The Bears had to win Sunday if they wanted a chance at the play-offs. A Vikings loss would mean a Division crown, A Bears and Vikings win meant the Buccaneers and Cowboys had to lose for the Bears to make the playoffs. The Bears couldn’t hold up their end of the deal as the Buccaneers fell to the Raiders and Cowboys were manhandled by the Eagles. The Bears defense was again their Achilles heal, they gave up 455 total yards to the Houston Texans en route to a 31-24 loss.
The Chicago Bears started hot scoring on their first possession with a 10 play 80 yard drive capped off by a 4 yard Kyle Orton touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd. The following possession a Steve Slaton fumble gave the Bears the ball on the Houston 38 yard line, and the Bears cashed in on a 38 yard Robbie Gould field goal to go up 10-0.
The Texans begin to heat up in the second quarter as a blown coverage leaves Andre Johnson wide open for a 43 yard touchdown pass from Matt Shaub. The Texans score on the next possesion with an 8 play 38 yard drive ending in another Andre Johnson touchdown reception. The Bears went into halftime won 14-10. The Bears offense opened the second half with a three and out, and the defense opened up by giving up a 9 play 72 yard touchdown drive. I wonder what the coaches said to the team in the locker room to produce those kind of results. The Bears managed another touchdown to draw within 4 points (24-17) in the third quarter, but that was short lived as the Texans added a 22 yard Kris Borwn field goal to end the third quarter. The Bears opened up the fourth quarter with a Brad Maynard punt and the defense gives up a 11 play 89 yard touchdown drive which put the Texans up 31-17, and took 6:11 seconds offf the clock. The Bears get the Ball back with 3:24 to go and drive 72 yards for a touchdown, but then a onside kick try by Robbie Gould looked as if he was ready for the showers and vacation, it never had a chance, with 3 timeouts left the Bears defense could not stop the Texans from gaining a first down, unable to stop the clock, the Bears season and game clock ran out.
The Texans finished the Game with 455 total yards MAtt Schaub went 27-36 for 328 yards and two touchdowns, Andre Johnson led all recievers with 10 Receptions for 148 yards. Steve Slaton had 20 carries for 92 yards and teh Texans rushed for 127 total yards.
The Bears finished with 294 total yards, Kyle Orton was 22-37 for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Forte had 13 carries for 50 yards as the Bears rushed for 69 total yards. Devin Hester had 6 Receptions for 85 yards.
In the end it was a fitting finish for a Bears team that was really unable to put a consistent product on the field all year, the biggest dissapointement was the Bears defense, with all of the salary cap money and draft picks wrapped up on that side of the ball to have them fall to 21st overall is unthinkable. I lay this squarely on the shoulders of Bob Babich and Lovie Smith. I once heard that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The Coaching staff did this all year with their defensive scheme and were burnt time and time again in the passing game, the bears defense ranked 30th overall against the pass in 2008. Somehow they ranked 5th against the run, but that is porbably because teams would rather pass against them.
Admittadly, any Bears fan wanted to see their team win, but most of us probably were afraid to see this team face ANY team in the play-offs. The defense has underperformed all year, the Offense has disappeared for games at a time. I truly beleive the defensive scheme the Bears are running is to blame for the demise of this defense. I also beleive that Urlacher’s back stiffness doesn’t allow him to perform in pass coverage the way this scheme needs him to (like superman), which he was able to do in the past.
The Bears finish the season 9-7 and the Texans rise to 8-8. The Bears have a lot fo question marks going into next season, not the least of which is how to and who should return this once proud defense back to glory.