Most Bears fans would agree that if the Bears finished 2-14 for the season....just for god sakes beat the damn Packers. Well, the Pack took it to the Bears in almost every sort of fashion. Ryan Grant going for 145 yards rushing and Aaron Rogers doing exactly what I thought he would do....WIN THE GAME!! Overall, it was an embarrasment for the Chicago Bears franchise in this historic rivalry that's been going on since Warren Harding was President.
Before the game began, the debate was whether Kyle Orton was going to give it a go and whether or not he'd be 100%. During the pre-game on WBBM 780AM, the crew discussed the new boot that Orton would be wearing to make sure that no furthur damage would be done to the ankle. The way they were describing it seemed to make me believe that his foot was lodged in boot of cement and would put furthur weight on him moving around in the pocket. He (Orton) looked like a statue all game long, not moving around as we have seen in the past and just overall he looked uncomfortable.
I have 3 issues with this game that I'd like to discuss (get off my chest) with the viewing public.
#1 - THE ABANDONMENT OF THE RUNNING GAME
Matt Forte rushed for a total of 64 yds on Sunday on 16 carries, what people are missing is that he had 15 of the 16 carries in the first half. The playcalling mind you only down 17-3 at the start of the second half was totally imbalanced when it comes to the Bears attempting to put up some points. The Packers going into this game were 26th against the run, and the Bears were looking for a field day on the ground in the cold weather. Well, I guess when you're down 14 going into half...when Lovie Smith talks making adjustments to the game plan....i guess that meant....we're not going to run anymore. What that left the Bears with is your putting the game on the shoulder of a QB with a bad ankle that is a game manager....NOT A GAME BREAKER!!!!! 23 passing plays to 4 running plays in the second half......EMBARRASING!!! Especially since you knew Orton can't move in the pocket and you knew Green Bay was gonna bring the house to try and get him. I don't want to say maybe we should have started Rex Grossman, but then again....he's had success against Green Bay in Green Bay...Career 3-0 at Lambeau. The abandonment was only the first key to a huge Bears loss in the semi-frozen tundra (it's only Nov.).
#2 - SPECIAL TEAMS NOT SO SPECIAL
Devin Hester still returnless (is that even a word??). Point blank...he's not making his keep after getting the huge contract in the offseason getting top WR money only catching 46 balls in his career before this season. Has there ever been a more over priced kick returner in NFL history than Devin Hester? He's truly a one dimensional player...all he knows is how to return kicks because the offenseive scheme the Bears are playing in doesn't believe in the deep ball. Hester outruns people, that's all he is. Why no post patterns (at least 2-3 per game)?? Why no punt/kick returns?? People try to say there is something wrong in his head or he's not concentrating enough. I look at it this way, he played good enough to get big money...now that he has it, there's no hunger to him anymore. He got his bills, and now the Bears are paying for it even more...TEAMS AREN'T AFRAID TO KICK TO DEVIN HESTER ANYMORE!!! How's that great field position for the offense cause they kick out of bounds to Hester doing for ya? He better get his head out of his arse quickly or else people will be clamoring for the "Windy City Flyer" to blow out of town.
#3 - THE BEARS "DEFENSE"
This one is too easy....this is the same defense for the most part that went to the Superbowl in '06.....so what happened? Is the loss of Ricky Manning Jr./Terry Johnson/Ian Scott that big of a deal?? We still have the new minister of defense in Tommie Harris...right?? Alex Brown and Adawale Ogunleye still patroling the ends for the line...right?? The "Great" Brian Urlacher still playing next to Lance Briggs and Hunter Hillenmeyer.....right?? So, what's changed? The first thing the average fan would point to is the loss of Defensive Co-ordinator Ron Rivera now with the San Diego Chargers. What the problem is....this is Lovie Smith's cover 2/Tampa 2 defense scheme, so it's not nescessarily Rivera's absence that makes the difference because he was calling plays for a defense he didn't create. I look at it this way and it's the same concept with Hester as well.....since 2006.....new $$$ for Harris/Briggs/Urlacher/A. Brown/Vasher/Tillman....THEY GOT PAID!! If you've been paying attention this past week or two, the Bears defense has been saying certain things like:
"We're the best team in the NFL when we want to be"
Sound a little egotistical to anyone else?? Yeah.....
The problem with money is that it puts a price on your talent rather than your record. If the Bears played in the 'ol XFL....they'd all be broke this year. This is where I believe Ron Rivera had the most impact....he was a former player and not a former D-2 coach. Now mind you I don't see the practices or watch the sidelines during the games, but I feel there was more of a respect factor when Rivera ran Lovie's defense because he was a former player and I bet cause of that...he didn't hesitate to get in a players face. He's Ron Rivera....an intimidating guy. I remember meeting Ron for the first time and shaking his hand.....my hand still hurts. Bob Babich, former head coach of North Dakota State University (1997-2002) and Linebacker coach of the St. Louis Rams under Lovie's time in STL....just doesn't bring that same swagger. A combination of ego driven athletes with new green and a coach that doesn't command respect of the player.....you're letting the inmates run the asylum.
The Bears are exactly who we thought they were this season.....a bad team.