That was one of the most depressing Mondays after a resounding 31-20 Bears victory that I can remember. First we learn that Jay Cutler will be out at least six weeks. And experts say they think the Bears are full of it on the six week prediction.
Then we learn that iron man longsnapper Patrick Mannelly is out for the season with a torn ACL.
I do have faith in new Bears starter Caleb Hanie. I don’t know that I would were it not for his strong performance in the NFC Championship game last year. However, a couple of things outside of Hanie make me a bit more nervous than does the mere fact that he’s the starter.
Lovie Smith has already stated repeatedly that the defense and running game will need to step up, and this is obvious. But unfortunately the running game has started to slow down the last few weeks, with the team needing Cutler’s arm to throw them to victory. It seems to me that teams were trying even harder to stop Matt Forte and force the Bears to pass themselves to victory. And they did. Will they be able to with Hanie?
One thing I kind of missed in Sunday’s triumph was that the defensive line was practically nonexistent, even against a remarkably questionable Charger offensive line. Dan Pompei elaborates. So this isn’t the kind of play we’re going to have to see from the defense-far from it.
I have faith in Hanie. Kind of scares me, though, that we heard a similar kind of faith in Jonathan Quinn in 2004. Let’s hope the jersey number remains the only thing those two passers have in common.