It's 888 Miles to Chicago...

How?  I sat on my couch last night staring into space, just repeating the word "how" over and over.  My whole body was calm, I had a smile on my face...but my mind could not wrap itself around the how of the situation.  How does a team win a game like that?  Or more to the point, how does a team lose a game like that?  I sat there for a good 5 minutes, until my wife broke me out of it by saying, "Don't you have to go talk trash online or something?"

I don't know if I should or can talk trash after a game like that.  How does one talk trash after your team wins a game it had no business winning?  Was I proud of what the Bears did?  Hell yeah.  But a game like that humbles you more than anything.  When you expect to dominate a game, and then win by the most unlikely of circumstances...I don't know if there is a good word for that feeling.

I still need some time to digest it all...but here are a few things I did learn on Monday night...

  • - There are 9 teams in the league that should be shooting their GMs right now, because they passed on the real deal in Matt Leinart. A franchise QB doesn't come along very often, and he's that QB.
  • - The Cardinals season is over, they are losers. The team lacks confidence in themselves, and the whole team was trying not to lose, instead of winning.
  • - Dennis Green is fricking crazy. Just totally insane.
  • - Rex better figure things out fast. Not only did he play just a terrible game last night, but he seemed to get down on himself and his teammates. The polar opposite of what Leinart was doing on the other side of the field. This scares me more than anything in the world right now...
  • - I hate the MNF crew. They are just not good. And the Mute button isn't enough...

The Cardinals players, coaches and all the broadcasters kept talking all week and all game about "they should be 3-2 and not 1-4".  And at the end of the game it was said, "Now the Cards can say they should be 4-2 instead of 1-5"....

Except one thing...they aren't.

Saying you should be 4-2 is like me meeting someone for the first time and saying, "I'm 6' but I really should be 6' 6", if it weren't for my parents and their damn genetics..."

The Cards are 1-5, and they are 1-5 for 1 reason, they are losers.  Every team in the league can say, "Well we should be this, or we should be that..."  but it makes no difference in the end.  What matters is how many games you win, and how many you lose.  And the Cards have lost 5.

Whining about how you should be 4-2, that's just the best way to insure that not only does everyone remember those heartbreaking loses, but it also allows the team to deny the fact that they lost those games.  Meanwhile on the Bears sideline, they were saying things like, "We knew we were going to win" and "There was no way we were going to lose this game".  That is the talk of a team that knows how to win.  But go ahead Cards, keep telling yourself that you're 4-2...see what good that will do when the playoffs roll around.

Out of the rumble that is the Cardinals, there is one thing they can take away from the game...Leinart is good.  And he's going to get long as they get rid of the Culture of losing that they have right now.  Matt, do not let it rub off on you, keep thinking like your days at USC, believe you can win.  As long as he does that, he'll be one of the great QB's in the league.  His poise is just amazing, and he can make all the throws he needs too.  He was carving up a damn good defense for a full half of football...until the Cards decided that they needed to slow things down so they didn't lose the game.

The Culture of losing, and the "We shoulda..." attitude starts in only 1 place....the coaching staff.  Dennis Green needs to save the outbursts, and fix the problem in his house.  He spent a lot of time yelling in his post game interview about how "the Bears are who we thought they are...They are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook!"  What that says to me Dennis, is 2 things...

First, you knew their weakness and how to take advantage of it, but failed to do so when it say the 4th quarter?

And second, and more importantly, you're sending the message again to your team that they SHOULD of won this game.  And that's the attitude that is killing the Cardinals.  And here's the thing that kills me about this...every season that Denny has coached the Cards...they've started 1-4...and every season they "should" be better than that.  Um, Denny, 3 straight years...why not try something else?

But what does this game mean to the Bears?

Well, Grossman now scares the crap out of me.  Shitting himself like he did is just disgusting, but also really disheartening, because rising up when the chips are down is not really a teachable thing.  It's something you have, or you don't.  Leinart has it, and from what I saw last night, Rex doesn't.  And that's not a good thing to find out about your QB.  Hopefully, news will come out that he played the whole game drunk, or was tired from scoring with like 5 ASU co-eds the night before...but that's just wishful thinking.  Rex, you need to go inside yourself, and figure out what the deal is...get this stuff straightened out, we're going to need you this year.

But, on the other hand, the Bears proved 2 things...

They can still win games with the Defense and Special teams like they did last year...

And Urlacher has risen to a Jordan-like level of, "I won't let my team lose".

That was amazing to watch as the switch truly flipped in his mind...and then, he was everywhere.  I think he made every single tackle in the 4th quarter.  And he never sat down...on the sidelines he was screaming, and hitting teammates, and you could tell, he was thinking, "fine, the offense doesn't want to do it, I'll make it happen.  We're not losing this game."  And that, is a great thing to have on your sideline.

In the end, the game was amazing, but I really don't want to have to go through that again.  As I watched in horror as the points racked up for the wrong side, and our Offense play like they just came off a 3-day bender...I started throwing things, and snapping at people.  As the 4th quarter approached, down 20, I began to compose a very sullen, morose blog entry in my head.  After a brief ray of hope when Mike Brown returned the fumble for the TD....then the D got the ball back again...only to have Rex throw another pick...I changed the channel.  I had to.  I couldn't watch.  I was at the breaking point...

And then I flipped back...and 23-17?

And then magic happened...

And I sat stunned...

So how?

In the NFL, the talent on teams is almost equal.  What seperates the teams are 2 things...

Good coaching...

And confidence.

The Cards had neither, and Bears had both.

Hey guys, let go back to winning 40-7, it's a lot easier on the body.  And I promise I'll be humble from here on out.


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