It will take me a few days with regular commitments to get all of my feelings out on this one. But really what more is there to say?
I was pretty suspicious about the 2011 Chicago Bears chances since the preseason. Following the surprising dominance of Atlanta in the opener, I thought I had it wrong. Prior to the week two meeting at New Orleans, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Bears would really put it together for one more season. Then they were dominated by New Orleans and Green Bay. Then they won a game they really almost, or should have, lost against Carolina at home.
Tonight against Detroit, the ending wasn’t too far off of what I thought it would be, and actually it was closer than I envisioned it could have been. What I took away from this game is that Matt Forte played with a lot of heart, hitting some holes that probably weren’t really there. And Jay Cutler did hit a groove for a while, but given the fact he had fractions of seconds to sit in the pocket, it never really mattered.
For the future it would make me feel better to know that at least the Bears are playing for a nice draft pick next year. But honestly, after seeing the Green Bay Packers draft themselves from a last place team in 2005 to a potential dynasty at the present while the Bears have thrown away picks left and right, I don’t have that hope under the current leadership.
What I do believe I know now is that the Bears hired a coordinator in Mike Martz whose system has been bypassed by the rest of the NFL, even though it seems the rest of the teams in the NFL are finding ways to throw for 400 yards per game on a regular basis. At the minimum, Martz’ system is not suited for Cutler’s talent, but most likely there is no way this line can make Martz’ system work. Hell, Martz’ system worked better for a 3-13 Lions team in 2006 than it does for the Bears with a quarterback with better talent seen in these parts since the 1940′s.
Haven’t even mentioned the performance by the defense, shredded by the pass as well as on the ground after allowing an 88-yard touchdown run that broke the Bears’ backs. I don’t believe I’ve witnessed a game-changing long play like that since Randall Hill’s touchdown pass over Tom Carter in Chicago’s 1997 loss to Mike Ditka’s Saints.
I do give credit and best wishes to the resurgent Detroit Lions. And I thank them for the two wins per season they gave us regularly over the last decade. Now the Chicago Bears’ management and coaches will have to realize they can’t feast on those anymore.
Maybe I did say it all after all.