- Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times didn’t exactly come out and say it. But the messages was clear in the headline: “Bears’ defensive miscues felt like a mistake to the heart“:
“It was running back Fred Jackson’s 38-yard run to the Bears’ 1 in overtime that proved to be the final dagger of the disappointing day.”
That and the failure of the offense to do anything with the ball when they had it in overtime.
The coaching staff spent much of the offseason talking about how the team had to get tougher and show some “saltiness”. What they were talking about were winning games like this. Obviously the message didn’t get through.
- Given that the city is two-thirds Cub fans, I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that 80% of you have already given up on postseason hopes for the Bears according to a Chicago Tribune pole. The players aren’t the only ones who need to get tough in this town.
One Final Thought
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune reviews the film from Sunday:
“Cutler never should have thrown for Holmes on first down [on the series in over time] because Nickell Robey had him covered closely one-on-one deep down the left sideline. Alshon Jeffery, who was out with a hamstring pull, might have been able to make a circus catch if he were running the route. But it was low percentage with Holmes and a departure from what the Bears talked about all offseason — checking the ball down when a play isn’t there.”
One of Cutler’s many problems is that he feels so much like he has to make a play in situations like this that he forces the ball where he shouldn’t, resulting in big plays for the other team. As Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Sun-Times put it:
“He’s 31. He isn’t changing, folks. You’re stuck with him, all of him — the powerful throws, the mind-blowing interceptions. Enjoy.”
But that’s not really the worst thing that you can say about Biggs’s comment. What’s really bad is what it says about Cutler’s main limitation, that he only seems capable of throwing to big receivers who can, as he put it, “go up and get it”. He treated Holmes like Jeffery all game on Sunday rather than adjusting his thinking based upon Holmes’s abilities . That’s not new (Devin Hester gained 99 yards on five receptions Sunday). But the fact that it persists leads you to believe that Cutler, now in his thirties, will never learn to do anything else.
I like the Bears situation at the number three and four wide receiver spots better than most of the media. But they aren’t ever going to fit in to Alshon Jeffery’s role. The Bears are in serious, serious trouble if either Jeffery or Brandon Marshall lose any significant time this year – or ever as long as Cutler is the quarterback. You could argue that more than any other single factor, with the possible exception of the turnovers, Jeffery’s absence led to the loss on Sunday.