I have no idea where to begin after that. Might as well begin at the end - an end where after getting destroyed by the Packers, the Bears currently sit at 3-6. That's 3 games (and 2 direct losses) behind the Packers. That's four games behind the division leading Lions, and two games behind the third-place Vikings. That's also four games behind the Cowboys and three behind the Seahawks for the wild card spots.
That's two games in a row the Bears have allowed at least 50 points. That's two games, back to back, tying (and then setting) the record for most points given up in the first half. They ran 24 times for 2.3 yards per carry against what was the worst rushing defense in the league.
This was after the bye week. (Yes, the Packers had theirs at the same time. Clearly, it was put to use.)
All that put together points to one simple conclusion. Mathematically, the season is not over. Realistically, it's tough to put any faith forward that this team is going to make the strides they need to in order to make any kind of playoff push.
Two weeks ago after the beatdown by the Patriots, I wrote that such a loss felt like the guillotine crashing down across the record. This week, there was nothing. The Packers scored. And scored. And scored. And the oncoming destruction didn't even rattle me.
I'm an optimist by nature. But, Bears... I think we're done here.
55 points starts with the defense, I would say, because for the second matchup against this team, the Bears had no idea how to stop the Packers offense (although they did force a punt - three! - in this one, at least). The defensive line was anemic. Jeremiah Ratliff picked up two quarterback hits. Stephen Paea, Cornelius Washington, and Trevor Scott each picked up one. Nothing else.
The linebacking unit looked terrible, again. And the defensive backs... Kyle Fuller made a couple of plays, but Jordy Nelson spent so much time open deep that last call hasn't been announced yet. Tim Jennings got beat soundly, and none of the safeties could really do much.
Offensively, again Jay Cutler didn't play well. This time, an early interception did contribute to an early Green Bay touchdown. as the Packers were left in fantastic field position following a tipped pass by Julius Peppers. Another first half full of unproductive drives, being forced out of the gameplan by a powerful offense, and just poor execution overall - again - throttled the Bears' offense. Brandon Marshall fought for a touchdown. That might be more fight than the Bears' offense (or defense) showed in the entire game. Well, aside from Fuller maybe literally trying to start a fight.
Special teams, Pat O'Donnell punted well outside of a blocked punt (which, I am a little concerned about what seems like a fairly long windup time). Chris Williams had enough chances to return a kickoff that he eventually broke one for a touchdown. 10 kick returns for an average of 28.8 (keeping in mind one of them was a 101-yard return touchdown on the final one) isn't the best look.
I'll be honest, I was tempted to just write "Season over" seventy-five times to hit word count and hit publish. There isn't really much to say that I haven't already said in either of the prior two "rock bottom" losses. So let's talk about the next step, and there are a couple things to hit. Let's start with the coaches.
Marc Trestman, in the post-game presser, talked about how well the coaches prepared the players and how prepared the players were, then seemed to express shock and dismay that the same preparation didn't show any results on the field. Is that a scheme issue, that the scheme and gameplan they put in place just ends up not being effective at all? That would seem to be a possibility, we know the defense just hasn't fully worked in Mel Tucker's tenure - but how much of that is personnel and how much is coaching remains to be seen.
Does firing anybody change anything? Probably not, at least not offensively. If you fire Mel Tucker, Paul Pasqualoni probably steps in as DC, which could be interesting, but I'm not a fan of changing coaches just to change coaches. If Aaron Kromer is fired as offensive coordinator, nothing really changes except for the dismissal of last year's offensive line coach. And a Marc Trestman firing would simply lead to Kromer or Tucker as interim head coach - Kromer's interim head coaching run wasn't impressive, and neither was Tucker's in Jacksonville. That doesn't really leave a palatable option. At this point, may as well ride it out to the end of the season and see what develops until then.
The other thing I wanted to discuss is the offense's failings. It's inexcusable that a team that uses offense as its calling card looks this inept on that side of the ball week in and week out, but I don't like that fans use every opportunity they get to pile on the quarterback. Yes, he's the most important player on that side of the ball, but he's not responsible for every single thing that goes wrong. And he certainly isn't responsible (at least in full - yes, a better offense would keep the defense off the field longer, or put them right back on with points to defend) for all the points the defense allows.
That doesn't mean he doesn't share in some of the blame for the offense playing miserably. He made several mistakes, and a couple turnovers actually forced by the Green Bay defense (those guys get paid to play too). He looked unsteady the whole night, from the very first snap, and though the Bears tried to mix in some deep plays, very few were close to their intended targets.
This just isn't a team that has the ability to contend right now. And they haven't really been competitive in a month, with no simple answers in sight. There really isn't a lot to say that hasn't already been said.
What are your thoughts on last night's devastation?