New QB, Same Results
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 1, 2007 1:55PM
Things are not looking very good for the Bears. With Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Detroit Lions, the Bears showed their weaknesses on both sides of the ball.
The first game of the Brian Griese era was no more successful than the Bears under Rex Grossman. Supposedly the safe game manager, Griese threw three interceptions — two while the Bears were in the "red zone." The other one was returned 64 yards for a touchdown. Add in two fumbles and six sacks, and we really began to wonder if Grossman was on the field in a different jersey. The rest of the offense didn't offer much help. Bernard Berrian continued to have trouble grabbing catchable passes, including one that was picked off. Cedric Benson continued to prove that the Bears made a huge mistake by trading Thomas Jones, with 50 yards on 15 carries. A Bears team with no running game is not going to be successful.
Unlike previous games over the past few years, the Bears could not rely on their defense to make big plays and either score or set up the offense with short fields. The once-feared defense played Sunday's game missing six starters from the beginning of the season — and not a single original starter in the secondary played. In addition to Mike Brown — lost for the year in Week 1 — the Bears played without Nathan Vasher, Charles "Peanut" Tillman and Adam Archuleta. Not exactly an ideal situation when facing NFL's top-ranked passing offense. Lance Briggs also missed the game, as did Dusty Dvoracek — who is also gone for the year. The depleted defense made a valiant effort and held the Lions to just three points through the first three quarters, after which the Bears held a 13-3 lead.
Then the Lions exploded in the final period to score 34 points in the fourth quarter — an NFL record. They drove with ease against a gassed Bears defense for three touchdowns. The Lions ran an interception back for a TD. And then, to seal the deal, they ran back an on-side kick attempt for a TD. Five forth-quarter possessions, five touchdowns. Ouch! The only bright spot for the Bears was their special teams, the TD on the on-side kick attempt aside. The Bears blocked a field goal attempt and an extra point. Devin Hester returned yet another kickoff for a touchdown, this time a 97-yard return.
With the loss, the Bears fall to 1-3 and have already equaled their loss total from last year. In 2005, the Bears lost three of their first four and finished 11-5. Can this team make a similar turnaround? Do we want Kyle Orton under center? Will any of this matter when the Bears head into Green Bay to face the 4-0 Packers next week? Sadly, we believe it won't.
Photo by REUTERS/Rebecca Cook.