Expert Analysis

The game the Bears and Lions played should by no means be considered a professional football contest. Both teams were terrible.

Detroit and Chicago were just about equal in first downs and in time of possession. They were both completely ineffective. If you finish a game with a total of 11 first downs as the Bears did, or worse still the Lions 10, then the other team usually has 60 first downs. Not this time. It was as if one team said "I don't want to win, here you take the ball" and visa versa.

There were only 3 rushing first downs for Chicago, and none for Detroit. Passing, the Bears had 6 first downs to the Lions 9. Third down efficiency for the Bears was 4-14 and for the Lions it was 5-16. Nobody deserved to win this game.

The Lions were playing with a weak offense and a defense that had been decimated by injury. The Bears were presented with a golden opportunity for a quick and easy victory. But from the time this game began, nobody on the team gave what I would consider to be an inspired effort.

As Dick Jauron said after the game "Chris Chandler had his least good game," in other words, the QB played one of his worst games. That could be said for every other member of the Bears as well.

I don't want to lay the blame solely on Chandler because everybody was terrible. Special team play was marginal at best. It isn't often that Edinger misses two field goals, but he did yesterday. One attempt was blocked and the other went wide.

Brad Maynard always punts well. Yesterday, he didn't. He had 7 punts for 38.3 yards. His kicks were so short that they gave the Lions almost immediate field goal position. That's how they won. The worst part of this scenario is that the Bears have no strengths to compensate when special teams fall short.

Moving on to the receivers. Nothing seemed to go right at that position either. The passing game just wasn't effective. Dez White had 2 catches for 18 yards. He'd catch the ball then hesitate. It almost looked as if Dez was waiting for a DB to come along and tackle him. That's Pop Warner ball.

Marty Booker was in the game yesterday after being injured earlier this season, but it seemed that he just wasn't there mentally. His total was 4 receptions for 36 yards. That could have been ok if that had been his first half total, not what he got during the entire game. After the game Booker said that he was covered by a Detroit LB all afternoon. Well, if a LB can cover someone who supposedly is your best receiver, you've got big problems offensively.

Desmond Clark was the leading receiver for a total of 39 yards, but that's only an average of 9.7. Once he got the ball, he didn't do anything further with the play. It didn't make sense. The Lions just weren't good enough defensively to be able to stop the Bears receivers like that.

I read this morning in one of the local papers that Clark's receptions were reminiscent of the days when Ditka played. Not a chance! Ditka might have had some short pass receptions, but then he turned and plowed his way down the field for 10 or 12 additional yards. Did you see that happening yesterday? I surely didn't.

And when it was clear that the Bears passing game wasn't going anywhere, why didn't the coaches go to the rushing game? There was some of that eventually, but it was pretty ineffective. Thomas had a total of 61 yards on 21 attempts, a 2.9 yard average. Abdullah had 2 attempts for 3 yards; Chandler had one attempt for 2 yards. There were so many opportunities to shake things up and to score on the Lions, but nothing happened.

You'd think from reading the statistics that Detroit had a powerhouse defense. In fact, the Lions had a patched up secondary. They lost some starters last week and also had some injured backups. One of their players, although a 10 year NFL veteran, had only been with the team for 10 days. There was so much weakness there that could have been exploited. Throw down the field, go after the secondary. It was clearly a matter of poor coaching and an even poorer game plan for Chicago.

On the positive side, I was so impressed by Doug Flutie's performance in San Diego yesterday. The guy is 41 years old but he is smart and he knows the game. It seemed that every time he got his hands on the ball, he would come away with a score. We saw the Chargers play at Soldier Field two weeks ago. They were terrible until Flutie took the ball. His coaches saw his capabilities and went with them, which led to real success.

The Bears have Chandler who is also a seasoned NFL veteran. I'm not sure that Chris will ever be as good as Flutie, but he has a lot to offer this team. But with poor coaching, it just isn't going to happen.

The Bears have lost 12 in a row now on the road. The Lions are even worse. I think that at this point, Detroit as lost 20 on the road. This is a game that the Bears could have and should have won easily. That's why the result was so frustrating. I saw continual three and outs, dropped passes, and a lot of sub par play overall.

If I were Gerry Angelo right now I'd be jumping up and down in a complete rage. There's no reason that this team should accept defeat, as it certainly seemed to yesterday. Where's their motivation? These guys are paid to play professional football. Let's see some production.

I feel strongly that Bears management and the players are accepting a status quo when accepting the status quo is completely unacceptable. I expect that there will be many changes around Halas Hall during the coming months and deservedly so.


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