5 reasons why I am NOT giving up on the Bears season

5 reasons why I am NOT giving up on the Bears season
The 99%

 

 

The Chicago Bears suffered an epiphany of epic proportions in a 10-3 tickle fight loss against the AFC West Kansas City Chiefs. And for many Bears fans, an epiphany of dire straits on the remainder of the season. For some, this means the tragic end to an otherwise storied season. For others like myself, a time to reflect glass half full on the last quarter of the season.

If you would have asked me three weeks ago what the Bears record would be, I would have told you 9-3. Away against the up-and-down Raiders, and a follow up AFC West match-up against the doormat Kansas City Chiefs at home. Easy pickins'- well - not really. Caleb Hanie stunk up field for two consecutive weeks. Actually working against the Bears with inefficient passes and poor decisions, leaving them at 7-5 heading to Denver for a game against the Tim Tebow lead Broncos.

When Jay Cutler went down in Week 11 in a win against the San Diego Chargers. All hell officially broke loose on the lakefront and in the Bears community. Now that the Bears are a surprising 7-5, the fecal matter has now officially hit the fan. There has even been talk of signing Brett Favre.

Enough said.

So with all the panic, I feel it high time to simmer down some of the pandemonium and give you 5 reasons to still believe in the Bears:

 

5.) Caleb Hanie will no longer be the quarterback.

I would even go as far as to say this will happen before I publish this blog. If not, than soon. It doesn't need to be said that this season since taking the spot after Jay day, Hanie has thrown 6 interceptions and only 2 touchdowns, but I will say it anyway. But don't get upset Bears fans, this only means that now the Halas Hall front office must put the Bears in the best position to win. Their jobs depend on it.

On another note: The Bears WILL NOT, and I repeat with great haste "WILL NOT" sign Brett Favre. Let's make that clear, there are many other options in the market currently for completely viable (King of NFC Championships Donovan McNabb), cost and age effective (Josh McCown), and even an " I'll take anybody else but him," players waiting for shots (Sage Rosenfels). So as Da Coach would say, 

 

"C'mon Man!"

4.) Matt Forte is The Terminator

I say this only because of Arnold Schwarzenegger's line in the first installment, "I'll be back." Matt Forte exited the Bears game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a Grade 2 MCL sprain. This is similar to the sprain he suffered during his 2009 sophomore campaign where he had his lowest rushing yards and touchdowns of his career.

A Grade II Medial Collateral Ligament sprain is the same sprain that Jay Cutler suffered in the NFC Championship game. And like Forte, he exited the game, but to much more scrutiny. And also for Cutler's sake nobody really knew the timetable in which he would have been out, being that it was the final game of the Bears great season. So to take a closer look at this perplexing and now very relevant injury.

Image of MCL sprain, courtesy of summitmedicalgroup.com



The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) connects the inner (medial) surfaces of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). Its function is to resist forces applied from the outer surface of the knee and so prevent the medial (inner) portion of the joint from widening under stress.

The medial knee ligament has two parts to it - a deep, inner section that attaches to the cartilage meniscus and joint margins and a superficial band that attaches from higher up on the femur to an area, lower down, on the inner surface of the tibia.

What typically causes the injury, according to sportsinjuryclinic.net:

Injury to the MCL often occurs after an impact to the outside of the knee when the knee is slightly bent. The MCL on the inside of the knee becomes stretched and if the force is great enough, some or even all of the fibres will tear. The deep part of ligament is prone to becoming damaged first and this may lead to medial meniscal damage also.

Injuries can heal anywhere from 1-6 weeks. Be faithful, not faithless.

On another note: My pessimistic side says don't be surprised if this isn't an immediate reaction to the recent slew of extensions of current Bears players whose names do not rhyme with Pat Mortay.

 

3.) Help doesn't hurt

This really couldn't have been a better week for the Bears to pick up a win for better movement in the NFC. Most of the major wildcard players (Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, New York Giants) all lost this week and still are at a disadvantage in case of a tiebreaker (except for Dallas). The Bears still have one more shot at the Green Bay Packers, and may even have the potential to break-up a perfect season on a Christmas Night prime-time game. That possibility, plus the way the NFC seems to be shaking out, looks to be a recipe for a perfect storm in the Bears favor.

