I have just finished my weekly exercise of self-flagellation in watching my Bears go down to yet another defeat to the Packers. It was a familiar feeling. While Aaron Rodgers is an amazing quarterback, the Bears lost this game again due to their own mistakes from recurring penalties (including one that cost us a touchdown) and continued sacks of Cutler. The question is whether it is time to a change in the head coach of the Chicago Bears at the end of this season. I like Smith and even allow my students to take “a Lovie” to pass on cases if the Bears win that week (a diminishing opportunity to be sure). However, this game shows how long-standing problems, including our porous offensive line, have gone unresolved. It has now gotten so bad that I am hoping for the Mayan apocalypse just to stop the Packers.
During the draft, many fans called on Smith to augment our offensive line. While Brandon Marshall was a brilliant choice, Smith insisted that he did not see the need for an overhaul of the offensive line in one interview that I watched. The result was another season of sack after sack of Cutler. Cutler and Marshall are a great combination but only if Cutler can actually throw the ball.
Smith also insisted that Jason Campbell was a coup while many of us were unconvinced that he was as good as Lovie said. His few appearances did not change that negative view.
Of course, Cutler himself is much in conversation. Many have long felt that Cutler was good but just not good enough for the Superbowl. I think Cutler looked pretty good this season but it is hard to judge when he is buried under linebackers. His contract is coming up and it seems doubtful that he will be renewed, though the Eagles surprised many with the renewal of Vick. Cutler is hurt by the obvious comparisons to his counterpart in the Packers next door. Today’s game was won by Rodgers — plain and simple. He seemed again to be able to defy time and space by passing through sack efforts.
That brings us back to Lovie and whether the revamping of the Bears has to start at the top. I really like Smith personally but there just seemed something systemically wrong with the Bears that cannot get them from good to great. What do you think?