The Chicago Bears were out-coached, out-played, out-schemed, and out-everything'd last night against the 49ers. If you can find a positive spin on a 32-7 loss featuring 143 total yards, a safety, and a defense torn apart by a second-year quarterback making his first career start, then I'd like to hear it and have some of whatever it is you're drinking, because it must be crazy.
After the game, an unnamed Bear called the loss "a wakeup call," which is ridiculous to me on multiple fronts. Who needs a wakeup call in week eleven of the season, when you're facing one of the best teams in the league on the road? The Bears defense completely underestimated what Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers could do offensively, especially at the beginning of the game. I mean, how many play actions did San Francisco run in the first quarter, and how many times did that playfake result in a completed pass?
Adjustments were made as the game went along, but Kaepernick still finished 16-23 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for 22 carries and 95 yards. Vernon Davis shredded the Bears (6-83, 1 TD), as most good tight ends will do against the Bears. But the defense was completely outmatched from the first 49ers play on and never recovered.
While the defense apparently thought the 49ers offense would just simplify things for them (hand the ball off, then turn it over), the Bears offense was horrific. Again, we have another situation early in the game that baffles fans about what Mike Tice is doing. First Bears' drive of the game, down 7-0. Matt Forte runs for four yards on both first and second down. Third and two, call for a pass, Campbell gets sacked. No Forte again? No Michael Bush, our short-yardage specialist? No, just another sack early in the game deep in our own territory.
The "wakeup call" comment is one of two things. The Bears were overconfident in their own abilities and didn't expect the 49ers to play like they did, or the Bears realized that they're not going to just roll through teams during this difficult second-half of the season schedule. But aren't those two items intertwined? If you're overconfident in your abilities, then you don't realize just how tough the games are going to be to win. You don't get to play the Titans and Jaguars every week (although this offense hasn't been clicking for most of the season). And why in the cussword do they need a wakeup call after getting crushed by the Packers and losing to the Texans? Didn't they learn about overconfidence when they were spouting off about the Packers before the Thursday Night game?
I assume the comment came from a member of the defense, because every offensive player should of have been too ashamed to say anything to the media afterwards, in part because of their performance, but also because of how they've performed in the Bears' three losses. The Bears have scored 23 points in their three losses (the Packers, Texans and 49ers have combined for 68), and their only two touchdowns have come in the second half when the game was already decided. The offensive line has come crashing down in those games, allowing quarterback pressures, backfield penetration on runs, and committing penalties left and right. The offense is struggling horribly, especially in big games, with or without Cutler.
I don't know if this "wakeup call" will actually change how the Bears play; I mean, they can't come out and play more undisciplined and more pathetic than last night (I hope). But at this point in the season, isn't it a little late to need a wakeup call to realize what's at stake each week, or how well you need to perform (and coach) in order to get the job done? The Bears' performance against the 49ers was atrocious, but the reality may be that they didn't realize how hard it would be to stay on top.