Bleah. That's about all I can say about the Bears' performance Sunday. Their offense was lethargic at best, tragic at its worst. I was going to blog last week about how the Bears offense saved the day with the best two-minute drill I've ever seen. I was going to talk about how Brian Griese could be one of the saviors of the season (along with Charles Tillman). But the Bears have (once again) erased all the good feelings from a miracle come-from-behind-win by losing the following week.
Some quick-hit thoughts:
1. If you take a look at his career stats, Brian Griese is a very efficient QB who consistently throws TD passes week after week. Unless he is facing a withering pass rush! Case in point: The Eagles sacked him ONCE, and barely got near him all game, and he torched them for 300+ yards, no picks, and a last minute game-winning drive. The Lions sacked Griese twice, and slapped him around with constant pressure, and he threw for just over 200 yards and four picks.
2. How is it that the O-Line can keep the blitz-happy Eagles off the QB, but they make the Lions look like a defensive powerhouse?
3. Lovie, please bench John Tait now. He got his butt handed to him all game Sunday. It's just painful to watch.
4. The Bears are NOT a running team! Sorry Lovie, I don't know what you're smoking when you say that to the media, but I want some. Real running teams can still top 100 yards when opponents put eight men in the box.
5. Cedric Benson cannot take over a game for the Bears. I've heard all kinds of crazy excuses for this kid, but he just can't play football in the NFL. He can't catch, he can't block, he can't cleanly catch a pitch, and he can't make something out of nothing.
6. The funniest excuse I've heard on CB's behalf is that it takes twenty carries before he works up a lather. Well that may have worked in college ball, but if you don't get your head out of your arse until the twenty-first carry of the game in the NFL, you're NOT GOING TO GET ANY MORE CARRIES BECAUSE YOUR TEAM IS GOING TO BE PASSING WHEN THEY FIND THEMSELVES BEHIND 16-0! Duh.
7. It's official. Mark Bradley is a bust. Did you see that effort in the end zone on the interception Griese threw? Me neither. The Bears should dump him and replace him with Mike Hass. At least they'll get more effort out of Hass.
8. Something is terribly wrong with the way the Bears evaluate offensive talent. If you look at their draft record since the 2000 draft, you'll see that they've drafted twenty-eight offensive players. Only eleven of them are still on the team, and only two (three if you count Greg Olsen) are starters.
9. How many starters have they drafted on the O-Line since the 2000 draft? One if you count Marc Colombo, who starts at right tackle for the Dallas Cowboys.
10. If we only count players drafted in the first three rounds, memorable offensive draft busts for the Bears include: Dez White, David Terrell, Anthony Thomas, Mike Gandy, Marc Colombo, Rex Grossman, Bernard Berrian (the jury may still be out), Cedric Benson, and Mark Bradley. If ONE player at each position (WR, RB, QB, OL) hit as a decent starter for the Bears, they would be sitting pretty on offense right now.
11. How stupid is it to designate Devin Hester as your #3 wide receiver when he doesn't know the entire offense? How much damage could the Bears passing game be inflicting if they had a true slot receiver a la Wes Welker or Mike Furrey?
12. I am not going to bash the Defense this week because they only gave up sixteen points. (That's good enough to win, folks.) Although when Trumane McBride and Daniel Manning are your number-one tacklers for ANY game, you're having problems.
13. If the D-Line can't get it done against a passing team, you need to blitz a bit more, Lovie. You can't let a QB like John Kitna beat you because he has all day in the pocket to find a receiver. Geez.
14. That last comment wasn't bashing the defense. I was bashing the coaches. The D-Line should be running more stunts while being supported with more LB blitzes. The straight-up pass-rushing isn't bringing consistent pressure.
15. Lovie, it's hard to make the playoffs when your team can't string back-to-back victories together. Do the math. The best your team will finish is 8-8, I don't care HOW you break up the season.
16. Here's another dig on the coaches: Did the Bears look like they were playing like their season was on the line, or like they just wanted to get to the bye week? I'll let you make the call...