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Playing Not To Lose, Yet Not To Win: Bears Collapse Mightily, Suffer 34-14 Defeat

Red Zone Efficiency separates the good teams from the great teams. On this night, the Bears could not be considered even a good team, nonetheless a great team. The Bears not only failed to execute in their opponent’s territory on offense, they were unable to execute on defense as well. The Bears went for the knockout punch too late, yet altogether at the same time too early, in a game consisting of 60 minutes. While they did not land it, they also did not recover in time from their swing and miss.

Bears Offense Halts, Vikings Ride Momentum En Route To 34-14 Victory:

Injury Update: Nathan Vasher has company on the Injured Reserve, as Dusty Dvoracek (ruptured right biceps) was placed on IR for the third consecutive campaign Monday, thus preventing the valuable starting defensive tackle (led linemen in tackles) to finish his first full season intact.  Israel Idonije and Marcus Harrison will be the likely replacements to start next to Tommie Harris on the defensive line.

Two inconsistent run oriented squads went head-to-head at the Metrodome in a battle with 1st place on the line. The lights came on and it seemed like the visiting club was up for the challenge after taking an early 7-0 lead (Devin Hester) after one quarter of play. Then the home team showed the visitors why they were the better team, as they turned the game upside down with a mind-boggling goal line stand (1st GL/1: 1st play play-action pass, 3 straight runs), then flipped it right back over in their favor with a game-changing 99-yard back breaker on the ensuing play (former Bear Bernard Berrian) to complete a remarkable 14-point swing. One of the craziest series of events was enough to do the Bears and their season (hopes of winning the division) in like Kunta Kintai, as they could not recover neither physically, mentally, or emotionally as the Vikings went on to not only take the win, but control of the lone spot atop the NFC North.

While Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Forte was a bright spot, he was not enough to help overcome the team’s inept decision-making and offensive ineffectiveness. A lack of concentration on the big stage plagued Chicago throughout the entire contest, as they were not able to capitalize off excellent field position, something they were granted to keep them in the game. Whether it was one of many drops by various receivers, pass protection breakdowns, or just one of Kyle Orton’s three interceptions, you can say the Bears offense went directly southward after they came away completely empty after 1st goal from the Minnesota 1.

The play-calling from the sidelines had the Windy City playing not to lose, rather than playing to win on the ultra-conservative 2nd and 3rd down plays which resulted in nothing. After switching it up and boldly going for it on 4th & 1, they went with a predictable run play from the same full house formation that doomed them in Atlanta, on a similar attempt which failed them also on 4th and Goal from the 1. Identical it was, exactly vanilla it was, yet successful it wasn’t, as that play changed the game as if a white flag was being raised – the Bears surrendered all opportunities from thereon out.

Plain and simple, Chicago did not have that same of sense of urgency during the 1st and goal situation as they did when they started off the game, as they entered the all-important game firing out on both sides of the ball, playing with a win-or-go-home mentality. The offense could not capture nor seize the advantage which was given to them, and the played like they wanted to go home (they will get the chance, Weeks 14-16). After watching the game, you can say that the Bears did not take advantage of a great start, but the fact of the matter at the end of the day is – they were playing not to lose, a totally different mentality, going against what got them there (aggressive defense, quick strike passing attack, and no-huddle offense) in the 1st quarter, and ultimately the strategy backfired and the team that won did so because they took advantage of the Bears playing not to lose, as they actually played to win, thus a 34-14 victory and 1st place honors atop the NFC North. The Bears are not worthy to advance beyond December because they are playing too tight; while the Vikings on the other hand were like loose cannons – looking more like a team with postseason aspirations and dreams to play in January.

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Noots’ Notes

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2 Responses to “Playing Not To Lose, Yet Not To Win: Bears Collapse Mightily, Suffer 34-14 Defeat”

  1. Rex Jaybels says:

    This team’s inability to convert on short plays, and the ineffectiveness of the wide receivers has been a problem all season. Not sure if they can win the division still, but I know it doesn’t matter. They are not capable of winning in big situations.

  2. Jake Perper says:

    Lovie’s got to go. but the Bears have a real shot to still win the division with the news of the Williams brothers of Miinesota being suspended for the rest of the regular season.

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