 

 

2.) Devin Hester

Not often in team professional sports does one single player greatly effect the results of a game. Devin Hester is that player. X-factor if you will, if he gets the ball, he always has the chance to get the job done.

Whether it be on a straight fly, screen pass, punt return or kick return, he is a danger to the opponents pay dirt. Although in the last three games he has failed to reach the endzone, we all know as Bears fans that won't last long.

 

1.) The Bears STILL play defense.

The most frustrating part about Sunday's game was watching the Bears defense play great, keeping the Chiefs within distance. 11 points could have won the game, 10 points could have sent it into overtime. The best part about it all, 4th Phaser's look for the Bears D to score just as much as the offense. The Bears defense has scored 2 touchdowns ( one interception, one fumble return) this season and are among the hungriest in the league.

This defense, ranked 8th in rushing yards, 9th in total points against. Unfortunately the pass defense is next to last in the league. What is fortunate for the Bears going heading into the playoff race, is that they play as equally bad passing teams in Denver Broncos (31), Seattle Seahawks (25), and Minnesota Vikings (T-26). Like I said before, it's a recipe for a perfect storm, in the Bears favor.

 

So before you tune out the Bears to prepare your Chicago Blackhawks beards and focus your attention on the Chicago Bulls. Give the Bears your support and optimism. The playoffs haven't started and the Bears are not statically ruled out. After all, that is why they play the game.

Comments

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  • As I see it, the Bears are now mediocre enough to make the playoffs. However, I don't think one can count on "the Bears didn't lose any ground in the standings, because Detroit, NYG, Atlanta, and Dallas all lost." There probably are enough head to heads left to assure that that doesn't happen every week.

    If Caleb Hanie can't go, it will be Enderle or McCown, not any outsider, for the reason expressed on sports radio today "at this point, one can't find anyone else who could pick up the Martz system." And it is apparent that Martz isn't going to change his system to fit the roster.

    The thing I can't figure out is whether Hanie just isn't that good, or, as it appears, he hasn't had enough practice with the starting squad. If it is the latter, no one else is going to do any better.

  • Also, as far as "the Bears still play defense" Urlacher, when asked, said "we are coached to bat it down, not catch it." If even the captain of the defense is committed to doing what he was told, instead of what would have prevented the TD, more fluke losses like this will occur.

  • I don't believe at all the Bears are completely dismissing bringing in any outside options. That would truly be naive of the front office when like I said before there are totally viable options even outside the names I mentioned.

    Also Urlacher and almost all of the Bears defensive players have stated before that they are taught to create turnovers. And your eye test should show from watching the Bears play that the statement is a little acquiescent of the recent loss. The Bears look to score in all 3 phases. Lovie's said it, the coaches say it, and that will NEVER change.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Urlacher made the "batting down" comment on several outlets.* Also, unless they were going to run the hail Mary back 103 yards, the intent of getting that turnover was not to score, but to keep the Chiefs from scoring the decisive touchdown. You know darn well that if he had caught it, he would have taken a knee in the end zone to end the half.

    As far as "completely dismissing" bringing in anyone else, Lovie speaks in corporate speak, but as far as that, he was saying it as clear as he says anything. Now, if Angelo foists Favre or McNabb on him, that's another thing, but I don't see that happening.They've had about a week to contact McNabb, and otherwise McCown was as good as was then available.

    _______
    *e.g. here, although I saw it on two TV stations, including reiterated on his Final Word segment.

  • McNabb wasn't officially waived until hours after Lovie made those comments as reported on ESPN. I wasn't saying that the Bears should have tried to intercept that touchdown pass solely because it was in the endzone. I was stating that the defense looks to put points on the board as much if not more than any other team in the league. To try and take that out of the endzone would just be crazy....

    I'm also not very strong on McNabb coming in, even though IMO it is the best option available. But I do know that the Bears will at least sign someone before the weeks end. And that is just my gut speaking, you can contact it as I said in a previous blog at mygut@feeling.com

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