Yet another roller coaster ride on the Bears Express has come to a very fitting jolt of an end.
Who knew that our players would secretly play the first three quarters for the Packers? Who knew that Caleb Hanie would put together a mayoral run-worthy performance in the fourth quarter? Who knew that Jay Cutler would have a rough game…oh wait, well I guess some could have seen that coming from a mile away but I digress.
This was a game that was truly hard for Bears faithful to watch for three quarters. I have never seen a more discouraging, listless, under achieving performance – and I’m a Cubs fan too. It was like a bad dream. Even our punter was horrible today.
Then the fourth quarter came around and all of a sudden the game did what our season did after the first half or so – it got a lot better. Caleb Hanie’s Facebook account is probably out of commission with all of the friend requests he must have received after his performance today. Unreal and most impressive.
Granted, we had played so badly that anything would have looked good at that point. But Hanie and the offense found a pulse and made it interesting. Meanwhile the defense held the mighty Packers offense to zero (yes that’s 0) points in the second half and made several big stops in the fourth quarter when we needed them.
I actually thought we might pull it off. Considering how poorly things had gone in the first three quarters, that’s saying something. To the Bears’ credit they made it interesting and coming within one play of sending that game to overtime, well, while it hurts it also feels pretty good knowing our team never gave up.
Say what you want about Cutler. If he was hurt so be it. If you want to place any blame Bear fans, I would look no further than the coaching staff.
Who on Earth decided that Todd Collins should set foot on that field? Have ya SEEN his stats, gentlemen? Terrible decision.
Meanwhile, the timeout right before the third down play on the final drive. Brutal. We were about to run the ball for at least a couple of yards and make it either fourth and one or get a first down. But, no. Lovie and the gang called a timeout like, nanoseconds before the snap – and then called a worse play which resulted in us losing a yard and that made it fourth down and at least a couple of yards more than it would have been if the original play had been allowed to take place.
Nevermind the fact that on the final play we elected to call a play that ended up with a throw downfield when we should have set something up for about five yards (you know, all we needed for a first down) but whatever. It’s over and all is forgiven as far as I’m concerned.
I will remember this season for the highs and the lows. We saw ’em both and to both extremes. My lasting impression though will be how a team that was DOA and for all intents and purposes done and appearing unworthy of playing in the NFC Championship game gutting it out, fighting until the end, and giving their fans one heck of a reason to cheer for them.
Bravo Bears. I didn’t expect you to get this far and my only request for today’s game was that you’d show up. You salvaged that in the fourth quarter and you left at least some hope for next year. Thanks for giving it a shot. Whether it was your best shot or not, well the analysts will spend the next few days/weeks/months wasting time worrying about that. You gave it a shot. And I, as a loyal fan, appreciate it.
Go Bears. See ya next year fellas.