Bears Need To Start Winning 'Pretty'

John Gress

For two weeks in a row, Chicago has played poorly. And you can tell me all you want, that all that matters is winning the game, but we all know that's not the only important thing.

Much has been made of the Bears recent victory over the Carolina Panthers and however 'ugly' the win was, it was a win nonetheless, and the Bears are looking good at 6-1.

But you know what? Winning 'ugly' is nothing to be proud of. It's almost as if some fans and analysts thinks it's something positive. If it wasn't for Cam Newton making some poor plays, the Bears would have lost that game. And Chicago also have Tim Jennings and Robbie Gould to thank as well.

For two weeks in a row, Chicago have played poorly. And you can tell me all you want that what matters is winning the game, but we all know that's not the only important thing.

The concern is that when the Bears take on teams like the 49ers and Green Bay later in the year, they must play at a higher level than they have been, otherwise they will lose those games. There will be no 'ugly' wins when the Packers put up 30 points against them. There will be no 'ugly' wins when Forte can't get going against a tough San Francisco defense. It's all well and good winning 'ugly' against teams like Carolina and Detroit. But tougher teams will not afford them such luxury.

Speaking of the first half performance against the Panthers, even quarterback Jay Cutler was man enough to admit the Bears sucked:

"I'd boo us, too," he said. "I told those guys it was a boo-worthy performance, if you will. It's pathetic offensively what we put out there. It wasn't up to standard product-wise. So we've got to get better. We know that, the fans know that."

In case you needed reminding, through the first two quarters against Carolina, Cutler passed for minus seventeen yards. I am still trying to work out how that is possible. They also had just 47 total yards of offense. The word 'ugly' does not go far enough to describe such ineptitude.

It's all too easy to forget how much the offense struggled, because the end result was a win. If Robbie Gould had missed that field goal in the fourth quarter, everyone would be focusing on how badly the team played, and I would have a lot more company on this island of doom and gloom that I am sure I am alone on. If anyone is with me, please feel to sail across and set up camp.

The Bears have shown they can win games convincingly this year. They were good against the Jaguars, with Cutler passing for just shy of 300 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Cowboys they were also impressive, so we know they have they have the ability to play well for a full 60 minutes.

It would be hard to see the Bears being 6-1 right now without the outstanding play of the defense this year. They truly have been like a second offense, and have taken the pressure off Cutler and company.

It is, however, the Bears genuine offense that needs to step up and show some consistency. Because of some bizarre obsession with keeping the ball away from Devin Hester, Carolina afforded the Bears great field position to start numerous drives last Sunday. It was almost as if they didn't view Chicago's offense as much of a threat, and unfortunately, the Bears proved them right.

For three possessions in a row the Bears had the ball around their own 40 yard line, and the result of those drives were as follows: fumble, punt, punt. That is simply not good enough.

As I write this, a question has just occurred to me? Would Bears fans rather their team played awful, but still won the game? Or would they prefer an excellent performance that ultimately ended in defeat? I think we all can guess that the answer would be the former. However, my point through all of this has been what that means going forward.

You can't rely on winning ugly. It offers no stability for a team, and is definitely not the game plan.

Yes, a win is indeed a win. But wouldn't we all prefer the victory didn't look so rough around the edges?

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