Chicago Bears: They Are Who We Thought They Were

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

I must have missed the announcement, but I thought the Bears had one of the best defenses in the NFL. They have literally carried this team all season, and against San Francisco, we saw what happens when Chicago's defense fails to turn up. They are easy to beat and the offense can't do nearly enough to keep pace with opposing teams.

After losing to the Houston Texans, and then being destroyed on Monday night by the San Francisco 49ers, it's fair to say that the Chicago Bears are indeed who we thought they were - not a very good football team.

Monday's loss to the 49ers was an embarrassment. There can be no excuses about the weather this time and I don't want to hear how different it would have been if Cutler was playing. It wouldn't have been different. Like I have said time and time again; one man does not a team make.

Maybe I missed the announcement, but I thought the Bears had one of the best defenses in the NFL. They have literally carried this team all season, but against San Francisco, we saw what happens when Chicago's defense fails to turn up. They are easy to beat and the offense can't do nearly enough to keep pace with opposing teams.

Fans and coaches alike should be worried. The last two games have been tough tests, and they were a chance for the Bears to show the rest of the league exactly what kind of team they are. And they did just that. We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bears are a one dimensional team, impacted by their feeble reliance on Brandon Marshall. They are a team that has counted on the defense playing amazing football every game, and that's just not plausible.

Looking at the game against the 49ers, it's interesting to note that both teams ran almost the same amount of offensive plays. In fact, Chicago ran 56 plays and San Francisco ran 54. However, the 49ers ended up with twice the amount of total yards gained, and the Bears managed just 58 passing yards to the 49ers 232. It is this one-sidedness that really concerns me and I don't think anyone thought the 49ers would be victorious in such a decisive manner.

Again, we saw how much improvement is still required from Chicago's offensive line, but at the same time, credit must go the 49ers defense who showed they can be a match for any team. Bears QB Jason Campbell isn't the most nimble of passers, and I think Cutler might have escaped a couple of the sacks that the line gave up, but that's not the point. The line needs to do a better job of not letting the pressure get to the quarterback and that just didn't happen on Monday night.

Jealousy reared its ugly head when I was watching the Bears get chewed up and spat out by the 49ers. I kept asking myself 'why can't our offense do that?' and 'why don't we call plays like that?'. And it's not the first time that I found myself feeling green with envy. The 49ers offense was dynamic and exciting, led by a young quarterback who had no right playing as well as he did.

As Jon Gruden mentioned on commentary, if you take away the threat of Brandon Marshall, as the 49ers did, the Bears aren't left with much else in the way of offensive threats. And that in itself is a sad indictment. Even before Monday's game, the Bears have failed to get players like Earl Bennett and Devin Hester adequately involved in the offense. Tight end Kellen Davis has had problems holding onto the ball, and although Matt Forte has been good, he is not of the level of someone like Arian Foster, for example.

Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is now back after recovering from a fractured hand, and that should give the Bears another receiving threat to compliment Marshall once again. (Ed: Jeffery is hurt again)

For Chicago, this is a season where excuses should not be tolerated. All the pieces are in place, except perhaps for a constantly struggling offensive line, but they have enough talent to be one of the best teams in the NFL. The NFC North is a close division with both Chicago and Green Bay at 7-3, and Minnesota doing pretty good at 6-4. And it's the Vikings who come to town this coming Sunday, providing an opportunity for the Bears to bounce back and demonstrate why my judgement of them is completely wrong, and why Chicago are still the team they hope they are.

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