Chicago Sun-Times

Bears let another winnable game slip away

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There's no denying this NFL truth: good teams don't lose at home.

Especially twice in a row.

That's why the Bears were stinging after Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins. It's not like they were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the New York Jets, two teams that are clearly among the league's elite.

The Bears lost to the Seattle Seahawks and Redskins, two obviously flawed teams. The St. Louis Rams -- while an improved team -- beat both the Seahawks and Redskins.

So the loss on Sunday was palpable to the Bears.

"Disappointing. Frustrating... whatever you want," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "We had a chance to win there."

Cornerback Charles Tillman said it was a "must-win" game.

"It was bad," he said. "We should have won. But the better team won today."

Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa provided a pretty solid breakdown of why the game was important.

"We're jockeying for position for the playoffs. I kind of felt like, if we win this game, we're at 5-2, atop the NFC, and then hopefully shooting for the top team in the AFC," he said. "We don't just want to be the best in the NFC. We want to be the best in the league."

But no one, certainly, is saying that after Sunday's game.

To his credit, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler acknowledged he played a key role in the ugly loss.

"Obviously, it's very discouraging right now," Cutler said after throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble on the goal line. "We let a game get away from us. Our defense had every right to be mad at us. We blew that game offensively. Most of that falls on my shoulders."

In a game they lost by a field goal, the Bears turned the ball over four times in Redskins' territory.

"That's the difference in the ballgame," Cutler said of the turnovers. "That can't happen. Defense just has to keep doing what they're doing. They're the reason we have four wins.

"Offense has to get up to that level."

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21 Comments

The Seahawks and Redskins might be flawed teams as you say, but the bears have been out-coached and out-played with lesser talent at home. What does that say about the Bears?

Throw the ball, Jay! Er...no, better not. We need Kyle Orton back.

Wow Cutler still toeing the company line even after the abuse he has taken behind a garbage o-line, a first round bust, an old useless 2nd rounder, 2 7th round picks and an undrafted free agent who is probably there best lineman. The bears coaches are to stupid to realize the season is lost, they may as well try Marten and Asiata, and even give Levi Horn a chance if he is still on the practice squad.

What can you say about a game like that? Some games are like two heavy weights slugging it out. This was like two drunks in a bar slapping at each other. Make it three drunks, because the refs were pretty clueless, too.

The Bears are an average to below average team. We knew that at the beginning of the season but it was fun to get excited for a while that they might be more, and that Martz and Cutler would make beautiful music together. That dream is over, and the question now is will the Bears permanently ruin Jay Cutler? Cutler spent his whole career throwing to the open receiver. He had to forget that and throw to a spot (a spot that his receivers can never seem to find), so now even when his receivers are open he can't get the ball within five yards of them. He has completely lost his mojo. Only in Chicago.

Nice job by the defensive front. And by Marinelli. That's the most creative and effective blitzing I've seen the Bears do in quite a while. That's it for kudos. If the offense stinks it up after the by week, that should be the last nail in the coffin for Martz and this coaching staff.

Bear owners please fix this mess, fire Smith, Angelo, and Phillips immediately.

"We got our (butts) kicked [59-14], no question about it," Orton said. "There's nothing else to say."

Did you read that Creighton? That's how a real Pro-Bowl, HOF quarterback takes responsibility for an arse whoopin' unlike your smarmy, limp-wristed Jay who says he would keep throwing to a guy he already threw 4 picks to. WTH?

You know Sean-

When folks "decried" the Bear Wr's, I scoffed at them(only) because I thought they were "serviceable", and capable of becoming 1- of the team's bright spots. However, after witnessing Knox "punk-out" on a few pass plays, watching Hester STILL running pass plays(seemingly) loss and the way the Martz uses, D Aromo, Bennett and the T-End's, I'm convinced that this receiving corp, has a ways to go.

