Well it’s that time of year for the Bears Mid-season report card and Ms. Lippy is fucking pissed. Just a complete emotional roller coaster from the Staleys thus far. At the start of the season everyone was ready to give Wonka and his staff the keys to the city. Then we quickly realized that maybe things weren’t as great as they seemed. I for one have not given up hope at all yet. As the Bigcat said the other day, until that game against Detroit in a few weeks is over the heart is still beating. I will save all the optimism for Monday though as I am getting amped up for the Pack. For right now I’m just going to tell it like it is.
I really wanted to give this unit an A. I truly did. Averaging 30 points per game is absolutely astounding for a Chicago Bears offense. But the fact of the matter is losing the Detroit game was on them. Four turnovers just isn’t acceptable in your biggest first half game. I also pin alot of the New Orleans game on this unit as well. The way the Bears defense has played this year, holding the Saints juggernaut to 26 points should have been enough for this Bears offense. Yes, that is holding them to a high standard, but offense is the Bears identity now. An identity that represents a team that counts on scoring seven touchdowns to best the opponents six touchdowns. Besides those slip ups though this has easily been the most redeeming spot for this team. The offensive line isn’t perfect, but it’s night and day from what it was last year. Cutler, Forte, Marshall, Jeffrey, and M. Bennett have also looked very stellar all season.
If we’re being honest the only reason they don’t get an F is because they played well in the Bengals and Saints game. I’m just dumbfounded on how a Defense that was third in points given up per game can drop down to TWENTY NINTH in just eight months. Did losing Israel Idonije cripple this team? It sure wasn’t Roach or Urlacher because in my opinion the linebacking has been the only somewhat bright spot in this defense. Is it Conte and Wright? Well they started on that 2012 team as well. Is it coaching? Is it old age? I have no idea but it’s mind bottling how bad of a fall from grace this defense has had. I refuse to believe they are this bad though. Like things have to get better at some point right?
Special Teams: B-
Special Teams is the phase where if you have the right personnel you can be lethal. Back in our Hester in-his-prime/Ayanbadajo days lethal is exactly what the Bears special teams were. This unit isn’t dominant by any means, but they haven’t been awful. As far as coverage goes the huge punt return in the Lions game as well as the opening kick-off return by the Vikings are two sore spots that stick out off the top of my head. Gould has been pretty consistent. Podlesh really was not getting the job done early in the season but has improved ever since the Bears threatened to get rid of him. Now I’m not some John Clayton stat nerd but this has has each NFL team Special Team’s ranking and the Bears are currently at #10.
This was probably the toughest one to grade just because it’s only been eight weeks. Here’s all I’m going to say. The Bears issue continues to be only getting consistent play from one side of the ball. I never understood why people rejoiced when Lovie got fired. Lovie did great things for the Chicago Bears. Did I think that it was time for a change of scenery? Yes, but I didn’t go nuts saying it was the greatest thing ever and didn’t understand the people that did. Lovie had one flaw during his time in Chicago. He just could never find the right guy to be in charge of the offense. That’s it. If he had been able to hire a strong offensive coach that was able to use Cutler and those guys correctly, Lovie would still have a job. I like Trestman. I really do. He says the right things and it seems like the players like him as well. But I pray that he isn’t the same case with Lovie but reversed. You can obviously credit the wins toward Trestman’s strong scheme, but you can also credit the losses on poor defensive performance.The tremendous addition Marc Trestman has been to this team is clear, but the subtraction of Lovie/Marinelli is clear as well.
Like I said above, I still have a lot of faith in this team. I’m not one to give up on a team that still is clearly in contention. Hopefully this Bye week was a good opportunity to correct things, and helps this team move forward. My glass may have been half empty here, but come Monday I will no doubt fill it back up and get behind this team.