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Wednesday, September 22

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Bears Tue Sep 20 2011

Luster Fades for Bears in Embarrassing Saints Loss

Thumbnail image for bears.gifThere was a point somewhere in the second half of Sunday's 30-13 loss when Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, those sages of the gridiron, remarked in alarm at the fact that Jay Cutler had already been sacked five times by the Saints.

I was surprised. I could have sworn it was about 25 at that point.

Tearing all sunshine-and-rainbows memories of that delightful opening romp from our happy skulls, the Bears found frightening depths to plumb in New Orleans, largely by finding zero answers for the vexing question of how to keep their quarterback upright for more than two seconds each time they snapped him the football.

It was competitive for a time, yes, but then the Saints discovered they could maul Cutler on every play. Gabe Carimi, the rookie right tackle, dislocated his troublesome right knee, giving way to Frank Omiyale, a deposed starter who spun like a top when he wasn't standing, totem-like, as opposing defenders tore past him with murder in their eyes.

Left tackle J'Marcus Webb and tight end Kellen Davis, my favorite player last week, had similar problems, dooming Cutler to six sacks and leaving Matt Forte (166 yards on 20 touches) as the Bears' lone offensive bright spot.

If you're keeping score at home, Chicago's injured list now includes Carimi, Roy Williams, Chris Harris and Marion Barber. But please, dear baby Jesus, before you go whining about the Injuries That Have Unjustly Befallen our hometown team, take a look around the NFL.

This is a violent, possibly immoral gladiator sport that inflicts immense bodily harm on the men who play it, and as such, nearly every team is (already!) missing key players. Just ask the Colts (Peyton Manning) and Chiefs (Jamaal Charles) and Packers (Nick Collins) and Texans (Arian Foster). Tony Romo is quarterbacking the Cowboys with a broken rib and a punctured lung!

The question for the Bears, as it is most years, is whether they have accumulated the organizational depth to withstand the inevitable (except last year) player absences.

Most years, the answer is no. But we'll see if anything has changed Sunday when the defending champions come down from Green Bay.

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