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Bears Mon Sep 15 2008

Bears Bumble in Charlotte

When you're talking about football games and what happened and how team A beat team B, there lurks the constant menace of slipping into cliché. However, in the case of the Bears' ugly loss Sunday under the hot, hot, sun of North Carolina, the Bears, indeed, became the rote cliché of the team with an early lead who then grew far too conservative in sitting on said lead.

The Bears, on the strength of their defense (Again! Two weeks of solid defense, who'd have thunk it?) and thanks to an offense that's playing more and more as a cohesive unit, built an early 10-3 lead and were manhandling the Panthers at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. At halftime, fans of the Monsters of the Midway should have been thrilled that the game was going so swimmingly. Granted, the Bears could've scored a few more points, but, hell, that's what the second half is for, right? Scoring more points against an obviously overmatched Panthers squad. At the start of the third it certainly seemed like that was going to be the case as The Neckbeard (aka Kyle Orton) and his stable of brutish running backs seized the opportunity that an interception afforded them and they drove for an easy touchdown to go up by 14 points.

For Bears fans that, sadly, was the last Bears score of the day as the offense fizzled and bumbled away the rest of the second half and were forced to punt on four of their next six possessions, with the remaining two possessions being lost to a Greg Olsen fumble and a loss of downs, respectively. The complete lack of spark or ability to sustain a drive caused the Bears defense to broil in the hot, scorching Charlotte sun as they tried over and over to slow momentum quickly building in Carolina's favor. With few breaks, the Bears defense broke down against the Johnathan Stewart-led power running game of Carolina and the Bears wilted.

Offensively, the Bears must become more than a simple and one-dimensional running game. No defense really feels threatened by "Orton the Game Manager," and at least with Rex Grossman there was the constant threat of a long touchdown bomb on every Bear possession.

 
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