In Which The Glass is Still 3/4 Empty

While I already know some people who are as thrilled as thrilled can be that the Bears beat the Vikings last night, I am afraid I can not join their ranks. There just isn’t enough Kool-Aid in the world to make me. Last night the defense played a very good half of football. Then, in the second half, they horked up the 17 point lead the offense (yes, the Bears offense) had given them like it was a snot infused hairball.

Then the offense went and got them the lead again and then the defense gave it back and then the offense gave them the lead again and then the defense gave it back and then , oh hell, you get the idea. The game was finally decided in Overtime. Had the game been allowed to continue I am of the belief that it would have ended in a tie. Or, somehow, the Bears would have found a way to give up a 9 point play or something like that.

As a side note, the play that won the game was an audible by Cutler. Ron Turner wanted a run. At this point I am not sure the Bears need an offensive coordinator. When Cutler audibles the team runs like a well oiled machine. Just give him the play book and say “Have fun, see you in the post season.” BRAD BIGGS (Tribune) manages to avoid the “what if” game and take a look at what happened on the field.

If this Bears team had shown up two months ago, there might not be jobs on the line at Halas Hall.

As it is, the firing squad still figures to assemble at this time next week when a season that has fallen well short of expectations comes to a merciful end. But Monday night at Soldier Field, general manager Jerry Angelo got validation on his youth movement or the Bears got a dose of false hope for what promises to be a busy offseason.

For the first time this season, the Bears had a balanced and potent offense with Jay Cutler leading the way in a 36-30 overtime upset of the Vikings that was capped by a 39-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashodu with 9 minutes, 15 seconds to play in overtime.

Yes, the NFC North champion Vikings (11-4) appear to be unraveling at the worst possible time having lost three of their last four games, but the Bears (6-9) took it to them when the only thing they had to play for was pride and the chance to leave a late impression on the decision-makers.

It was nearly another in a long line of crushing fourth-quarter meltdowns. The Bears led 23-6 with 21 minutes to play in the game after holding a 16-0 halftime lead, the biggest first-half deficit of the season for the Vikings, who throttled them 36-10 last month at the Metrodome.

The Bears squandered two games in the fourth quarter versus Green Bay, blew chances late at Atlanta and San Francisco and also squandered a fourth-quarter lead against Philadelphia.

None of them would have measured up to this, not after the Vikings scored 30 points in the second half, including a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Sidney Rice with six seconds remaining in regulation. The Vikings would have won the game on that play if Israel Idonije had not blocked a Ryan Longwell extra point in the third quarter.

But the Bears showed resilience in overtime they have yet to display this season. After Robbie Gould missed a 45-yard field goal wide right, Hunter Hillenmeyer punched the ball out of Adrian Peterson’s grasp as he went to the ground. Nick Roach recovered and Cutler audibled away from a run to a go route when he detected the Vikings were not in Cover-2. Aromashodu blew past Antoine Winfield for the easy score.

Sure it was a nice win. They beat the division champs and managed to avoid going 5-11 on the season. But, make no mistake about it, this is still a very bad team. They just got it together for one night.

Lovie Smith’s postgame comment of “I think the game tonight made a statement about our football team, where we are and what we can be in the future” is frightening in many aspects. Is he saying that the Bears are really a good team and that their record is some sort of aberration? Or is he saying that the future holds many more seasons with the potential to 5-11?

I’ll take door number 2, Drew.

Let’s face it, Virginia McCaskey is the only person in Halas Hall whose position is secure. At least she should be the only one guaranteed a place there. Everyone else, from Pep to Ted, should be shown the door and then she should make sure that the locks are changed. The defensive genius running the team has allowed five games to be lost in the fourth quarter and the offensive genius running the rest has been more predictable than Tiger Woods in a brothel.

Oh, let’s not forget the genius who gave away all those draft picks to get a QB with almost no team around him and no way to build one.