The Chicago Bears lost a game Sunday they easily could've won. Yes, I know, could've, should've, would've blah blah blah. If you watched this game you know what I'm talking about.
Had you told me the Lions were going to score 21 points, I would've thought barring a disastrous game from Jay Cutler, the Bears would definitely win this game. The Bears offense entered play Sunday averaging 30 points per game. And unlike in previous years, the majority of the points didnt come from the defensive side or special teams.
Jay Cutler came out on fire, showing no signs of an injured groin. The funny or painful thing (depends how you look at things as a fan) is even when Cutler is going well, it just seems he eventually runs into bad luck.
Just before the half, the Bears were in the midst of an 11-play drive that took seven minutes off the clock. It's hard to blame Cutler for everything (some have linked him to the Titanic), but a pass headed for the endzone was deflected by Ndamukong Suh and picked off by DeAndre Levy.
In six quarters of action, Josh McCown played clean (zero turnovers) football; Jay Cutler upon his return couldn't go a half without a turnover. And as a fan you are almost waiting for it.
During the second half an interesting discussion took place in the Fox broadcast booth. Jay Cutler started to show signs of his groin injury impacting his throws. He was hit multiple times and appeared less mobile in the pocket.
After the Bears had several 3-and-outs, the question was asked if Cutler can't make certain plays, why not put McCown into the game? McCown cleary showed he could run the offense without issue, and the way Cutler started the game, it appeared the Lions secondary had no answers.
However, with Cutler now missing throws due to possibly reaggravating the groin injury, and a new ankle injury he sustained, was the offense now restricted as analyst Darryl Johnston suggested?
It was very enjoyable to listen to, and it makes you scratch your head how Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman didn't go to McCown sooner than he did. Sure it's nice to see Cutler want to stay on the field, especially considering his history in Chicago. However, now you know you're not bringing in Caleb Hanie or Jason Campbell.
Not to mention this was the first game in which a Bears' QB was pressured for most of the game. Suh and Nick Fairley wreaked havoc on this game. Cutler normally steps up into the pocket when feeling it collapse around him. Due to his now two injuries, he was unable to do so, and consequently rushed throws to avoid a sack.
Trestman won Monday's game in Green Bay with his play calling and gutsy fourth down call in his own territory. I feel Trestman cost the Bears this game by not pulling Cutler before the final two minute drive.
Another questionable decision by Trestman earlier in the game came with the Bears facing a fourth and 1 in field goal range. On the previous play Matt Forte was stuffed for no gain. I understand the thought process of it possibly being a game that field goals won't win. However, often times when coaches pass on field goals, they end up needing a touchdown to win instead of a field goal.
Trestman brings in short yardage back Michael Bush. Now if there's ever a time to go playaction, this is it. The Lions knew they were running the second Bush stepped on the field. And this isn't the Oregon or LSU defense, and the Bears can't line up and run the ball ala Stanford or Alabama. Of course Bush gets stopped for no gain.
The misery for Bears' fans continued in this game. It appeared Matt Forte scored a Touchdown to give the Bears the lead. However, holding was called to negate the Touchdown.
On the same drive, Cutler threw a great pass to Alshon Jeffery in the back of the end zone. It was ruled a touchdown on the field, but replay showed Jeffery didn't complete the catch as he went to the ground. Lions' fans know about that rule from a few years back with Calvin Johnson.
Now here's where I lost it as a fan. Lions driving up 14-13, facing a third and 10 at the Bears 14. If the Bears hold the Lions to a Field Goal, a touchdown would win it for Chicago.
Up until this point Megatron had an average game by his standards: 5 catches for 79 yards and a TD. Most of that in single coverage against Bears' Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman. On this particular play inside the red zone, knowing how dangerous Johnson is, YOU HAVE TO HAVE SAFETY HELP OR JUST FLAT OUT DOUBLE HIM.
Sure enough Johnson burned Tillman and caught an easy Touchdown pass to put the Lions up 8. It just boggles my mind how you let the best player beat you. If he caught the pass in double coverage, all you can do is say that's Megatron. The Bears coaching staff feared guys you couldn't pick out of a lineup.
Last and certainly not least. After McCown engineered the perfect drive to put the Bears within two, you immediately start thinking about what two point conversion play they will run. Do you run a fade to Marshall or Jeffery, or do you look back of the end zone for the giant Martellus Bennett?
At that point in the game Matt Forte rushed for only 38 yards. Following the personal foul penalty that extended the game, Forte was now in the backfield when he wasn't on the initial attempt.
The second I saw Forte in the backfield I thought run. After the game Nick Fairley told reporters he knew it was going to be a run or playaction. I just think when you have Suh and Fairley in the middle, if you're gonna run try misdirection or a toss sweep. Don't run right at them.
Just a tough game to stomach on so many levels. It will be an interesting week to see what transpires with Cutler.