2011 Bears’ Playoff Hopes Dwindle

What a season, this 2011 Chicago Bears season. Let me get this straight. Hopes are suspect entering the season, the the Bears throttle one of the supposed top teams in the conference. Following that impressive win, Chicago is suddenly considered one of the top teams in the league.

Then the Bears lose the next two games to NFC contenders, then ultimately begin 2-3 and are on life support.

Then they go on a tear, winning five in a row, and they look like a shoo-in as the conference’s top wildcard seed. 7-3, at least a playoff birth looks like an assurance.

Then our starting quarterback is lost, probably for the season. The experts say they’ll probably lose to Oakland and Green Bay, but 11-5 will still get them the top wildcard seed.

Now after three straight losses, with the team at 7-6 with a practically assured loss* (see below) at Green Bay, we’re looking at a 9-7 record IF the team can beat Seattle and Minnesota. Even if 9-7 gets a playoff berth, I still don’t see anything to make me think that 9-7 is going to happen.

Five thoughts after the ugly, demoralizing loss to the Broncos:

1. I get it, the Bears lost their quarterback that had been playing the best ball of his career prior to the injury, then their virtual Pro Bowl lock running back Matt Forte who will most likely finish the season with 997 rushing yards. So it’s not fair to blame this late-season disaster on anything but bad luck. But good teams overcome injuries, and obviously this team is not good enough to do so.

2. Hats off to the aging Bears defense. For three straight games and most of the season since week five, this group has kept the Bear offense in every game.

3. But there is absolutely no reason for me to think the Bear offense, suspect even with Jay Cutler and Forte in the mix, can win another game this year without their two critical pieces.

4. Most seasons don’t go as the 2011 Green Bay Packers season has. The 2010 Chicago Bears caught virtually every break and good health blessed them. Obviously 2011 is the exact opposite–it seems that most every bounce has impacted them negatively. It is what it is.

5. **I would like to think that the Bears would have given the Packers a run at their undefeated season on Christmas night if they had Cutler and Forte in the lineup. Even without them, every Bears player should consider that game in two weeks to be the Super Bowl of their careers. But anyone out there that can tell me they think Hanie & company has a chance, please let me know.

That’s all I’ve got on a miserable night for a Bears fan. Luckily if anything I have many more important things in life to keep my mind off this disaster.

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