FanPost

Les Carpenter- A Little Late To The Party.


An article about how the Bears are just a fluke? How clever and unique. My apologies to Fridgeman81, as I just realized he has posted a link to this story. However, I wanted to take a closer look at this column, and utilize the also non-unique style of article breakdown favored by numerous blogs.

Before I get into this, I'd just like to point out that I'm generally a fan of Yahoo Sports. They've got some really talented writers (Cole, Robinson, Behrens, Passan, Silver when he's not trying to be Peter King, etc), but this guy has been getting under my skin since he recently started popping up on their NFL front page. He seems to be trying really, really hard to become the next Rick Morrissey, and he's been quite successful. For those not familiar with the format, I will post his words, and when I have something clever or obnoxious to say, my words will be set off in Italics, or bold, or some other gimmicky font thingy.

Bears Need Charitable Foes On Playoff Schedule

The ball spiraled down through the frosty air and Devin Hester pumped his fist. Nobody much kicks to the Chicago Bears returner anymore. Not the way he darts around blocks, between tacklers and down the sideline.

Well, no one except for the kickers in the other 14 games that they've played, where he's fielded at least one punt in each. Besides them though, you're off to a good start.

Kick to Hester and you might as well prepare to lose.

Except for the four that won.

And so, as he saw the ball coming his way, he couldn’t help but to smile.

"It was the opportunity," he said following the Bears’ 38-34 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday at Soldier Field. "I wanted to make the most of it."

This is much different than most players goal of absolute failure, so it was worth noting.

Half a field later, as he was finally corralled in front of the Jets bench, he wagged a finger at the team so stupid to kick his way. No, no. Don’t you do it again.

Well, almost half a field. But in a game of inches, what's a measly 12 yards?

He might as well have been waving to the rest of the NFL. Because what are the Bears in the looming postseason if they don’t get a team as dumb as the Jets?

I assume they're still the Bears, regardless of their opponents intelligence.

They are 11-4 with a step toward a bye the first week of the playoffs, and yet, if a team isn’t crazy enough to kick or punt the ball Hester’s way or let him turn a defensive back in circles the way he did Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery on a third-quarter touchdown, then how good are they really?

I don't think teams instruct their DB's to turn in circles and miss tackles. It just kinda happens. Just like really long, under-punctuated run-on sentences just kinda happen.

Chicago is supposed to be built on defense, growling about its ability to dislodge the ball from runners, recovering fumbles and snatching opposing quarterbacks’ passes from the air. Yet on Sunday, the Bears gave up 34 points to a quarterback (Mark Sanchez) with a throwing shoulder (right) supposedly so sore he could barely throw in practice this week.

Growling.... Ha! Because they're the Bears! I get it now!!!

Against the Jets, the Bears scored plenty points of their own. Twenty-one of them came in a 7:14 time period in the third quarter when New York and the new clown prince of football, Rex Ryan, essentially handed Chicago the game. This was after Ryan thought a fake punt on his own 40-yard line at the start of the second half would be a fine idea. And right after Ryan’s assistants apparently let punter Steve Weatherford(notes)boot the ball to Hester who set up a touchdown with a 38-yard return, which was right before the kickoff went Hester’s way and he pumped his fist.

A fake punt that they'd practiced repeatedly, and that came about a half-second from success. Thank god for Rashied Davis (???).

Without that 7:14 of Rex Ryan being Rex Ryan, Chicago likely loses this game and with it, much hope of getting that first-round bye. And that should worry many about these Bears.

Also, the game would have only been 52 minutes and 46 seconds long, and I don't think it would have counted. But your point that teams who make less mistakes than other teams often win is noted by us all.

They just don’t feel like a team that will go deep into January.

I guess that depends on your hand placement.

Chicago has not built its 11 wins on the carcasses of gifted teams.

I assume now you'll point out the bad teams they've beaten.

It withstood a furious rally from Philadelphia to win a game in late November, beat a mercurial Green Bay team and should probably have lost on Sunday were it not for the bumbling Jets who absorbed their defeat by shouting loudly in their locker room after learning that Jacksonville’s overtime loss had put them into the playoffs.

Or you could follow up by discrediting your original point.

Otherwise, the Bears’ résumé includes losses to the Redskins and Seahawks. In their two marquee games, they lost 17-3 to the Giants and 36-7 to the Patriots.

Why are those two considered "marquee games", but their other Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games aren't? Oh, because they won them, which further contradicts your point. Gotcha.

Such nights do not make a champion.

So they're not the 2010 Division Champions?

In some ways, the Bears themselves almost seem surprised to have come this far. Consider the responses when asked how good the Chicago offense has been heading into the postseason.

"I think we’ve been taking steps," coach Lovie Smith said. "It’s getting better," receiver Rashied Davissaid. "We’re getting more used to things," quarterback Jay Cutler assured.

So they feel that they're progressing as the year goes along, and better understanding a new, incredibly complex offense which they just installed this season. Yes, that's definitely a bad sign.

Usually teams on the verge of big playoff runs seem good at something.

Like scoring more than the other team?

And Chicago did come into the game with the league’s eighth-ranked defense.

You do realize you're supposed to support your argument, not constantly disprove it, don't you?

But it was also a defense that gave up nearly 400 yards and let the Jets run free across the field, just as it allowed 475 yards to New England and 398 to Philadelphia.

Hey! Now you're getting it!

Offensively Cutler looked alternately brilliant and awful on Sunday, which is sort of the way he’s been all season

Yes, positively awful with those 4 TD's and 104 passer rating.

Only six times this year has he been the top passer in a game the Bears have played.

I suppose that depends on your criteria, which you don't offer. But since Cutler has won 11 games, and the opposing QB's have won 4 games...

There’s no sense counting on the quarterback, who has been derided in Chicago and previously in Denver as immature, to win games on his own.

There's no sense adding the clause about his immaturity, because it's unrelated to the rest of the sentence, but you just had to throw it in. At least it was a properly structured sentence, for once.

Certainly not behind the Bears offensive line which isn’t dominant enough to wait out his long looks downfield that have allowed him to be sacked 46 times this year and intercepted 14 others.

Umm, ok. You got me there.

Sunday might have exposed the Bears, told the country that even after beating another top AFC team, Chicago is not destined to march far into the winter.

If only there had been an insightful columnist (or a thousand of them) who could have pointed this out already (like say, every week for the past 16 weeks), we wouldn't have gotten our hopes up so much. Also, the Jets are the only top AFC team they've beaten, which actually supports your point. So why am I having to make that point for you?

But along came Rex Ryan, already dragging behind him more chaos than one team should have with the locker room harassment, the wide receiver’s DUI, the strength coach who tripped a player and a supposed foot fetish of his wife’s. And in 7:14, the Bears were saved.

Only saved for what exactly?

It's a good thing the Bears hadn't already clinched the division and a playoff spot last week, or else this would seem like kind of a silly statement.

A first-game loss in the playoffs?

Potential NFC playoff teams the Bears have faced: Packers (win), Eagles (win), Giants (cough cough). Yeah, why should they even bother to show up? They're obviously doomed.

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One final note: HoneyBear, please update your Editor Resume and forward it to Yahoo! Sports. I think they could use your services. This looks like it came from the Steve Cofield School of Words Putting Together To Sentences For to Form.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.