Can't any Bears quarterback run an offense?

You go into a game with the chance to own a piece of the best record in the league, and you come out of it with a concussed starting quarterback.

A concussed quarterback with a history of concussions, don’t forget.

Oh, and a self-inflicted loss at home.

Jay Cutler was trying to make a play, but Houston’s Tim Dobbins delivered a massive hit, catching a vulnerable Cutler flush on the chin with his helmet. Cutler finished the half, but he was done.

And so were the Bears.

Maybe they were done before that, but the second half of Sunday’s game with Jason Campbell looked a lot like the second half of last season with Caleb Hanie. Campbell turfed throws, and when he wasn’t doing that, he was throwing high and wide. Campbell hit Brandon Marshall for 45 yards down to Houston’s 10, but they still couldn’t stick it in the end zone.

Given their spectacular defense, all the Bears needed was one drive. Cutler couldn’t manage it. Campbell couldn’t, either. The receivers couldn’t hold on to passes.

Heck, the Bears couldn’t hold on to anything, and right from the start when Kellen Davis fumbled on the Bears’ first play.

Next possession, Devin Hester couldn’t fall forward for a yard, then Michael Bush fumbled back to the Texans after gaining 15 on fourth-and-inches.

Two possessions, two fumbles, too bad for Lovie Smith’s myth of “Bear weather.’’

But wait. There was more. It was Sunday night, and that is almost never Cutler’s night.

And there you go: On the Bears’ third possession, starting in Texans territory after a Tim Jennings’ interception, Cutler was picked off by Danieal Manning.

We knew the Bears offense stunk early in games, but this was bad even for them. This wasn’t play-calling. This was basic stuff. This was ball security.

To think, the Bears started with several advantages.

The first came when Texans tight end Owen Daniels was ruled out with a hip pointer. Daniels came in leading Houston in TD catches.

The second break came when nose tackle Shaun Cody was sidelined. Cody is a big reason the Texans entered the game with the second-ranked run defense.

You’d think the Bears would’ve been in a spot that would’ve led to a good start.

You’d think.

And then at halftime, Cutler was declared out with a concussion on a night when he wasn’t sacked. So Bears.

Truth is, Campbell’s offense didn’t look any less frustrating than Cutler’s miserable first half, save for Cutler’s two interceptions. But it didn’t feel like Campbell was in control of anything. Cutler, at least, has those fourth quarters that have saved games like Sunday night’s.

But there was no saving this one, and you have to wonder how many more games are in jeopardy. The Bears face opponents that are a lot better than the mopes the Bears beat on the way to a 7-1 record before Sunday night, and they might face trying to save a playoff-bound season with a backup quarterback who couldn’t produce.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...