Five Plays That Defined the Season

Talk around the league is that Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo have slammed the vault door and begun their evaluation of the 2009 Chicago Bears.  To understand the disaster that was this deceptively terrible 7-9 campaign, one needs only look to five distinct plays.

#5 Brian Urlacher Shatters Wrist
I was wrong and have admitted it since.  I thought Brian Urlacher's injury would have little effect on a defense that should be able to keep us in every game.  But the loss of #54 proved more and more debilitating as the middle of the field was not covered on a single play all season.  Teams exploited the deep zone and slaughtered us on quick slants.  The Cover-2 shell requires three things: pressure from the front four, a ball-hawking safety and a roaming middle man.  The Bears had none of the three in 2009.
#4 Orlando Pace False Start
The Bears had a chance to beat the Falcons in Atlanta but Orlando Pace's momentum-destroying false start killed a drive and the team never recovered.  The Bears were not only penalized a lot but they were penalized at the most awkward moments.  None was worse than this.
#3 Tommie Harris' Face Punch
The Bears had no chance to beat the Arizona Cardinals.  They were outclassed and outmanned from whistle to whistle.  But on the first drive from scrimmage, the Bears actually looked poised for a strong defensive effort.  Then Harris - the jerk of all jerks - dropped a right hook and sucker-punched the Bears into one of the most lifeless performances in the history of the organization.

#2 Cutler's Final Interception in San Francisco

The season ended that night in San Francisco as a defeated Cutty tossed a terrible pick to safety Michael Lewis as the clock expired.  It was the saddest night of a sad season.
#1 The Audible From the Long Snapper      
It was the perfect storm.  Stupidity and poor execution at the worst possible moment.  We should have known what the 2009 season was going to be as Pat Mannelly decided that a fake punt was the right call at crunch time in Packerland.  If Lovie Smith were fired right then and there, on the field, during the game, would anyone have complained?

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  • first?

  • its about fucking time!

    Jeff -- your Ron Jeremy "up the middle" comment is the key to our D sucking all year.

    I guess that's a triple entendre.

  • From da Site:

    'Asked after Sunday

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    Excellent point SC. What a clusterfuck this team has become with JA and Lovie at the helm. Mediocrity is the accepted norm now. How utterly disgusting and frustrating and crazy-making it all is. Our beloved Bears run into the ground by owners who don

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Chill, folks. Because winter's getting colder. How is loving staying ? Here's how. We won. We beat the Vikings. We had most of our fans it seems, rooting for the opposition, but we beat them. And that defense that gave up 30 points in the second half was the same defense that shut them out in the first. The only team in the NFL to do that to the Vikings this year. Our 26th rated defense against the run didn't play like they were 26th. We were missing what, five starters ? That wasn't a bad performance. Then Turner started going downtown and dialling up his plays for the playoffs. Cutler finally had a receiver who could play the position and wasn't knee-high to a grasshopper. The line gave him more than 0.2 seconds to throw, he was successful outside of the pocket. Ginnie won't pull the trigger on Lovie, not now.

  • How about the bubble screen being called five times in a row? I know there isn't necesarily one play that sticks out, but was there a more frustrating play call all year?

    I'll also throw in the Lovie challenge AFTER calling a time out, the delay of game penalty coming out of a time out, and any/all opening drives where the defense let up a TD and every 3rd and long conversion made to look incredibly easy (see cover who?).

  • Great list, although for me personally the point in the season where I realized "whoa, we're not going to make the playoffs" was this play right here.

  • In reply to alexquigley:

    Why Alex? Now THAT'S how you run a (WR) screen!

    Fucking Turner should have been watching closely and taking careful notes instead of stuffing his face with a super sized weenie while drawing pictures of the Power Rangers Vs. Gargamel on his note pad.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    LMFAO !

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Anyone see Turner being caught daydreaming by the cameras in the minnesota game ? fkn hilarious. Slumped over, gazing off into the distance ... spots himself on a screen and sits bolt upright pretending to be busy. Absolutely priceless. What would you give for a Turner original .. a little nude smurfette scribbled on a drive chart ?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    IS ..he see's the master LDL do that with the Jumbotron, almost like in acting when they (smell the fart)

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    MB..I think I may have pissed in may pants laughing on that one or coughed up a lung gagging. LOL ... that visual will haunt me for sometime.

  • In reply to alexquigley:

    I still believe the right thing will be done tomorrow, and Lovie will lose his job. If not, our future will be our past. The same 5 reasons Jeff has listed above mind as well have been the past two seasons. Bad game plan. Bad play calls. Costly turnovers. Piss poor discipline. Out-thought. Out-executed.

    Virginia, if you are interested in saving money, promote Dave Taub to HC. He is rarely out-coached, develops a game plan to match the strength of his team, and exploits the vulnerabilities of his opponent. He is a proven winner, and you must know this.

