Posted by sportsmaven on October 4, 2010
In case you are wondering why the Chicago Bears get very little if any respect from the national sports media, then you haven’t been watching tonight’s game against the New York Giants. Opportunities to get a nationally televised game on your schedule are few, and yet with the exception of last Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears have treated those opportunities to quote the NFL Network’s Warren Sapp, “like a blind dog in a meat house”. Now I don’t know what that means exactly, but it doesn’t sound too good to me.
Respect is something that is earned on the field of play. For the Bears defense, they played their hearts and souls out all night and deserve all the game balls that any team has to offer a unit. Conversely, the Bears offense, and the offensive line in particular, have put the Bears national reputation back in the proverbial trash can, overshadowing all the good things the Bears have done this season. You think the Giants went off on Bears QB’s tonight? Wait until you hear how the national media tees off on the Bears.
The offensive line is a disaster from the top down. the Bears line gave up 10 sacks tonight…9 in the FIRST HALF! If Jerry Angelo is not bringing in a parade of offensive lineman to Halas Hall starting tomorrow, he would be as neglectful a manager as the captain of the Titanic, the guy who was noticeably absent as his ship rammed into the iceberg that would take it straight to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. I don’t want to pin all the blame on the lack of blocking. Jay Cutler didn’t do his lineman any favors and neither did Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
The longer this game continues, the more inept the offensive line looks. There may not be any more room in Lovie Smith’s doghouse after this game for those who truly belong. Somewhere, a vindicated Dennis Green is watching this game and telling his dog how right he was about these Chicago Bears.
I have spoken all week about this game being the season for the Bears, and not in the same manner of desperation of which this game is the season for the New York Giants. Playing on the national stage of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, this game was supposed to be a defining moment for a Bears team that many have had doubts about since the opening game of the season. Unfortunately for the Bears, this game has cemented the many opinions of those outside of Chicago, that the Bears are more pretenders than contenders.
In the coming weeks, the commentary will be that the Bears beat the Detroit Lions on a rules technicality, beat the Dallas Cowboys by pure luck, and won the Packers game because the Packers decided to commit 18 penalties to beat themselves. The Bears were considered by many to be the worst 3-0 in the NFL, maybe in NFL history.
Let’s make no mistake, the Bears didn’t lose to a good team tonight. Outside of the outstanding front 4, this Giants team is horrendous. This is a bad loss for the Bears, a loss that can send even the best of seasons spiraling downward. We’ll see if the Bears can recover from this disaster. Now next week’s game against the Carolina Panthers becomes the new season defining game…..
Update: This post was the first post of the Sportsmaven blog written exclusively on the Apple iPad. I used the WordPress app, which is pretty good, but still in it’s developmental stages. The writing experience has been very good and I used the touch keyboard, which I found quite reponsive. While I had no major issues with typing on the type pad, I know some people do. I will continue to use the iPad to write blog entries going forward.
Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Dennis Green, Detroit Lions, green bay packers, Halas Hall, Jay Cutler, Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith, mike martz, New York Giants, Titanic, warren sapp | 1 Comment »
Posted by sportsmaven on December 29, 2008
The Chicago Bears are not the Detroit Lions, but at the completion of today’s play, they have gotten as far as the Lions did this season, which to say, is out of the playoffs. That comparison is certainly extreme, as the Bears do not have the same amount of holes that the Lions have, but a 9-7 finish that surprised many have clouded severe failures of judgement made by the football leadership of this team.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Perhaps the most glaring failures are with a Chicago Bears defense that opened the season very motivated in a win over the Indianapolis Colts, but sunk to maddening lows in crushing defeats by the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings amongst others. Bears head coach Lovie Smith was asked about replacing defensive coordinator Ron Rivera shorly after the Bears loss to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI. This is where Love broke out his now infamous “Trust Me” speech.
“You should trust me as a head football coach to put us in the best position to win football games,” Smith said. “It’s as simple as that.”
And that was Lovie’s reasoning to why he chose to replace Ron Rivera with BFF Bob Babich. Since Rivera was replaced, the Bears defense has plunged to embarassingly low depths in both prestige and performance. In 2006, teams feared and respected the Bears defense. Ask the Arizona Cardinals, despite then-Coach Dennis Green’s post-game rant. Now, teams just run over the Bears defense. Case in point:
- The Houston Texans racked up 455 yards of total offense and 31 points in a Week 17 victory.
