If the Chicago Bears would have beaten the Minnesota Vikings tonight, not only would they have won their 700th game as a franchise, they would have secured sole possession of first place in the weak NFC North with just 4 games to play.
Of course they didn’t, and they didn’t.
I threw several items at the television, as undoubtedly many of the rest of you did. Luckily I ensured the items I threw were light and sure not to cause any damage. Hope the rest of you were that lucky when you threw items.
The ecstasy was first-seeing the Bear defense do a great job of shutting down Adrian Peterson, as far as shutting him down goes, as well as almost jumping to a 14-3 lead. Then came the agony-seeing the Bears then turn a 7-3 lead into a 17-7 deficit.
After getting angry and launching the items, I take a few deep breaths and realize the fact of the matter that any number of launched items will not chang. Obviously, the fact(s) of the matter is/are one or more of the following:
1. The Vikings are a better team than the Bears.
2. The Vikings have better coaching than the Bears. (I realize this is hard to believe if you follow what Brad Childress does. But look at some of the goofy crap you see the Bears coached to do).
3. The Vikings wanted this game for control of the NFC North more than the Bears did.
Whatever it was, it doesn’t matter. The Bears lost, they’re now 6-6, in second place in the NFC North with no chance of being an NFC Wildcard team. Yes, the Vikings have a tougher schedule that the Bears and it’s possible if the Bears win out and Green Bay loses out with an easier schedule, the Bears could still win the NFC North.
I know there are some reading this with sunny dispositions that will rip me and tell me I’m not a fan, but the point of this whole deal is me giving my opinion, which is what I’m doing. My opinion is the Bears will finish 8-8 if they beat Houston, 7-9 if they have nothing to play for the final week of the season and lose there. Either way, they’re not going to the playoffs, even though I have to give the Bears $500 I don’t have by December 8th to oblige that farce for playoff tickets.
I was sick tonight watching a near 14-3 lead evaporate under stupid breakdowns, Bears balls hitting receivers in the hands while they weren’t looking, missed tackles, in other words everything we see in every Bears loss.
It’s all really maddening because they didn’t have to lose to Carolina. They didn’t have to lose to Tampa, but they had to commit stupid penalties and gave that one away. They would have beaten Atlanta if not for one stupid defensive breakdown at the very end of the game. If not for those three losses, this loss wouldn’t mean what it did. But it does.
I felt that after the Berrian 99-yard touchdown the defense hung their heads and gave up a little. And that’s also precisely when the offense began to short-circuit.
What’s worse is unless this core of players that have started to tank in 2008 suddenly find a fountain of youth and change their attitudes in 2009, we’re stuck with this for a few years, and it’s going to get worse. Lovie’s not firing his pal Babich, and Ron Turner’s unimaginative offense that blows first-and-goal’s at the one is not changing.
This on a night that rookie running back Matt Forte, who leads the league in touches, broke 1,000 yards rushing. Forte has heart. Several guys really have heart. But I’ll tell you one thing. If you read as I did that NFL players voted that they’d most like to play for Tony Dungy, then Lovie Smith out of the 32 NFL coaches, that should tell you something. Guys really want to play for Smith because he’s a winner and gets results? Or he’s easy to play for and very forgiving? You come to your conclusion as I have come to mine.
Hope you enjoyed 2008, I enjoyed a lot of it. But I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I do think the Bears will beat the Jaguars, but that may be it.