    Make it happen. 1/5/10.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    Viva from you lips to the Foottbal Gods ears..
    PLEASE PAPA BEAR ARE YOU listening to your people!!!

    Yeah... I'm going to say it "LET MY PEOPLE GO"

    P.S.- All...I'm going biblical here.I think we need a deliverer to save us!!! Saint Cowher help us!!!! either that or an Arc Angel to battle the shit out of LOVEHAMMER!!!

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    IS...not sure time to step back and punt.? I have to tell of you I really beleived that we finally turned the ship in the right direction with JC.. but right now it sure seems that we surely lost.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    The only possible silver lining is that Ron Turner will not have a second season with Jay Cutler to irrevocably ruin him as an NFL quarterback.

    Problem is, if Lovie gets to pick, we'll end up just as bad off, or worse.

  • In reply to nicholsra:

    how can you say you were wrong about urlacher? would he really have made that big of a difference? the answer is no. HH had 105 tackles this year. that's more than BU has had in any of the past five seasons where he has played 16 games.

    am i saying that HH is an outstanding football player? no way.

    am i saying that BU is incredibly over-rated? absolutely.

    of course, tackles aren't the sole indicator of worth as a linebacker, but there's no doubt that BU has been in decline for a few years.

    the defense is god awful. that said, many of their stats this year are better than the last two years, so you can't blame it on injury.

    it's the coaching.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    #5 may be the most telling...especially when you consider that Lovie Smith and Jerry will be back next season more than likely. Will the Bears defense be able to obtain any of the three metrics as mentioned? If Urlacher returns to form, I suppose you can count that as one...not sure how the other two will change though. IS that enough to make our defense respectable in 2010? Better hope the offense finds a way to hold onto the ball and score in the red zone next season...we may need to out score some pretty good teams (Bears play 8 playoff teams next year).

  • In reply to alexquigley:

    So if they're not canning Lovie, who's the next just-fired loser to join the BFF club and milk an undeserved paycheck?

  • In reply to number1ninja:

    is there anyone Lovie coached with in St Louis or TB that doesn't have a coaching position yet? There's gotta be a quality control coach or ball boy somewhere!

  • can we at least take comfort in the fact that we get to go 2 years in a row without Jerry Angelo having the potential of blowing a 1st round draft pick on a bust?

    At least our 2nd round pick this year was someone else's bust.....I still think we could've done better in this draft with that pick than Gaines Adams.

  • In reply to BTiff:

    Only time will tell, Btiff.

  • In reply to BTiff:

    Listen. Seeing as Lovie/Angelo aren't going anywhere (still in doubt ? Why would you pay a single penny when you don't have to ?) let's talk about things like ... how do we get the first pick off the Rams ? How do we do something constructive in the off-season like obtaining Ndomukong Suh ? Are we prepared to say goodbye to Hester, Olsen, Harris ? Do we go for Sean Weatherspoon ? Who is our most desired receiver ?

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Good lord what I would do to see Suh in a Bears uni...that guy has destroyed all comers this season...and what's best, he does it with a straight face. Pretty much expects to destroy you. He's a damn killer out there.

    Truth be told, as much as Tommie drives me crazy (case in point, I used a orange Harris jersey as a white elephant gift this year...can't wear it) if Lovie stays, Tommie has to stay. You just have to hope that an offseason without surgery and rehab will result in a more consistent and productive Harris in 2010.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    O.K...O.K. I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater yet. But Jdawg.. We have seen how LDL surrounds himself with his minny me's.. JA will have to swoop down and put the Hammer on the Lovehammer. I am not sure he has the BALLS to do that. I am thinking when they check into Halas Hall each morning they place their balls in jars and then place them on shelves throught the halls. Either that or they place them in a jumping Ball pit something like at McD's and then at the end of the day they all jump in and try to find their own balls...problem is most all are neutered...so they never had balls to begin with.

    Jeff's new thread "YOUR 2010 NEUTERED BEARS" sorry jeff didn't mean to step on your toes brother.

    hope you feel better soon..
    P.S. Your Flu may also be a sign of what is coming up in the next few days at Halas Hall. intersting similarities FEVER,COLD SHAKES,BONES ACHE and every ORIFICE is about to let go!!!!!

  • In reply to BTiff:

    We don't have anything to move up that high, unless you really want to cripple the team.

    IMHO our biggest off season move would be to sign either a quality FS or a starting CB so we can move Peanut to FS. That's in terms of players.

    We need a DC and an OC and a QB guru.

  • if you're still watching the draft at that point and the Bears time on the clock is clicking to zero you'll start to get excited about the pick and then Jerry will trade down like he always does.

  • That's a pretty cogent capsulization in my book, Jeff.

  • DOC..conspiracy theory.. I like it!!!

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