Monday, October 4, 2010
If you'd have told me before the season started that the Bears would be 3-1 after four games and I'd be extremely concerned, I'd have calmly explained to you the concept of wins and losses and kindly inquired as to your understanding of the meaning of the word "concerned."
But 3-1 is what they are, and concerned is what I am. When will Cutler return from his concussion, and will he remain effective when he does? Can the offensive line block anyone?
One would think the Bears didn't beat the Cowboys and the Packers entirely by accident. This team has talent, and it can't truly be as bad as it looked Sunday night, right? Right?? The unwatchable nature of that game made me worry that this season is kind of like the goldfish you win at the fair as a kid. Look at me, I have a PET! It's a FISH and it's ALIVE and I get to take it home and watch it swim around! I'm the luckiest kid EVER! But three days later it's just an orange floatie-thing at the top of the tank and someone in the family has to flush it down the toilet. That fish did not bring me as much joy as I expected! Worst toy EVER!
How can the Bears have looked so bad so suddenly? What was Cutler doing out there? I haven't seen that many sacks since I attended my local mall's Santa Claus orientation. Why wouldn't he throw the ball? In the first half, Cutler completed eight passes and took nine sacks, and the Bears had nine more all-purpose yards (that includes kick and punt returns) than yards lost in sacks (55). What these numbers add up to is this: many of the Bears' offensive woes could have been solved by Cutler THROWING THE DAMN BALL! The Sunday Night crew did a great job of pointing out some of the instances in which Cutler simply failed to read the blitz and see the open man. It's like the bright lights and all the hits he was taking sent his brain back to 1906, pre-forward pass: "I don't need any of these newfangled 'throws' I've been hearing about on my new synchronous rotary-spark transmitter. We need to cut out this funny business. I mean what's the big idea, anyways?"
So Cutler was just a liiiiiitle too concussed. But enter Todd Collins. No, that won't work--he was just a liiiiiitle too old and washed up. The Bears might as well have had Todd Hollandsworth out there. Caleb Hanie? He was juuuuust awful.
At least Peppers played well.
One final thing: can we please wait until Devin Hester has, say, one more good punt return before we declare that he is the most dangerous man in football and essentially guaranteed to return every punt for a touchdown if you punt to him? It wasn't just Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, it seems like everyone's doing it. The MNF guys last week admonished the Packers for kicking to Hester, asking how a team can possibly kick it to someone who's so explosive. How about because, um, he hadn't returned a punt for a touchdown since Bush was in office? Don't get me wrong, I hope Hester is back with a vengeance and I think it'd be great if teams start kicking away from him and giving the Bears free field position. But the praise for him has been a little much given that he has one return TD in the last three seasons.