Monday, October 26, 2009

Humbled in the Jungle

The Bears never got out of the gate in this one. In as ugly a performance as the Bears have displayed in many years, a flawless Carson Palmer carved up an ill prepared Chicago defense to the tune of 45-10. The only positive “take-away” from this game is that it’s finally over.

A truly pathetic effort by Chicago, this laugher featured five TD passes by Carson Palmer, a career-best 189 yards rushing by former Bear Cedric Benson, and a Samba dance in the end zone by none other than Chad Ochocinco. For everything that the Bengals did right, the Bears did wrong. As if it was a continuation of last week’s Falcons debacle, Jay Cutler hurled 3 more interceptions and Devin Hester chipped in with a fumble of his own. Those four turnovers resulted in 24 Bengals points. This thing was over before the 2nd quarter whistle sounded.

Carson Palmer engineered touchdown drives on the first four Bengal possessions. Each of these drives was over 60 yards long, as Cincinnati launched time consuming, balanced drives throughout the first half. Cedric Benson had his way with his former mates on a whopping 37 carries and a score.

The 31 points yielded by the Bears in the first half, was the most since 2003, when Chicago surrendered 33 to the San Francisco 49ers. When the massacre was mercifully over, the Bears had defense had allowed Carson Palmer to throw for 20 or 24 passes, for 233 yards, 5 touchdowns, and a 146.7 passer rating. Palmer must have thought he was playing against ghosts, as the Bears defense, for the second straight week, failed to record a sack. Chicago did not force a single turnover in this “contest”, and did not force the Bengals to punt until midway through the fourth quarter. A first half Robbie Gould field goal, and a meaningless second half Devin Hester TD grab, was the only points the Bears could muster the entire game.

At 3-3 the Bears find themselves now looking up at the 4-2 Packers and the 6-1 Vikings in the NFC North. With a pair of home games against the Browns and Cardinals respectively, this sinking ship had better find some buoyancy before it’s too late. Heading into this home stand, Chicago must find a way to regroup and get ready for Cleveland. The 1-6 Browns have nothing lose, and are looking for some respect of their own after a 31-3 beating at the hands of the Packers.

If Lovie can find a way to rally the troops, and stop the bleeding, maybe the season can be saved. A loss next week at home against the lowly Browns would signify a total collapse in confidence and likely an abrupt end to the 2009-10 campaign.

The Bears will need a “November Reign” to have a shot at the post-season. Stay tuned.

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