9:43 AM CST, January 14, 2013
You know what happened last weekend?
Quarterbacking happened, that’s what.
You know what else happened?
Yet another example of how far the Bears' offense is from being championship-worthy, that’s what.
Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco led teams in many different ways, and all ended up in the end zone. Even last weekened’s losers had some great quarterbacking.
Remember, this was good team vs. good team. This is what the playoffs are all about, especially the divisional round. That’s when the bye teams host the survivors from the first round, and this year produced the most points ever.
Sure, there were some defensive and special teams scores, but this was mostly one offensive touchdown after another.
You know, unlike the Bears.
Last weekend, every team scored at least three offensive touchdowns. Heck, Seattle did it in the fourth quarter alone.
The Bears' offense scored three touchdowns once -- count 'em, once -- in the last two months.
What’s worse, against the weekend’s four playoff teams that the Bears faced in the second half of the season, the offense scored four touchdowns. Total. Altogether. Drive home safely.
Again, the playoff offenses did it better against better teams last weekend. Even the losers, and if they’re losers, I’m not sure how you categorize the Bears.
But I’m finding even more reason to call them quarterback-challenged.
Sure, Jay Cutler has a pile of talent. Problem is, he has a pile of questions.
Can he be coached? Can he fix his mechanics? Can he find someone other than Brandon Marshall? Can he beat good teams? Can he win a Super Bowl for the Bears?
The last question is the one that general manager Phil Emery has to answer with his coaching hire. He has interviewed everybody except an exhumed Sid Gillman, but the way the Bears are constructed and the way the NFL works, this weekend underscored the demand for a quarterback whisperer.
You can question the Bears' offensive line, and many have, including me. You can question the receiving targets, and that includes the deposed Lovie Smith’s insistence on forfeiting the tight end spot.
You can question the play-calling and everything else, but look, San Francisco and Seattle got there with rookie quarterbacks, and New England got three touchdowns from a running back you’ve never heard of because Brady does everything that Cutler can’t -- beat good teams, dissect defenses, beat good teams, find the open man.
Oh, and getting plays in on time. That’s not a Cutler thing. It’s a Bears thing. And it’s a bad thing.
Brady killed the Texans defense -- the same defense that concussed Cutler -- by running an up-tempo offense with a quick snap count that prevented Houston from substituting personnel or switching looks by the remaining personnel.
I’m watching Brady destroy the Texans with a smart game plan and spectacular execution Sunday, and I’m thinking, the Bears couldn’t do that on Xbox, even if you spotted them two cheats.
It was Brady. It’s not Cutler. It was a Patriots coach who demands precision. It’s not a Bears outfit that just wasted another timeout.
It might not be fair, but that’s where Super Bowls start. It also might be where the Bears’ hopes end. It certainly was the story of last weekend. I hope Emery was watching instead of trying to interview, I don’t know, the special teams coach from the Vancouver Canucks.
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