The last team to make the playoffs after starting 0-3 was the 1998 Buffalo Bills.
The way the Chicago Bears have started the season, we can agree that the chances are small that this team will be given a playoff birth with Jimmy Clausen guiding the offense to zero points and 10 punts.
If the Bears lose this Sunday to the Oakland Raiders, an 0-4 start leaves the Bears not only accepting a wash of a season but a lot of disappointing fans as well. The miracle quick fix of John Fox may be questioned and the fact that the Bears did not find or expect a better option as a backup quarterback than Clausen will lead many to question the direction this team has taken with the new regime.
The Bears were in this game until the start of the second half when Tyler Lockett burned the special teams to put the Seahawks up by 13. It was the second straight game the special teams unit allowed a return for a touchdown. Clausen looked as disoriented and confused as any other bust backup quarterback the Bears have had in the past 15 years (flashbacks of Caleb Hanie and Jonathan Quinn come to mind), leading the Bears to commit to a run first approach and many goal line package plays just to rely on Matt Forte.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks playing in their home opener caught on quickly and left Gases offense to muster a whopping 160 yards of offense; while punter Pat O’Donnell punted 10 times for 477 yards.
An embarassment of epic proportions happened Sunday as the Bears have not been shut out since 2002. A non-committal Fox has not stated who will start this coming Sunday but if Bears fans love more than anything, it’s the unknown backup quarterback. David Fales may not be a starter in this league, but it’s a quick logical position to agree that Clausen does not belong in this league, period.
The Bears defense came to play and put up a gutsy first half effort keeping a hungry and angry Seahawks offense at bay. One can wonder and question just how much better the Bears would have fared with Cutler under center, and if anything can be said to the 1 1/2 games Jay did play, the Bears were competitive and in both games.
Just as the football gods would have it, the team now is without Cutler and relying on Matt Forte and a very conservative approach with Clausen in hopes of trying to slow down any opponents offenses. The plan didn’t work long, and Clausen proved just how bad and uncomfortable he looks as a starting quarterback. His inability to read routes, his panic as the pocket collapses and lack of vision have made this team staring down the barrel of a 0-4 start. Even if the Bears are lucky to have Cutler back in two weeks, as was reported Adam Schefter, the chances of making the playoffs would be miniscule and the disheartening losses would keep a team that seemed to be playing with confidence the first two weeks, looking like one playing with nothing to gain.
If there is anything Bears nation can be optimistic about, is a 1-3 start and a Cutler sighting in another week. If we learned anything from Lovie Smith is that sometimes being a glass half full guy can have it’s benefits. But then again, Jimmy Clausen is the starting quarterback until further notice.
After yesterday, a glass half full still wouldn’t be enough.