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Saturday, September 18

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Bears Mon Jan 03 2011

Footballic Ramblings: Bears Giftwrap Packers a Playoff Berth

Footballic_Ramblings2.jpgVery weird game to cap the regular season for the Bears (it was sorta weird for the Packers as well) as Chicago dropped a tooth-nail-club game in frosty Green Bay yesterday. 10-3 finals are typically a "win" for the Bears, circa 2006. Chicago's defense held court --kept the Packers scoreless for nearly 3 quarters, no small feat considering how good GB offense is-- but at the end of the day there are some fairly major questions to be answered for the Bears as they head into their bye. And like it or not, the most pressing questions are aimed directly at the Bears on-off, on-off offense.

Maybe the most crucial matter with Bears offense from Sunday? The three points on the scoreboard. This feast/famine trend (40 and 38 point outbursts against the Vikings and Jets, respectively, sandwiched between a total of 10 points in the New England and Green Bay games) is microcosmic of the Bears offensive ups and downs all year. Against Green Bay the Bears had seven! three and outs. Mind you, the Packers have a great defense, but seven! three and outs suggests something more than just playing against a great defense. What was it? Well, it's tricky, but Cuter wasn't Cutler-Bot 5000 on Sunday. No, instead, he was the inaccurate widow-maker of Bears fans. Tossing drive-crushing interceptions at crucial moments and taking brutal, yard-evaporating sacks instead of throwing the pigskin harmlessly into the stands. This was a reversion for Cutler. He, Sherman and Professor Peabody got in the Way Back Machine and set the year for 2009. Meanwhile, the always quiet Rashied Davis (63 yards on a mere seven catches) was actually having an outstanding game and the Bears running game was also getting going.

Mike Martz, the arrogant and stubborn offensive coordinator, decided to air it out this game and to his credit? He didn't let a little thing like Matt Forte picking up 91 yards on a mere 15 carries get in the way of calling 40+ passing plays. Also to his credit/detriment was Martz's refusal (until the very final drive of the game) to adjust the routes and passing plays. No, instead, Martz let the Petulant One (Cutler, for you n00bs out there) sit back and wait for Charles Woodson (or any other Packer player/fan) to take a crack at Cutler.

The NFL season is all about evolution and if Martz (following a brilliant succession of changes and adaptations to the offensive playcalling mid-season) is unwilling to realize that the Patriots, Packers (and to go back Giants, Redskins and Seahawks) have a formula to neutralize his (Martz's) offense, the team may as well not even show up in two weeks for their divisional home playoff game.

The defense can continue playing minds out and if this Bears offense churns out three points in four quarters, the defense's effort will be as relevant as the sane man's slaps and pleas for help against the unending marble hallways of an asylum.

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