Just when you thought the Bears defense couldn’t humiliate itself any worse, there was Sunday’s final minute against the Packers.
The defense had been a mess all season. A joke. An embarrassment. One humiliation after another.
And that was true right down to the end. Right down to Aaron Rodgers’ 48-yard bomb to Randall Cobb on fourth-and-8 in a game the Bears led 28-27.
Fourth-and-8, do you hear me? The Bears couldn’t make that stop, and like that, they choked the game, a division title and a playoff spot.
With the Bears blitzing, Julius Peppers was cut as he charged at Rodgers, who stepped away and found a receiver so wide open behind the unconscionably bad secondary that he underthrew Cobb.
Think about that: The Bears blitzed on the decisive play of the season, even though they’re the worst blitzing team in the league, and then, despite knowing the blitz was on, the safeties, disasters all season, either sprinted up or sat down, and either way, they inexcusably let a receiver get behind them at the dumbest possible time.
Like that, the Packers converted three fourth downs on the final drive that covered 87 yards. Fourth downs, I’m telling you.
We’re talking about a choke of epic proportions, which is saying something for this year’s monumentally pathetic defense.
Look, I know that if the Bears had won, then they would’ve found another way to embarrass themselves nationally on defense in the playoffs. But still. Bad and stupid is just ridiculous when it’s as regular as the Bears defense.
Same mental mistakes. Same physical mistakes. Same stupid plays by the same lame players and coaches who apparently can’t teach defending fourth-and-season-to-go.
Cut Major Wright and Chris Conte right now.
Julius Peppers, see ya.
And take Shea McClellin with you.
Defensive tackles, start packing.
Everybody outta here, except maybe Tim Jennings.
And how is defensive coordinator Mel Tucker any safer than any of them? I mean, ask yourself this: Who has gotten better under Tucker’s coaching this season?
Waiting. Wait. Ing.
All week, I believed this game was about Jay Cutler. This season was all about Cutler, and this game was a perfect ending -- the division and a playoff spot on the line against a team that had tortured Cutler since he became a Bear.
And then Cutler directed four TD drives -- three straight in the second half -- and finished with 15 completions on 24 attempts for 226 yards and two TDs and one interception.
The pick came on the last play of the game -- of the season -- on a desperation throw forced by a horrible defense that couldn’t stop the Packers on fourth-and-8 at the 48.
Fourth-and-8 at the 48 -- they teach that in clown college, right?
Point is, Cutler left the Bears ahead by a point in the final minute after a beautiful rainbow to a spinning Brandon Marshall in the corner of the end zone. Cutler was answering Packer drive after Packer drive.
If you had to pick which quarterback in Bears-Packers would throw an interception in the end zone and which would eventually convert the turnover into a TD pass on third-and-goal, then you’d have been wrong.
If you’d have guessed which quarterback would’ve thrown two interceptions on his first two drives in a game with so much riding on it, then you’d have been wrong there, too.
Rodgers was going all Cutler.
And Cutler was going well.
If you came into Sunday looking for answers about the most important player on the roster, then you came away confident enough to move forward with him running the offense for the next few years.
Cutler played well enough to earn a playoff spot Sunday. Cutler played well enough to give the Bears reason to spend the money that a wanna-be franchise quarterback commands this offseason.
But Cutler’s price is nothing compared to the cost of deporting everybody on the Bears defense.