The Chicago Bears were their own worst enemy this regular season – a season that ended abruptly tonight in a heartbreaking loss to the rival Green Bay Packers in a winner-take-all scenario.
After blowing the opportunity to clinch the division last week in Philly, pharm you would’ve thought that the Bears would have come out guns blazing today against their arch-nemesis the Green Bay Packers… and yes, while there were some great sparks and bouts of excitement today, a couple of key plays ultimately would cost them the game – and their post season aspirations, as they once again, fell to the Pack, this time in a close one, 33-28.
The bottom line here is this: A potential play-off spot literally fell into their lap and CHICAGO SOMEHOW MANAGED TO BLOW THEIR CHANCE TO WIN THE NFC NORTH AND HEAD TO THE PLAYOFFS.
Instead, the 8-7-1 Packers win the division, almost by default and the Bears miss the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years. Talk about a heartbreaking end to Trestman’s first year as coach…. there’s going to be lots of talk about the future of key players (Cutty included). Here’s what you need to know about the saddest game of the season.
What You Need to Know:
- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was anything but rusty tonight in his return after missing seven games due to a broken collarbone. In fact, he threw the most beautiful 48-yard TD pass to WR Randall Cobb with 38 seconds remaining in the game to give Green Bay the victory. Rodgers went 25-for-39 for 318 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 85.2.
- The Bears offense played well – but not good enough to get the win and make up for the faulty defense that ultimately broke down in the end. Matt Forte rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries and had four receptions for 47 yards (and my fantasy team thanks you) and three TDs. Jay Cutler had his best game of his career against the Packers and went 15-for-24 with 226 yards, two TDs, one pick and a passer rating of 103.8. Brandon Marshall also had six receptions for 74 yards and one TD.
- Bizzare Play of Game: WR Boykin scored on a Pack fumble to give Green Bay the lead in the first half. Boykin picked up what he thought was a dead ball (although there was no whistle) and stood there for a couple of seconds before he was urged to run into the end zone by his Aaron Rodgers. Please note that the Bears defenders just stood around during this whole fiasco. Apparently both teams had thought Rodgers had thrown an incomplete pass. Hey D, for future reference: Always pick up the ball and run. I’m sure the refs will tell you to stop if needed.
Your Take Away Piece:
“The Chicago Bears were 8-8 this year with Marc Trestman as head coach. Our offense has drastically improved with the reliability of Matt Forte, the connection and relationship between Cutler and dynamic receivers Marshall and Jeffrey, and a surprisingly fun appearance from McCown while Cutler was out. Unfortunately, I do not have as much to say about our defense in 2013 as they were plagued with injuries and riddled with errors.”
I’m not upper-level management or the McCaskeys but I think there will be some internal discussion regarding the defense (particularly safeties) and a restructuring of the d-line for next year.
I know there’s A LOT of rumors and public opinion on Cutler’s return…. and while he may not be the quarterback Chicago feels it deserves, he’s the quarterback Chicago needs right now. (Yes, I just loosely referenced “The Dark Knight”.) I say this because I just don’t see many other QB options available out there right now and as we’ve seen this year, when you have a good offense you can plug in any QB and get some decent results. My guess is Cutler and McCown will be back and that we will see some major changes defensively for the 2014 season.
Until next season, Bear Down Chicago fans! It has been a pleasure chatting football with you. I’ll be spending my next few days anticipating the Sugar Bowl. Roll Tide!”