Morning Box Score: Bears Skinned by Washington
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 25, 2010 3:00PM
With Rex Grossman in the house, Jay Cutler did his best impersonation of the former Bears quarterback on Sunday by throwing four second half interceptions to Washington's DeAngelo Hall as the Bears fell to The Redskins 17-14 at Soldier Field.
The Bears jumped out to a 7-0 lead when D.J. Moore picked off Donovan McNabb and returned the ball 54 yards for a touchdown. But that was just about the end to the highlights for our team. The offense managed negative yards in the first quarter and punted on each of their first six possessions. It wasn't until the waning minutes of the half that the Bears' offense was able to sustain a drive, resulting in a nine-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Knox less than a minute before halftime. The Bears went into intermission with a 14-10 lead.
In the second half, mistake after mistake doomed the Bears. On their first turn with the ball, Cutler connected with Earl Bennet on a beautiful 48-yard pass. Ruled down at the one yard line, Lovie Smith tossed his red challenge flag despite the fact it was pretty apparent that Bennett did not score. The Bears lost the challenge. Did that make Lovie gun shy? Because on the very next play, first-and-goal from the one, Cutler attempted a QB sneak which was ruled a fumble. Replays suggested that Cutler broke the plane of the goal line before the ball came loose and a challenge could have given the Bears seven points. Instead, the Redskins took over and the Bears red zone futility continued. That turnover ended up being only the first of five consecutive possession-ending turnovers for the Bears. After keeping the Redskins pinned back in their territory (and after a delay of game penalty on Washington negated another Moore TD pick), the Bears got the ball back with excellent field position. Cutler's first pass of the drive was completed to Redskins cornerback Hall, who returned it 92 yards for the go-ahead score. The two would become well acquainted by the end of the afternoon. Hall picked off another Cutler pass ten plays into their next drive, as well as two more in the fourth quarter. Add in a Matt Forte fumble and the Bears were unable to score in the second half thanks to six turnovers, despite finally finding a way to move the ball. The defense kept the team in the game until the very end, but Cutler and the offense self-destructed and the Bears lost a very winnable game.
Following back-to-back home loses to mediocre teams, the Bears stumble into their bye week. They now have an extended period of time to address their offensive woes before closing out the first half of the season against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto. But given the pigheadedness of the team's coaching staff and quarterback thus far, we don't see that happening. Not when Cutler says things like, "I've played against (Hall) before. There's no reason to shy away from him... I still think if we had to play him tomorrow I'd go after him every time.'' Really, Jay? Perhaps that concussion is making it hard to remember he picked off four of your passes.
A season that been frustrating to watch even during its high points, is downright excruciating when they start losing. Thankfully, Bears fans don't have to punish themselves by watching this excuse for a team next weekend. Just how many Bears fans can bear to watch when they return to the field in two weeks, we can't say. We're thinking of exploring our other Sunday options while counting down the weeks until the end of the Lovie Smith era.