Jay Cutler admits the Bears were embarrassed on Sunday. Well, um, duh. I would hope so. Anger after the jump.
The only people who might have appreciated Ron Turner's play calling were Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. It's easy to make an assistant coach the fall guy, but when the offense he oversees ranks 14th and 18th over the last two years in points scored. Want to go back to his first stint as Bears offensive coordinator? You would probably rather not. Trust me. In 1995, an offense led by Erik Kramer, Rashaan Salaam and Jeff Graham ranked 8th in points scored and 9th in total yards. In his other three years at the helm, Chicago ranked 24th, 24th and 26th in points scored and 28th, 23rd and 21st in total yards.
So, maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise when Turner's offense treats us to draw plays on third and long and various throws to the flat to players who shouldn't be running routes in the flat in the first place. But there are two plays that summarize the Ron Turner Era.
Play No. 1 is the inside handoff to Garrett Wolfe out of the shotgun formation. Garrett Wolfe -- who is listed at 5-foot-7 and 171 pounds -- should not be running anywhere near the interior line. There is no analogy to help describe how stupid the concept of Wolfe running into the teeth of a defensive line where the average defensive lineman is almost three times the size he is. There just isn't ... and that's coming from the king of silly analogies.
Play No. 2 is the failed running back screen. Are the Bears the only team in the National Football League that cannot properly execute that play? The Packers ran it successfully with Edgar Bennett for crying out loud. Why can't the Bears run it with -- well -- anyone? It's a shame, because when executed, it could be a play that could be good. Instead, I feel as if the Monsters lose more yards on that play than they gain.
In Turner's defense, he hasn't been blessed with Peyton Manning, Randy Moss and (the real) Adrian Peterson ... but even if he did have all three, he'd still find a way to blow it. It's Ron Turner, I would expect nothing less.
Then there's the Bears Cover 2 defense, which played more like the Cover No One defense. It was pathetic. It isn't 2006 anymore, teams with innovative offensive coordinators and/or players that don't suck have figured out where the holes in the defense are. And when it comes to the Bears' defense, there are plenty of holes. But I'm not sure whether or not the holes are because of the players or the schemes in which the players play in.
OK, maybe the scheme is a problem -- but it's not as much of a problem as the lack of fundamentals on the defensive side of the ball. Poor footwork. Worse tackling. No pressure on the quarterback. No successful run blitzes. I know Chicago misses Brian Urlacher, but unless they had 11 players of Urlacher's caliber on the field, it wouldn't have mattered. Right now, the Bears have guys who should be relegated to back-up duty at six different positions -- including both safety spots and two linebacker positions. That's not going to yield nothing more than good offensive days even from football's most mediocre teams.
Then there was the Cedric Benson debacle. There was just so much I was discouraged by. Whether it was the slurp job given by the FOX broadcast team or the memories I had of Benson flopping with the Bears, it was painful to watch.
And then when Benson kept it coming late in the fourth quarter, it bugged me to no end.
The man that took himself out of the Super Bowl was so damn willing to play meaningless minutes in a blowout. That's all you need to know about the kind of person Cedric Benson is.
He could go on and rush for 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns, but he'll never be a winner. Ever.
Despite the blow out, there is still some good news to report.
There are still 10 games to be played this season. The Bears should pick up wins next week against Cleveland (1-6), Winnable games include next week's match-up at home against Cleveland (1-6), Week 13 at Soldier Field against the Rams (0-7) and Week 17 against the Lions (1-5) in Detroit. Games against Arizona (Week 9), San Francisco (Week 10) are also winnable. The Bears' biggest challenges come in the form of road games at Minnesota (Week 12) and at Baltimore (Week 15). Also in the remaining games is a grudge match against the Packers at home and a game against the Philadelphia Eagles -- a Sunday Night showdown that will hopefully end better than the last two Bears showings on NBC.
All is not lost on this season, just a Week 7 match-up against the Bengals.