Lovie Smith has said in the past that whenever the Bears defense holds their opponent to 17 points or less, the Bears should win that game. While the Bears collectively gave up 17, seven of those points were on a return of one of Jay Cutler’s four interceptions. So the defense, in an extremely solid effort, held up their end of the bargain by giving up only 10 points.
Unfortunately Jay Cutler single-handedly lost the game, fumbling once and throwing four interceptions to the same Redskin defender. DeAngelo Hall’s day ties the NFL record for interceptions in a game, thanks to Cutler.
In the third quarter when the Bears found themselves with a first-and-goal at the one yard line, I jokingly told my Soldier Field neighbors that the Bears were in their worst spot on the football field. Honestly, they were 0-9 with first-and-goal inside the five yard line going into the game. On the first snap, Cutler went high with the ball on a quarterback sneak, allowing the Redskins a free shot to grab the ball, which they did. To me, with the Bears still leading and Washington with 99 yards to go for a score, I felt the game was over right there. And it would prove to be over right there.
I was at the game and didn’t see a replay, but I heard callers into the postgame shows commenting that Cutler clearly broke the plane of the goal line, yet Lovie Smith didn’t challenge the call. If this is true, that is an unforgivable gaffe by the Bears’ head coach.
Callers also complained about Mike Martz’ play calling, and the play of the offensive line. All I have to say is Martz didn’t throw four interceptions. Martz didn’t kill the drive when Matt Forte fumbled.
One of my good friends from Soldier Field summed it up nicely after that game when he said “the mark of a bad team is when they have so many different things going wrong every week. If it was the same thing every week, that would be one thing. But to lose with so many different problems every week is just the mark of a bad team.” And I agree with him.
Back to Smith: he’s as confident as he usually is after losses. “Jay will come out of this, and we did some good things,” he said. Thanks Lovie, we’ll see, but to me I can see the house of cards Jerry Angelo has built getting closer and closer to tumbling every Sunday.