That being said, Cutler needs to learn to "value" the ball more. The Int that went for a TD, was nothing more than poor mechanics. A quality QB throws that ball in the stands, lives to see another play. Something is just not right with his approach. He doesn't seem to be in "Command" of this offense. His play is that of a rookie QB at times. It drives me crazy, because you can SEE the(potential) talent in him.

Martz(also) needs to mold his Game plan more AROUND his talent, and NOT his ego/playbook.

Lovie needs to have a better handle on the team in general, as well.

My opinion of this team has wained somewhat, (only)because I wonder if the Bears are capable of making "incremental" improvements- the next few weeks. This team isn't far away from being a great team. The Bears need to use this bye week to re-focus and re-evaluate what they are doing as a team

Sean- can you imagine what this team would be like if the Offense (ever)got it's "stuff" together???

This Loss was all on JAY CUTLER. The Offensive line settled down and actullay played above average in the 2nd half. Cutler just doesn't know how to manage an offense in the redzone. He might have all the physical tools but lacks what counts upstairs. Every interception was on him. We can't keep making excuses for this guy, that the wideouts did this and that. He blew this and the Seattle game. The next Jeff George in the making.

Sean,

Did it ever occur to you that the Bears are just bad?
Firstly, they have no O-line
Secondly, they have a one man D-line
Thirdly, they have a knucklehead for a head coach
Fourthly, they have a knucklehead for an 0ffensive coordinator
Fifthly, they have a knucklehead for a general manager
And sixthly, they have knucklehead owners.

Oh yeah...and us fans have to deal with knucklehead sportswriter on top of all that.

Sean,

Did it ever occur to you that the Bears are just bad?
Firstly, they have no O-line
Secondly, they have a one man D-line
Thirdly, they have a knucklehead for a head coach
Fourthly, they have a knucklehead for an 0ffensive coordinator
Fifthly, they have a knucklehead for a general manager
And sixthly, they have knucklehead owners.

Oh yeah...and us fans have to deal with knucklehead sportswriter on top of all that.

Get OUT of the film room and ON the practice field, just like in hockeyif you lose...they all do extra laps around the rink. If you lose on the field, extra laps around the field...after practice !!!

BigBear,
I think it was more like 2 drunk girls slapping each other. Neither team looked like professional football players.

Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu should be starting at WR. Knox quit on at least 3 routes, and Hester still treats passes like punts and waits for them to come to him. He does fine over the middle, but on the outside, he is flat clueless. This is just sad to watch. The receivers don't see the same things that Cutler does, but instead of fixing it, they just keep making bad reads and bad throws. Cutler and the WRs are not playing well, but it's hard to tell which is worse.

Hey, does Chris Williams get credit for that first sack when he was pushed back into Cutler so hard by Haynesworth that he could have given Cutler another concussion? Seems only fair, since he got his first reception yesterday as well...

Once again, the offensive line was overmatched by an average-at-best Redskins line. Our defense is not the same with Iwuh in there replacing Briggs. My thinking is that you move Tinoisamoa over to the weak side, and put Roach in the game. At least you know both of them are capable of playing as a starter.

So Barry Turner gets to play, but Wootton doesn't? Why not sit Tommie Harris, and play both of the young DEs, so at least we have someone who is trying out there to make plays?

And how in the heck does an offensive "genius" like Martz not adjust to the other side of the field and go after Rogers after Hall got 2 picks? Or 3? Why were we even trying to go to his side on the 4th pick? And how does it look like a smart throw when he bails at the snap and takes off downfield? What ever happened to "read the defender, adjust the route?" Knox, if he had half a brain, would have stopped short and threw his hands up...The drive would have kept going, and we could have taken a few more shots at winning the game.

This team is getting tough to watch. Even the announcers week after week are just dumbfounded at what the Bears are trying to do on offense (granted, that doesn't take much with the guys that get to cover our games for the most part). And to hear that Lovie was pointing out all the good things they did to win 4 games, instead of the disastrous 3rd down percentage, the league-leading sacks allowed, and the Mike Williams Pro Bowl Highlight tape on his vaunted defense...He has to go, and the sooner the better. Stay the course only works when the course is getting you somewhere. At the rate they are playing now, we will be drafting in the top 10 in 2011.

