Bears blow great opportunity, don’t deserve to make playoffs
From potential unfulfilled to puckering up at the sight of the Packers, has there been anything more frustrating than being a fan of the Chicago Bears this NFL season? Just when Bears fans think that their team has figured it out, Chicago lays an egg at the most inopportune time. This was again the case as the Bears collapsed against the Seattle Seahawks at home on Sunday.
The Bears took a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter and had managed to keep rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense in check for most of the game. Well at least until it counted. The Bears defense looked helpless as the rookie drove 97 yards in just over three minutes to put the Seahawks up by three with just 24 seconds left. It was a drive that championship defenses just don’t give up.
Agony quickly transformed to hope for Bears fans as Jay Cutler hit Brandon Marshall on a 57 yard completion to put the Bears in field goal range with just seconds remaining in the game. Cutler and Marshall hooked up 10 times on Sunday for 165 yards. But unfortunately for the Bears, Marshall was again the bulk of the offense as without Devin Hester (didn’t play) and Earl Bennett (injured in the game), Cutler completed only seven passes for 68 yards to other Chicago receivers.
Robbie Gould hit the game tying field goal as time expired to force overtime.
As fate would have it the Bears lost the overtime coin toss and an already gassed Chicago defense was forced to take the field. Russell Wilson toyed with the Bears defense as he again led the Seahawks on a touchdown drive; this one over seven minutes, for 80 yards and the game winning score.
In defeat the Bears lost more than just the game. Gone is their one game lead over division rival Green Bay Packers. At 8-4 and tied with the Packers, the Bears are now second in the North as Green Bay owns the head-to-head tie breaker courtesy of their Week 2 win at Lambeau. Chicago gets another opportunity against the Pack in Week 15. It will likely decide the division.
The bigger opportunity that the Bears missed out on by losing on Sunday was the chance to improve their standing in the NFC playoff race. With the San Francisco 49ers losing and falling to 8-3-1, if the Bears could have found a way to win, their 9-3 record would have made them the second best in the NFC behind the 11-1 Atlanta Falcons. That would have put the Bears in the driver’s seat for the NFC’s No. 2 seed and more importantly, a first round bye and home field advantage in the divisional round of the playoffs. But they blew it.
Teams who find a way to lose games that they are supposed to win this late in the season simply aren’t of championship caliber. Now should be the time that teams are streaking in preparation for that Super Bowl run. Losers of three of their last four, the Bears are streaking in the wrong direction and will have to wait another year to hopefully fulfill their championship aspirations. With absolutely no chance to win the Super Bowl this season, the Bears don’t deserve to make the playoffs. They’ll be another one and done postseason team at best.
The Bears are indeed a great team – on paper. But the last time I checked the Lombardi trophy is won and hoisted – on the field. Time to Bear Down and start looking for ways to get even better in the offseason as 2012 was Super Bowl or bust for the Bears given all of their offseason upgrades.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.