RedEye

Bears defense is failing, and that's on Lovie

There’s a lot of vitriol aimed at the Bears offense after Lovie Smith’s team embarrassed itself against a bad Minnesota bunch. I get it. Mike Tice’s offense ranks worse than Mike Martz’s, and how stupid is that?

Heck, the offense ranks worse than almost every team the Bears have beaten this season.

Remember when the Bears used to beat teams this season?

Anyway, Jay Cutler is proving to be that pretty, shiny toy that doesn’t do what the commercial says and breaks down a lot. This week, Cutler is fighting a stiff neck to match his stiff at tight end. And wide receiver. Kellen Davis and Devin Hester are jokes as pass targets.

Matt Forte ought to stop watching that Baryshnikov DVD. You’re supposed to be running what’s called power O, not a rond de jambe, mon ami.

The best thing about the Bears' offense in Minnesota was Brandon Marshall, and even he dropped a huge fourth-down pass. Thanks for coming, guys.

But the Bears defense has failed in so many ways in so many games of late.

The defense might not have looked like it failed so badly against Minnesota when it gave up one long TD drive and a five-yarder after a Cutler interception return, but using Smith’s definition of what his defense is demanded-slash-expected to accomplish, it has failed.

Seeing as how this is Smith’s defense, then he has failed. This might not be news, but I’ll continue repeating it until someone at Halas Hall learns to read.

Smith declared that his defense must record three takeaways a game because that’s the way Smith’s defense is built. Scoop-and-score, or at least change the game. That’s what happened earlier this season.

Tim Jennings, pick after pick after pick. Lance Briggs, interception return for a score after an interception return for a score. Charles Tillman, same deal, plus forced fumble after forced fumble after forced fumble.

And all of it came from an actual pass rush led by Julius Peppers. Remember the pass rush? Remember Peppers? Can he make a game-changing play once a month? Or make a play, period?

But since the opportunistic defense propelled the Bears to that 7-1 start, Smith’s defense has met that goal once.

Once, count 'em, once.

Once since Nov. 4 has Smith’s defense managed to play the way it must. That game, the Bears beat Minnesota in Soldier Field.

The others? Loss, loss, loss, loss. Old, injured, slow and badly coached.

Think about this: The Bears failed to get three takeaways from sophomore quarterback Colin Kaepernick, rookie Russell Wilson or Christian Stinkin’ Ponder.

Those four losses in the last five games have come since Smith refused to apologize for being 7-1. How about now?

I'll hang up and listen for Smith’s last five games against the Packers.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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