We need a 4-3 defensive scheme that actually works, and an offensive system based on a mobile QB (moving the pocket, bootlegs, screens and misdirections) and a strong running game. And it better not be Gruden...I thought Jagodzinski was the best choice for the job this year, and still think that is the case for 2011. For defense, why not find a Ryan disciple, like Doug Plank, to run the defense?

As for a head coach, a wheel of cheese would be better than what we are getting out of Lovie Smith...He has no authority over his coordinators, and no control over his players. It is so far gone, it's not even funny...

Joe,

Very good points. Some of the same points I have been saying for the past months and have been ridiculed for. Better watch out for the Aromashodu "love" you will get people saying all sorts of mean and nasty things about you...LOL

As I said wayyy back after the Detroit game, if you're going to "punish" DA for a couple of drops and hold him accountable when there were so many other glaring mistakes in that game, then Lovie better hold to that line for the whole year and the whole team. He hasn't. That leads me to a couple of questions.

A. I don't get the radio broadcast down here, so I can't get injury updates that way and I do check the blog for injuries. I noticed E. Williams out of the game early on. If it wasn't due to an injury, why was he pulled and not the OTHER Williams guy? You know, the first round draft choice that got ebarrassed by Haynesworth. I am sorry, when 2 guys are over 320#, that type of bull rush should never happen.

B. Why isn't Knox held to the same critique as DA? How many times this year has he come back to the huddle with that "duh" look on his face. What will stop him from being a pro-bowl WR is the gray matter between the ears. And as was pointed out above. He stops on routes. I said back in July/Aug. that the Bears had 2 guys that ran "9" routes really well. Knox can run that 12-18 yard square in/out really well, but don't ask him to slant off the line of scrimmage. It's not going to happen. And for the life of me, what is Rashied Davis doing out there on field for anything other than Special Teams.

C. You can't tell me that Z. Bowman would be worse than Tillman out there. Yes, he punches the ball out on occasion. At best that is 6-8 times a year. He gets beat that many times in a game for either a 3rd and long first down conversion or a TD. Once again, why isn't Tillman held to the same standard as DA?

I haven't a clue as to why Lovie keeps challenging things that he's got no chance to win. There has to be someone in his ear saying "it's not close, coach, save it." And yesterday, it might have cost him the game. The Cutler sneak was a TD. Why have goal line cameras if you're not going to adhere to their evidence. That last statement was in response to the guys on the telecast who said there might not have been enough to over turn the call. BS. The nose of the ball was over by at least 6". What happens after than of no consequence. At 21-10, you don't take away their running game 100%, but you put them into a hightened state of pass first, run second. And frankly, after the first quarter, I wasn't worried about the skins offense. And another sad thing is that it really looked like the Bears could have ran the ball in the late 3rd quarter and 4th if they had they taken the lead. I will give Tice this; his halftime adjustments were pretty good. The OL played much better in the 2nd half and there were some nice runs by both Forte and Taylor.

Where are all the people that were posting..."4-1, how can anyone call for Lovie's job?"..or this one after the Carolina game. "This defense is sick nasty." Yes, the defense played pretty well yesterday, but, despite all of the screw ups by the offense, when we needed them to make a stop, they couldn't.

This is going to get uglier before it gets better. Buffalo and Detroit are not locks and the other 7 games are pretty rough. Agreed, Joe. There might be these words spoken in April..."With the 8th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select"...One last thing. The equipment manager should be gone today. How many slips can one team have in a 2 week period?

RUN THE BALL!!!!!
YOU ARE AVERAGEING 4.7 PER RUN!!!!!!!
IF QB IS GETTING SACKED AND THROWING INTS AND THE RUNNING GAME IS WORKING WHAT DO YOU DO?
INTELLIGENT COACHES WOULD RUN, MARTZ AND LOVIE:KEEP PASSING.
DOES ANYONE ELTS THINK THESE GUY ARE NUTZ?

