For the second week in a row, the Bears blew a double-digit lead in the second half; in this one, against Tampa Bay, they were up 10 with less than 4 minutes to go, and lost in OT, 27-24.
Tampa Bay starter Brian Griese was 38-for-67 for 407 yards with 3 picks. SIXTY-SEVEN passes. 315 of the 407 yards came in the second half or overtime.
And all of this was while the Bears completely stuffed Tampa’s running game — 47 yards in 17 carries. Less than 3 yards per carry, for a team that had averaged 6.5 coming in.
Normally, for teams that compile offensive stats like this, it is a recipe for a loss.
Yet the Bears made just enough mistakes — in play calling, in stupid penalties — and got just enough bad breaks (near-interceptions late in the game) — to lose the game.
Meanwhile, get this, all you QB-obsessed Bears fans: Kyle Orton had a better QB rating, a better pass completion percentage, and fewer picks, and threw the ball only 34 times compared to Griese’s 67. Formula for a Bears win, right? Maybe, if you don’t make mistakes on defense and call plays intelligently.
Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune wants somebody fired.
I didn’t get to see much of the second half and none of the overtime, and it’s probably just as well. Life is too short to get upset about football games. But already it looks like this defense has no legs in the second half, which usually means a lack of conditioning.
And the play-calling is, um, curious: on third and 2, they ran some QB draw thing that required Kyle Orton — he’s not real quick, I wonder if the Bears coaches have noticed? — to retreat to a spot 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage before advancing. He didn’t make it. Color me shocked. How can that play possibly work? Especially against a fast defense like Tampa’s?
Meanwhile, Matt Forte looks great as a decoy. Hey, it’s third and short. What’s wrong with running him off-tackle, or faking a quick pass to the side and then giving it to Forte on a draw, or something? Supposedly, the Bears are a running team; yet two weeks in a row, on key third-and-short plays in game situations, they did not use Mr. Forte. What is that about? Do we have any faith in our O-line, or not?
And the continual brain cramps are starting to cost them games now: Charles Tillman, whom I respect, committed a personal foul after stopping them at their own 8 yard line on third-and-nine. First-and-ten, do it again! Nice going, Charles. In his defense, he was coming to the aid of a teammate. HOWEVER … at a time like that, you file it under “Guys to Get Next Time”, and you move on.
Next week: Philadelphia.