Sorry, Bears fans but I told you so

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Last week I deemed the Chicago Bears as the league’s biggest fraud. I ranted about how, in time, the true colors of the Bears would come out, and following Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins, I couldn’t have been more right.

Coming into Sunday’s contest, the Bears were tied for the best record in the NFC at 4-2. As I stated last week, that record did not reflect the talent and ability of the football team it accompanied—not by a long shot.

Sunday’s loss to the Redskins was one of those where the Bears gave you just enough hope that they might pull off a victory, and just when you started believing, Jay Cutler threw another interception to DeAngelo Hall.

Hall was, consequently, the Bears’ leading receiver. Well, that is, Cutler threw to him for more yards than any of the receivers wearing orange and blue. Hall had four interceptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Not a bad day for a wide receiver/cornerback.

Maybe Cutler is color-blind?

One of those interceptions wasn’t Cutler’s fault, but even still, four interceptions in one game, to one person, is simply inexcusable.

Here’s a thought: Keep the ball away from Hall.

Slowly but surely, the flaws in the Bears’ system are coming to life. Everything about this team seems to be falling apart, but let’s be honest, it’s not like everything was ever completely together.

The Bears had a chance to get the ball back when they trailed by 3 points after the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter, but the defense couldn’t stop the run game propelled by backup running back Ryan Torain, who rushed for 125 yards on 21 attempts.

When the Bears needed to stop Torain to get the ball back, he rushed for 27 yards up the middle, thus clinching the game for the Redskins.

The most troubling part of this game for me was the inept behavior that head coach Lovie Smith continues to show week in and week out. In the third quarter, the Bears had first and goal on the 1-yard line when Cutler fumbled on a quarterback sneak.

As he ran into the line of scrimmage, he extended the ball out towards the goal line before fumbling the ball, which was recovered by the Redskins. Replays clearly indicated that the ball had crossed the plane.

Smith elected to forgo the challenge he would inevitably win, and the Bears were scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Smith had unsuccessfully challenged an Earl Bennett touchdown reception two plays prior, but to not challenge a play such as this one is mind-boggling. Had Smith thrown the red challenge flag, the Bears would have scored a touchdown—and who knows what would have happened from there?

In summary: Jay Cutler? Bad. Defense? Bad. Lovie Smith? Bad.

There is, however, a silver lining here: The Bears have a bye week this week, and that means Sunday will be a stressless day of football. Enjoy it, folks. I know I will.

From the Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2010 issue

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