The "flawed" Seattle Seahawks beat you with a better defense. What happened to The running game? The "flawed" Redskins didn't beat you, your own QB did... Cutler is overrated(highly), the defense is mediocre, and Lovie Smith shows NO fire. No wonder the Bears are tanking, there is zero identity with this team.

"Winnable?"

How about "laughable" or "indefensible?"

This was a horrid game for both teams. At least Shanahan can use the excuse that it's his first year and he is still sorting out his players. But Lovie? I mean, he has been here... forever.

I remember when Lovie said his players just needed to be "coached up" some more. Thing is... Lovie ain't the one to do it. Now it appears that neither are any of his assistants.

This game was embarrassing and I feel sorry for all of the Bears fans who paid to watch what looked like the fourth pre-season game for each team.

Yuch!!!!!

Oh look it's Gee and he is in fantasy land. "Sean could you imagine if we had the Jets line, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Wes Welker, and Adrian Peterson, this offense would really be something."

Zip you lip loser, you where one of those ### clowns insulting me becuase I had an opinion on this team that you didn't like. You remember "where is Creighton" "hey Creighton no room on the bandwagon for you." Now here you are after hiding for a few weeks trying to creep on my bandwagon. Another fool that runs around thinking he knows everything, but when the #### hits the fan here was me blogging like I always do, backing my play, and there was Gee hiding behind his computer afraid to stick his head out. Decided not to stick to your guns I see, your opinion is changing chump? Boy do you know football, I mean you are locked into this team. What do I know right? I couldn't ever be right about this team, I couldn't possibly have any insight into the Bears or football. Where is all your big talk now Gee? Just another fool who ran around like a chicken with it's head cut off after 3 games.

Look all I will really say about this game is the usual stuff. Most of it we already heard from Aikman.

1.Lovie does not know which calls to challenge.

2. Cutler is hesitating on his recievers, but he is hesitating because they are giving him a lot of reasons to hesitate. (Aikman)

3. Aikman pointed out that the recievers are not doing a good job on 670 today, he spent his entire career in this offense so he should know.

4. Play calling, when something is working you should probably stick with it. Quick drops where working, and they where getting some rushing yars. So they stopped doing quick drops, and rushing the ball.

5. When a team is dropping 7-8 into coverage, run the ball. Not hard to figure that one out.

6. Stop going for 7 step drops on first down, your just making it harder on second and third down.

7. 2 of the picks are on the recievers.

8. Cutler scored a TD and was awarded with a fumble. Broke the plain and then going backwards? But Bennett got the challenge.

9. The O-Line didn't get better this week.

10. Washington has one of the worst run defenses in the nfl and like to use a defense that drops 7-8 guys. So the Bears decided to pass the ball 40 times.

11. Washington is one of the worst pass rushing teams in the NFL. They still beat the snot out of Cutler.

12. Chris Williams 3 offensive line positions down two to go.

13. Mike Martz is a Ritard.

14. Jay still takes risks, however we don't actually know if he would have stepped into the int/td throw to hall because he couldn't step into it as pointed out by Aikman.

15. We will never know how good Cutler is until we get him some protection, talent and an OC that actually plays to his strengths. On 3 step or fewer drops Cutlers passer rating is 151, on roll outs and using a moving pocket it's 116. They don't do many 3 step or less and they never role him out. Not that you would do that stuff none stop it should regularly mixed into the offense all game long. This would give your QB some hope.

16. Aikmen talking about Forte, I am not so sure this guy is a feature back, he has never averaged 4 yards per carry.

17. Bill Parcells is going to opt out of his last year in Miami and is looking for a job. Fire Phillips and let the man do is his thing.

