The Bears lost to the Cleveland Browns 13-10 on a field goal as time ran out. That left them with a 0-4 record for the preseason. According to the coaches and players, their preseason record really doesn’t mean anything. Are they correct?
Larry Mayer has posted an article on the Bears’ website titled “Bears focusing on big picture, not winless preseason.” I don’t think they should focus on the preseason either, but I sure don’t think they should ignore it, and I do not like words like “feel” when it comes to the prospects of a team.
Head Coach Lovie Smith said, as Mayer reports, “We feel like we know our football team right now.” I don’t really understand that statement, and I don’t understand what that has to do with winning football games. What do “feelings” have to do with reality?
I do agree with Julius Peppers’ comment that “There really isn’t much to say now: It’s time to play.” That is all there is left to do; words mean nothing.
One thing that did come out of the game in the Bears’ favor was some excellent work by Todd Collins. Collins had a nice 118.5 passer rating, completing 10 of 15 passes for 139 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown that he threw was to tight end Greg Olsen for 15 yards. It occurred after a turnover. He didn’t throw any interceptions, although there was a turnover on him. I don’t think it was his fault. He was calling time and the snapper snapped the ball off of his helmet.
A number of key Bears’ players didn’t play in the game. This included starting quarterback Jay Cutler, linebacker Brian Urlacher, linebacker Lance Briggs and center Olin Kreutz. Further, other players not in for various reasons were running back Matt Forte and safeties Major Wright and Craig Steltz.
The Browns scored their touchdown off of the turnover by the Bears when the ball bounced off Collins’ helmet.
So where are the Bears? Their offensive line did a better job but, frankly, it is difficult to determine what the Bears really have. The reason is that the coaching staff used this game to determine the fate of a number of players, rather than make a major effort to win the game.
I must stick with my original prediction, and that is that the regular season will mirror the preseason. While not going winless, the Bears won’t win many; their schedule is just too tough.
Chicago Bears’ Website, Larry Mayer, “Bears focusing on big picture, not winless preseason”