4:43 PM CDT, September 29, 2013
OK, so it wasn’t going to be easy for the Bears this season, but yeesh, did it have to be this awful?
The Bears lost both lines of scrimmage, lost the ball, lost control of things the second quarter, and that’s how you lose an ugly divisional road game and a perfect record.
This was a complete disintegration, and it wasn’t even in Green Bay. Forget the 40-32 final score. The Lions gave away free scores on which even a bad Bears offense could capitalize. No, this was a self-inflicted disaster in a place the Bears had owned against a team that regularly self-destructed.
On Sunday in Detroit, though, the Lions were smarter and better. Since when does that happen? The Bears lost every important category, from points to poise.
Jay Cutler threw two awful interceptions that turned into 10 points and couldn’t convert a third down in the first half when this still was close to being a game.
Cutler’s mechanics went bad and stayed bad when it mattered. We’ve seen this before, Cutler going full-metal omigod. The hope was Marc Trestman would be able to stop such things, but that wasn’t evident Sunday. No quarterback whispering. Just palm-to-forehead. Face-to-air-sickness bag.
The hope was Trestman would have a playbook that righted Cutler and the Bears offense quickly, limiting the kind of irretrievable freefall the Bears can’t afford, but that wasn’t evident, either.
The Cutler who was “Mr. Fourth Quarter’’ in the first three games turned into Jonathan Quinn for most of Sunday. The Bears offense that had shown so much creativity to start the season lost its way in the second quarter. Lost everything.
After Matt Forte raced 53 yards for a TD that put the Bears up 10-6, the Bears did almost nothing right and so much wrong. They were obliterated so badly you’d think Wanny was still coaching.
It grew so sad that the Bears started one possession at their 40 after a horse-collar penalty on a Devin Hester return, and they proceeded to lose three yards before punting.
When the Bears did pop the ball loose the way you knew they would, the Lions recovered almost every time, including Matthew Stafford in the end zone on a quarterback sneak that was part of a 27-point second quarter, something the Bears had never before allowed.
The Bears couldn’t tackle Reggie Bush, mostly because the defensive linemen couldn’t hold their point any better than they could rush the passer. Worse, the linebackers were blocked and stayed blocked. The Lions created massive running lanes, and when they didn’t, Bush made his own. By the time Bush got to the third level -- and he was regularly at the third level -- the Bears safeties whiffed like Adam Dunn.
The Lions gashed the Bears' defense all over the place, producing 16 plays of at least 10 yards, most painfully demonstrated by Bush’s 37-yard TD run that vaulted him over 100 yards in the first half.
The Lions even won the special teams battle, ripping off a 57-yard punt return that was part of that second-quarter mess.
To think, the Bears had a four-point lead at one point and had Stafford pressuring himself with bad throws outside the numbers.
Trestman warned there would be games like this. He always said it was about fighting back. How the Bears responded.
They responded in the third quarter with two field goals, a penalty that wiped out a big gain on what would’ve been the Bears’ first third-down conversion of the game, and then, of course, another Cutler interception.
But wait. There was more responding. After Major Wright picked off Stafford in the red zone, Ndamukong Suh sacked and stripped Cutler, whose fumble was returned for a TD by lumbering defensive tackle Nick Fairley for a 37-16 lead.
Yes. Well. More responding next week against a Saints team that loves to throw the ball against inept pass rushes.
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