the Bears looked about as bad as possible in losing Sunday. Had the Lions offense not been so inept in the red zone, the score would have looked different.
Now, you have the distraction created by Urlacher, his balky back and the coach who doesn’t know who said what to whom and when.
Exhibit A: ``It’s a problem that started all the way back in camp,’’ Urlacher told his good friend Jay Glazer at foxsports.com. ``We’ve done x-rays, bone scans, MRI's, cat scans and this week I flew to Pittsburgh and met with a specialist. He confirmed what the team told me, that they think it’s an arthritis type of thing. The thing that’s so frustrating is there is no clear-cut solution to give me relief. I just have to deal with the pain.’’
Exhibit B: ``Brian admitted having a … I don’t know anything about that,’’ Smith said following the game when asked about the Internet report. ``If Brian admitted that to you, you’ve got to talk to Brian about that.
``It’s an online report. I’m not going to get into any of that right now. If there’s something that Brian talked to you about … as far as I know, what I know with Brian is that he played today. He’s not on the injury list and as far as his back, his back again there’s nothing wrong with his back that would cause him not to be able to play.”
That’s a disconnect that trumps the little debate that brewed last Monday over who was calling the plays in the game-winning drive at Philadelphia. Hey, there’s two weeks to iron this one out.