- The Packers ran the Bears for 427 yards and 37 points in Week 11 pasting of the Bears.
- The Vikings racked up 439 yards and 41 points in a Week 7 loss to the Bears.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran up 454 yards and 27 points in a Week 2 Bears debacle.
These are numbers that nearly all Chicago Bears fans find unacceptable. It should be unacceptable to Lovie Smith as well, but somehow, it isn’t, which leads back to the Trust Me speech and the fact that I can no longer trust Lovie Smith to make correct decisions when he has yet to acknowledge that the two biggest staff decisions of his coaching tenure were complete and utter failures (remember the Terry Shea mess?)
Secondly, the Bears personnel decisions and evaluations are skeptical at best and leave even casual fans wondering if the Bears are able to effectively evaluate talent. Consider the players the Bears kept:
- WR/KR Devin Hester signed a $40M contract extension and was made a WR, neutering his return skills (0 TD’s)
- LB Brian Urlacher was given a lucrative contract extension for 88 tackles, no sacks, and no Pro Bowl selection
- DT Tommie Harris signed a large contract extension only to play about a half season due to injury/ineffectiveness
- WR Earl Bennett was drafted to compete for a starting position; he ends up catching 0 passes for the season.
and the players the Bears decided to let go:
The Bears have also missed on numerous players in the draft as well, as noted in past posts. The level of talent on the Bears has receded dramatically since the 2006 Super Bowl season, which means that the Bears braintrust has not made moves in personnel and coaching to build off their success. Now Bob Babich is on the hot seat.
The Bears clearly need to admit that they made severe errors in judgement in replacing Ron Rivera with Bob Babich. They need to admit that they made errors in personnel and they need to correct these errors in the offseason. A 9-7 record is something to build from, but if the failures of judgement are not corrected, this may be the best it will be under Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith.
Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: Arizona Cardinals, Bernard Berrian, Bob Babich, Brian Urlacher, Cedric Benson, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, David Haugh, Dennis Green, Detroit Lions, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, green bay packers, Greg Couch, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jerry Angelo, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Seifert, Lovie Smith, Mark Bradley, Mike Inrem, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Ron Rivera, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Terry Shea, Thomas Jones, Tom Thayer, Tommie Harris | 5 Comments »
Posted by sportsmaven on January 19, 2007
So the experts say that the Chicago Bears have little to no chance to beat the New Orleans Saints this Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. I was watching Inside the NFL on HBO this evening and the panel was making their picks for the Bears/Saints game this Sunday. Bob Costas was the only one to pick the Bears and he only picked them because he is 2 picks behind Cris Carter for the season and Carter chose the Saints. Dan Marino chose the Saints. Cris Collinsworth chose the Saints. Costas wanted the Saints but very reluctantly chose the Bears.
ESPN was worse…..every single analyst, with the exception of Merrill Hoge chose the Saints. Hoge didn’t even make his picks. Five of seven analysts at CNN-SI pick the Saints. The list goes on. You name it, they are picking the Saints. This is why I like the Bears. The Bears feel as though they have been disrespected this entire season. From Roy Williams “guaranteed victory” prediction to Dennis Green’s “Crown their asses” speech, the disrespect has flowed freely and openly. When they were the only undefeated team left in the NFL, there was still talk about the Bears still not being the #1 team ranked in the NFL. All this perceived disrespect has done is grow a pretty wide mean streak in the players and bringing this team even closer together. How does that translate for Sunday?
The Bears will show up mean. The Bears will play angry and physical. If you’ve watched any interviews this week with Bears players, especially Rex Grossman’s Comcast Sports Net interview, you will note a testy, irratible tone in their responses. This is nothing but good for the Bears. NFL playoff football is all about emotion. Emotion is what allows teams to step up to that next level and emotion is what makes playoff football so tremendous. Emotion and heart, as much as talent and skill is what drives teams to victory in the playoffs, just ask Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
So keep picking the Saints, keep disrespecting the Bears, for the team which brings it on with the most emotion, heart, and passion will be holding the George Halas Trophy on Sunday evening.
Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: Bob Costas, Chicago Bears, CNNSI.com, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Cris Carter Dan Marino, Cris Collinsworth, Dennis Green, ESPN, Halas Trophy, HBO, Merrill Hoge, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFC Championship, NFL, Rex Grossman, Roy Williams, Tom Brady | 2 Comments »