18. Available head coaches. Jeff Fisher has an option, Bill Cowher, Brian Billick.

19. Cutler had a bad game and made some dumb mistakes. His body language is not good right now.

Anyone else wondering about the play calling. Like how come Bears are not doing quick hits early, instead of deep drops? You know keep the defense honest and get some yards on first down. O rwhy it seems when the Bears are doing deep drops that Bears doing basically nothing but deep drops or when they run the ball it seems like it will be 5 running plays and 1 pass, or when they run screens it seems like thats all they are doing at the time. Mix it up, run a quick drop a 7 step and a them a screen. Keep a team off balance.

Finally Johnny Knox stop getting open and stopping. Make a play on the ball. On the int/td why didn't he make a play on the ball, Hall did. At worst he could have broken it up.

I heard Christine Williams is going on the IR, she hurt her V-jay-jay when she was pushed into Cutlers lap ! EXCELLENT 1st round pick Jerry. To do list for the bye #1 Fire Jerry Angelo before he does anymore damage, he's ready to give another 2nd round pick to Tampa for a practice squad O-lineman. #2 Fire Lovie and Martz, turn the reins over to Tice as interum HC, let Marinelli finish out the year as DC. Get Gruden on speed dial, I wonder if Mariucci would make a good GM ?

I don't wonder anymore Creighton. I don't wonder over play calling, which calls to challenge, or where to put players in positions to succeed. I don't wonder about personnel, drafting, or coaching decisions.

What I am is certain this team is average at best. There is nothing they can do this year to fix all the problems they have.

The problems are many. Here are a few starting with the most pertinent.

1. Owners. Virginia McCaskey is more worried about not having cheerleaders than having a winning football team. She would be happy with a winner, but isn't competitive enough to be dissappointed by a loser. She will always make sure her son will have fun with this team. Mike McCaskey is more interested in pinching pennies, than paying top dollar for someone like Parcells. He hired Ted Phillips.

2. Ted Phillips: He is a money man more than a football guy. His job is to make sure the McCaskeys make money. He knows there will always be fans in the stands. He does spend money, but he has a leash. He is not to wates any money of the McCaskeys. Ted Phillips hired Jerry Angelo.

3. Jerry Angelo. This poor guy has no idea what football talent is. Lance Briggs is his best draft choice, followed by Tillman. Orton is probably his 3rd best choice. All of them pure luck, getting them after the 2nd round. His drafting has killed the team for years. Drafting is this guy's most important job, and he sucks at it. He also Hired Lovie Smith, who seemed good at first. But he is back this year only to save money on his guaranteed contract. Unfortunately, I think Smith will be back next year for the last year of his contract regardless of the record this year.

4. Lovie Smith. I don't know what happened to this guy. 04 to 06, he seemed like he could motivate, and fire up his team. Now, he seems to have lost all motivational skills, and is overly loyal to now bad players. He also cannot develop talent. There are no players that the Bears have had hopes for being good, actually stepping up and being good.

5. EGO: Ted Phillips won;t fired because then McCaskey looks like he was wrong (which he is). Angelo won't be fired because Phillips would have to admit he was wrong (which he is). Angelo will not, and has not gotten rid of dead salary because he is not to waste any money (but it is wasted). He also will not part with bad draft picks because of either desperation, or to make sure he was right about them.

The real problem is McCaskey. As soon as he took over after Halas's death, he got rid of the football people and put in his business people. I bet they are quite good at running the business. But the end result of there business decisions is the poor product we see on the field more years than not since Ditka was run out of town. I am not proclaiming Ditka a Hall of Fame coach, but he knew football. And he knew talent.

As we all know, Ditka was coach from 82 till 92. And his team made to playoffs 7 out of 11 years with 3 conference title appearances and one superbowl title. He averaged just over 10 wins per year at a time when the NFC was the dominant conference. He just never had a healthy starting QB in the playoffs except in 1985.

Since 1992, the Bears have made the playoffs only 4 times. They only have 3 playoff wins in that period of time. There average wins per season in the 17 years since Ditka is 7.1.

All of these problems we fans are griping about are caused by decisions made at the top. Either the top has to change, or the top has to go and sell the team.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 24, 2010 7:19 PM.

Moore keeps showing up in right spot was the previous entry in this blog.

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