Bears Blow Big Chance

The Bears will have two weeks to heal up and think about how much this game hurt their playoff chances. The Bears lost two key players from both sides of the ball yesterday and still scored a remarkable 41 points only to lose to Washington 45-41. The Bears grabbed the lead late in the game to go up 41-38, but on the ensuing possession they couldn’t stop RGIII and the Redskins’ offense.

Martellus Bennett hauled in his only catch of the game in the back of the end-zone with four minutes to go and then the Bears’ defensive legacy let them down on the final stand. The Redskins handed the ball off to Roy Helu Jr. with 45 seconds left to go and the winning score was in the books, rendering the Bears near-victory a bitter defeat.  Cutler limped off the field after only eight pass attempts with a groin injury that will keep him out of action for a month.  In the wake of his departure, Josh McCown rose to the occasion with remarkable stewardship that shouldn’t get lost in the worry for Cutler. The Bears’ offense was fantastic (literally) under McCown, and his aggressive play seemed almost despite the announcers’ oft-stated reminders that there was no third-string quarterback on the depth chart.

The loss falls solely on the defense.  It had no answer for the read option nor the containment of RGIII, who amassed over 350 all-purpose yards in the game. Matt Forte had the first three-rushing-touchdown performance since Rashaan Salaam did it 20 years ago, but Forte’s heroic efforts were frustrated by the defense that relinquished lead after lead. Devin Hester even broke an 81-yard punt return for a score, yet so much good was rendered moot by what was only technically a defense.

The Bears did the proverbial snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory.  It was just that kind of day for the Bears. They’re now 4-3 and could’ve had sole possession of first in the NFC North with Detroit’s loss.  The Bears’ had 10 days to prepare for yesterday and now two weeks to prepare for what comes next.  Rest and preparation, one hopes, are not harbingers of poor performance.