Why I Hate the 2014 Chicago Bears
Let’s set the stage for a moment. The Bears have come out of the gate inconsistent and not really living up to the expectation of the offseason. They have battled to a very solid 2-1 record, before another soul wrenching blowout loss on Soldier Field to the Green Bay Packers.
A good team, a playoff caliber team, would bounce back and beat an inferior team on the road to stop the bleeding and re-assert themselves.
The Bears are not a good team. Despite the talent, the mad scientist coach, and all the expectations of a great offseason, the Bears are not a good team. This game was a microcosm of why I cannot stand the 2014 Bears.
1st Quarter [2 Celebratory Drinks/1 Sad Drink]
The Bears defense, which was supposed to be the Achilles heel of the team, makes plays. Sacks, turnovers, and unlike Green Bay forcing punts. They are playing like the opportunistic, solid unit that fans dreamed about them becoming while the Bears offense propelled them into the playoffs. It is good to dream.
On top of it all, the offense is taking the turnovers and the field position and they are scoring touchdowns. The route is on, the blowout has started, and it is time to pad the stats on our way to an easy win. This Sunday is going to be a great Sunday.
And in comes Special Teams to ruin the buzz. The sheer level of incompetence exhibited by this unit is actually verging on impressive. If you are going to fail, then why not fail in such spectacular fashion as to be worthy of remembrance. I will forever remember the fair catch interference, pick up the ball and return it for a TD play. It will be added into my memory Bears memory bank. The Bears cannot play a good quarter in all 3 phases, it is just impossible.
2nd Quarter [2 Happy Drinks, 3 Sad Drinks]
The Bears have overcome the special team’s incompetence and have risen from the ashes of a once proud Dave Toub led unit. They have continued to play well on defense and they have continued to score points. This was what I was sold over a long offseason, an improved defense and an offense that can run the score up.
Light the cigars and pour the drinks because the route is on.
Oh no, oh my, the Panthers are driving and it looks too easy. Is this the mediocre, can’t make Green Bay punt, defense that has haunted my dreams. No they were doing so well, sustain the success, I am begging you to sustain the success. Someone please stop them. Enter Ego Ferguson, a young draft pick, with a TFL and 2 batted passes 1 of which falls into Briggs hands. THE DEFENSE HAS RISEN. They made the play, got the ball back to the offense with 4 minutes left and we are going to score to make it 28-7, game over.
This is the point where it finally donned on me. The Bears simply cannot handle success, they cannot have sustained success. It has been decried by the Gods, written in the very fabric of fate and time. Time to put the beer down and reach for the harder stuff.
Martellus Bennett decides to run in front of Forte instead of turning around and making a TD springing block. Okay, it is still a 56 yard gain into the scoring zone. The Black Unicorn then drops a 3rd down pass that probably could have been a TD. An offensive stall, not crippling, but worrying based on previous games.
That is okay in comes Mr. Clutch, Robbie Gould, to stroke a 32 yard field goal and put us up 24-7. He missed. Special Teams killing us again.
Okay, the Panthers offense that has done nothing all day has the ball with under 2:00 and the entire field to go. The sheer speed and the ease that they scored a TD with had me reaching for the bottle. The confidence that had been built in the first 29 minutes was erased and horrible Aaron Rodgers PTSD memories came flooding back in.
21-14. The Bears cannot even have a commanding lead when they dominate a half. Down, dejected, and demoralized I slunk into half time.
3rd Quarter [2 Sad Drinks]
Here we go.
2nd half fresh start and a chance to wrestle back momentum and get the 2 TD lead back. Our high powered offense is getting the ball and we are going to drive down and score, and stamp out the Panthers hope. The ad scientist had an entire half to figure it out.
3 and Out? Wait we invested 200 million on offense for this moment to rescue us from terrible special teams play and bad defense. This 3 and out must be a mistake. Not with our weapons and a 126 million dollar QB. No someone call O’Donnell back because we are suppose to be scoring.
The defense shows a little life, which is a positive, and they really get hurt by some brutal calls by the officials as the Panther score a TD. How is it 21-21 again?
But hey we have a high priced offense, with a genius coach calling the plays, we are going to answer back and answer your TD. We kick a field goal. I mean if we look at the positives at least Robbie Gould hit the field goal and can continue to feed his family. We retook the lead. But we know because we are Bears fans, and we have watched too many field foals, field goals are for losers.
Still winning, time for Mr. 4th Quarter to take over.
4th Quarter [10 Sad Drinks]
All we need is a defensive stop. All we need is for them for force a punt, a single punt, and our offense gets the ball and goes down and scores. A single punt, please. Oh, they forced a punt, game over, someone play Bear Down and let’s get the party started.
3 and Out. Wait, this is not Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton this is supposed to be when we celebrate.
The defense forced another punt, hurry someone play Bear Down, get the champagne and let’s move on from the Packers lose and get back on track.
1 1st down and punt. This cannot be happening. This was not the bill of goods that I was sold in the offseason. This was supposed to be how we won close games. Doubt has turned to panic.
The defense has forced another punt, a miracle has happened. I scramble to find the iPod that I threw across the room so I can get Bear Down playing and proceed to the victory dancing phase of Sunday.
Interception. I know Jay played really well up to this point. I know that he has shown growth. But why do I have the crippling feel of de ja vu? Why do I have a pear shaped Kyle Williams running through my head? How many times have I seen this movie?
It is okay. We are tied and we have the ball back. The 4th try for this offense has to have success. We will roll down the field and kick a field goal. It will not be pretty, but it will be a win and that is what we need right now.
Forte Fumble. The guy on this team least deserving of criticism. The guy who always seems to produce and who is having a great game just fumbled the ball away. Now Matt Forte is going to join in on the mistakes at the worst possible time? Is there anyone on this team who will not screw up and cost them a game?
This team was supposed to be an offensive force and they were given 4 drives to close out the game. On those 4 drives they managed 1 1st down and 2 turnovers. Someone play the sad music and get me a blanket to wrap myself in while I drown this pain.
This is not the Bears team I thought I was getting. But then again I am a Bears fan, I should no that HOPE is for other teams and other cities.
I hate the 2014 Bears for so many reasons,
1. Because they are falling all over themselves while trying to live up to the offseason expectations. Expectations that had them going 10-6 and making the playoffs, they weren’t even expected to win the division.
2. Because they are incredibly sloppy and inconsistent. They neither look prepared or committed to winning and they make the same mistakes over and over again.
3. Because they all take turns sabotaging the team’s effort and now even Matt Forte has joined the fun of making critical errors that cost games.
4. Because we were sold an idea that this high priced and high powered offense would be the strength of the team, and they are more an Achilles heel than a strength.
5. Because it appears I will be watching my 7th season in the last 8 years where the Bears do not make the playoffs.