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Grossman Hurt, Playoff Chances Dead

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 7, 2007 5:00PM

2007_12_sports_bears_week14.jpgThere were some — certainly not here — who thought that the Bears' playoff hopes were still alive heading into Thursday night's game against the Washington Redskins. Returning to Chicago after losing 24-16 in D.C., they're not quite mathematically eliminated, but their hopes are undeniably dead.

In addition to losing any hopes for making the playoffs, the Bears also lost quarterback Rex Grossman in the second quarter. While we await the official diagnosis, the replays show he suffered a pretty nasty knee injury, and we assume he's finished for the year.

In relief, Brian Griese passed for nearly 300 yards, but he also threw two interceptions. The first one — with less than a minute remaining in the half — turned a possible halftime lead into a 7-0 deficit at the break and changed the momentum of the game.

The offense began to jell under Griese's leadership after halftime. In fact, they scored in all four of their second-half possessions but settled for field goals in three of them. In a position to tie the game at 17 and with a first-and-goal from the one-yard line, Adrian Peterson lost yards, and they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone. After a quick drive for a touchdown by the Redskins, the Bears' playoff dreams were dashed. That drive, by the way, was led by the Redskins back-up QB as they also lost their starter to a gruesome knee injury during the game.

If the Bears want to bounce back from this disappointing season, there's a lot of work to do, especially on offense. Have we seen Rex Grossman in a Bears uniform for the last time? Rather than play Griese, we need to see what Kyle Orton can do. He's probably not our future QB, but let's take a look before drafting or signing one. The Bears have so many needs on offense — quarterback, running back, offensive line — let's hope the answer to at least one of the holes is already on the roster.

Photo by AP Photo/Evan Vucci.