Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Mike Martz is an arrogant, stubborn, pathetic excuse of an offensive coordinator. I had been cautiously optimistic heading into the season, and I saw some good things during the first few games. But, after the Giants game and the awful play calling against the Seahawks, I'm ready for the Mike Martz/Lovie Smith/Jerry Angelo era to be over. Martz continued to call seven-step drops all game long when it was obvious the offensive line didn't have a clue as to how to stop blitzers coming off the edge. The sad thing is I watched the last Seattle game on NFL Rewind, and they did the same thing. Um, don't NFL teams have access to the internet? Were they not prepared for that to happen? Ridiculous. Throw in the fact that I'm now convinced that Jay Cutler will never be an efficient NFL quarterback. He is a throwback to the AFL when athletic quarterbacks with strong arms would heave the ball down the field and just hope for good things to happen. If you combine his style of play with Mike Martz, you get exactly what you've seen so far this season. They can score in four plays, but they can't sustain drives. They are the worst team in the NFL on third down conversions. The WORST. With all that "talent" on offense (Cutler, Forte, Knox, Olsen), they can't convert third downs? And, they are atrocious is the red zone. Again, all of that is a function of Mike Martz's all or nothing offense.
Seahawks 23, Bears 20
Ok, I just need to get this off my chest. I predicted the Bears to win a close game (26-23). I posted my preview in two separate locations, and everyone said I was wrong and the Bears would win a blowout. Well, this game went nearly exactly how I thought it would. Hasselbeck was efficient, accurate, and wily. The Bears defense couldn't stop a slant, couldn't stop the draw play over and over, and they couldn't generate any pass rush. And, no one thought to tell the d-lineman that when a quarterback is throwing short, get your hands up! I thought there'd be a return for a touchdown, and lo and behold, Hester took one back. Of course, it was too little too late, mostly because of all the reasons I listed in the first paragraph.
The Bears are 4-2. I thought they'd win this game, lose to Washington next week, and beat the Bills after their bye week. That would put them at 6-2. Right now, after this loss and how badly they looked on offense, I'm pretty sure they'll lose next week and probably barely beat an awful Bills team, which would put them at 5-3. That is optimistic. I think the Bears used up all of their magic this season against the Cowboys and Packers. This is not a playoff team. They simply do not pass the eyeball test. How many times have they actually beaten a team and looked good? Maybe the Cowboys game. That's it. They moved the ball well against the Lions, but they turned it over a bunch of times and the defense nearly blew that game. They took advantage of 18 penalties to beat the Packers, and the Panthers game is barely worth mentioning. I have tried to remain reserved in my praise this season because, deep down, I knew this team was bound for 7-9. They might get to 8-8. But, I'm putting this out there right now for all to witness. They will not win more than eight games this season. Yes, I'm a die hard Bears fan, but I'm not a naive homer. I desperately want Lovie and Angelo to be fired this off season. I'm tired of the Cover 2 defense, and I've quickly tired of a Dave Kingman-type offense (either home run or strikeout).
Did anyone notice that the Seahawks offensive coordinator was Jeremy Bates? He turned down the Bears offer to become their offensive coordinator during the off season. I'm guessing it was because he wanted to work for a coach who wasn't corpse-like during gameday. Pete Carroll's team looked enthused and energetic despite numerous roster moves during his short tenure. The Bears looked apathetic and bored, especially on defense. Maybe they missed Briggs, who is a tenacious playmaker. But, Peppers was completely outplayed by a rookie. A rookie! This is why he has a reputation for taking plays off because it looked to me like he took this entire game off.
I'm sickened by their performance, and I can't wait for the Chicago media to thrash them this week. This is an organization that needs to make drastic changes. Lovie looked like a great head coach when his team was simply more athletic than his opponents. But, after the 2006 season, his teams have played barely .500 football because teams have figured out how to beat the Cover 2. Their defense, like I said in the preview, has problems that have been overlooked during their 4-1 start. This is what I was talking about.
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but maybe the Jay Cutler trade was a mistake. I saw him make terrible decisions all game long. He was throwing into double and triple coverage when he had single coverage on the other side of the field. He refuses to check the ball down, even in the rare instances when there is a check down receiver. The Seahawks nearly picked off three passes, by my count, that were simply bad decisions or inaccurate throws. This is what we gave up multiple first round picks for? Yes, he has more "ability" than Kyle Orton. But, I'm not really sure this offense would be any worse under Kyle Orton and, God help me, Ron Turner. Truthfully, I didn't know much about Cutler before we traded for him. I knew his stats, and I saw highlights of his throws, but I never really watched him play much. Whatever opportunity he had to become a great quarterback is quickly diminishing behind an awful line, an insane coordinator, and his penchant for playing for highlights rather than playing it safe. The Bears have taken a quarterback with bad habits and, instead of correcting them, they are making them worse. Now that I've seen him play for about 21 games, I have my doubts about him leading us to the promised land. I decried all of the naysayers when they said he had never led a team to a winning record, and that he wasn't a great leader. Wow, was I wrong. I see the problems now.
I thought I could live with an all or nothing offense with an all or nothing quarterback, but I never thought they'd be this bad on 3rd down and in the red zone. It is infuriating, and I'll be fully prepared to lambaste this team every week, especially if they can't stop simple corner blitzes or if they can't convert a freaking 3rd down attempt.
The only good news is that the Packers lost, too. How sad is it that that is my only good news on Sunday?