Where to From Here?

There is a growing consensus that the Chicago Bears are more likely headed for a second-straight collapse than a return to the playoffs and an improbable G-Men like run to a Super Bowl victory. I didn’t say that’s how I feel, but this concern is growing.

I’m actually surprised that the majority of ESPN analysts are still sticking with the Bears this week, not that this means anything.

If your glass is half full:

You know that the Bears have one thing in 2012 that they didn’t have in 2011 for the stretch run: Jay Cutler. Oh, and throw in Brandon Marshall while we’re at it. You remember how sharp Cutler has played since returning from his concussion. And according to the Chicago Tribune, even if the Bears finish 2-2, at least one of four teams in the NFC (St Louis, Seattle, Dallas, Washington) would need to win out.

Unfortunately there are still half-empty scenarios:

Even though Cutler was playing lights-out against Seattle, the offense still had a hard time scoring when they really needed to. The offensive line is missing its best player after not even being good in the first place. Matt Forte isn’t playing like he did in 2011, although we don’t know if it’s Forte, nagging injuries, or the blocking. No receiver (other than the oft-injured Alshon Jeffery) has provided a compliment to Marshall. The defense is battered, slowing down, and missing their heart and soul for the remainder of the season.

And, despite the coach preaching how important victories over Green Bay are when he took over the team, he cannot beat the Packers.

I am still hoping for a solid run and maybe some good fortune in the playoffs. But having been a Chicago Bears fan for 33 years, I’ve seen my share of letdowns and implosions.

5 Responses to “Where to From Here?”

  1. Well, they still can get in at 9-7, but you certainly don’t want to come down to that. I always pencil in the game at the dome as a loss. However, with the way the NFL is, and Percy Harvin is out, I might change my mind. I have no doubt Cutler can crave up the Vikings defense. I don’t really have faith they can avoid having 25 false starts. It sounds like they’ve almost thrown in the towel in Minnesota. So, hopefully, that means half of the dome will be filled with Bears fans.

    They are two games ahead in the playoff hunt, and they currently hold tie-breakers over all the 6-6 teams. None of those teams are running the table, so it’s up to the Bears to get to 10. One of those teams will probably go 3-1.

    You would prefer not to have the DET game count for anything. Underachiving teams late in the year are dangerous to play against. This is especially home underdogs in a division game. The Bears did it to Minnesota in 2003, 2004, and 2009 and the Packers in 2007.

  2. As another positive, you can put that the O-Line handled a good Seahawks D-Line pretty well (4th and 1 nonwithstanding).

    I get what you’re saying, though. That game just took a lot of life out of me. I’ve been avoiding coverage of the Bears most of the week. It’s just hard to think about it, without visualizing all the ways it can go wrong and collapse. I hope they crush the Vikings. Getting back to 17 point wins would do a lot for my confidence.

  3. 4 left, 3 in the division. How well we play in those games will determine how far we go.

  4. Good thoughts all, guys. JDM, maybe I’m just that much older than everyone, but also the Bears famously ended Detroit’s last brush with the playoffs for 11 years in the last game of the 2000 season. The Bears & fans loved that one. And forgot that one Kenneth, the O-Line did play shockingly well against Seattle.

  5. Oh yes Roy, I remember the DET game. That was the last of the Lions before that wonderful Matt Millen era… I also remember the lock room demanding that Matthews start. They hated Mcnown that much. And, of course, he ended up playing anyway.

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