Chicago Bears

Styf: Winning with no consistency

The Seahawks hosted New Orleans at 7-9 and beat the Saints in the 2011 playoffs.

So anything can happen. Or at least that’s how the story goes.

Using that theory, the Bears have a lot riding on Sunday’s game in Detroit.

In reality, the way this ends is a foregone conclusion.

They either go home unhappy Sunday. Or they have a longer unhappy trip home from San Francisco a week later.

This just isn’t a team ready to make a run because they can’t put together the offense to make it happen.

The Bears proved in Week 11, without doubt, that they can’t block San Francisco. Which means they can’t run the ball and can’t get enough time to throw it either.

Jay Cutler is a better player than Jason Campbell, no doubt, and can get rid of the ball much quicker than Campbell too.

The disturbing part is how San Francisco also manhandled the Bears’ defense.

That wasn’t supposed to happen, against anybody.

It was demeaning, and Jon Gruden piled on.

It’s the biggest reason 49ers starter Alex Smith lost his job to Colin Kaepernick, who has been good and bad but never as great as he was that Monday night.

The Bears have problems, big ones, and they’re probably better off if Detroit puts them out of their misery on Sunday.

It will allow for the stench of the second half to fester. And it will make sure that change is upon us.

I don’t think the on-field performance is Lovie’s fault. But it feels like he lost his team somewhere along the way.

They stopped winning the close ones (Seattle game) and stopped making all the plays on defense that made them 7-1 to start. Their offensive line, bad to begin with, has only gotten worse. And their offensive planning has been an abomination.

No consistency. No emphasis. Just going out there and winging it.

In fact, they have been at their best in the two-minute drill, when Jay Cutler truly is winging it. He can make the throws, he can take chances in Brandon Marshall’s direction and he can put a defense on its heels.

During normal drives, with the game in doubt and plenty of time on the clock, that’s almost never the case.

When they have put up big numbers (think Tennessee, Jacksonville, Dallas and Indianapolis), it’s always started on defense.

And when the defense hasn’t been on, the offense has never returned the favor.

That’s why, despite their playoff chances, the Bears shouldn’t have much hope. There’s little evidence, especially recently, to think otherwise.

The pick: Detroit has little to play for and little heart to play for just pride. That’s why they’ll lay down as the Bears await, and hope for, a Packers win.

Bears 28, Lions 14

Jon Styf is the sports editor of the Northwest Herald. You can email him at

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