The Chicago Bears lost to the Houston Texans, 13-6, at soggy Soldier Field on Sunday night in a game that proves it’s easy to be a good team when you play bad teams and it’s just as easy to be a bad team when Tim Dobbins has eaten all of his vegetables.
Senor Dobbins, the Houston linebacker, is a focused and energetic kid and his hit on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler late in the first half left Chicago’s number-6 with a concussion and the Bears offense without much of a chance.
The Bears defense continued its stellar play – aided by the wet weather and home grass that resembles a marsh with a bad attitude – holding Houston to one touchdown and reminding the NFL that Matt Schaub has bad hair. But for the first time since the Truman administration Chicago’s defense failed to produce a touchdown, something which would have helped on a night when Mike Tice’s offense was as threatening as Armenia in the Winter Olympics.
The Bears certainly would have done better if Cutler hadn’t gotten popped but, in fairness, backup QB Jason Campbell wasn’t that bad. However, the Bears offense has a habitual problem of moving slower than Larry King reaching for the check after dinner. Usually they wait for the defense to score before a light goes off “Hey! That might be fun!” and then get in gear. But this was like waiting for Shemp to hit back. He might, but, c’mon. The Bears turned the ball over four times in the first half, crushing all scoring opportunities, momentum, and Kellen Davis’ chances of getting invited to the next Leatherheads slumber party.
Davis, the Bears tight end, had a rough night, fumbling once, dropping passes and refusing to believe Jill Stein finished a distant fourth. If Davis had played better the Bears might have won. But one of the golden rules of football is you never blame someone whose jersey number is in the 80s. You blame the coaches, the quarterback, the big uglies up front and, when at all possible, the referees and the Russians.
The Bears are now 7-2: 6-0 against losing teams and 1-2 against opponents with winning records. Everyone in Illinois saw this coming, knowing that the corpse-kicking that was so much fun in September and October would come to an end when the Bears stumbled upon a zombie with a gun, dry matches and your bank account routing number.
Next up for the Maybe-nots of the Midway is a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers who finished in a tie with the Rams on Sunday. What did Duffy Daugherty once say? “A tie is like kissing Kellen Davis.” The Niners are 6-2-1 which is a stupid record but an intimidating one and San Fran has good odds of making the Bears 7-3 which would make Thanksgiving Week in Chicago about as much fun as sucking doorknobs after the furnace breaks down.
Hopefully Cutler bounces back and Chicago’s offense will learn to click all on its own and the optimistic people living in shoes and abandoned bookstores have faith that Bears defenders can maintain their frugality, thievery and point production. It’s all vital because the second half is here, winter is coming, and the big boys are lacing up their boots and saying, “Mommy ain’t home.”
It’s a bus ride with the lights off. Grab the driver by the shoulders. He’s smoking a cigarette and listening to Leonard Cohen. He’s crazy. We warned you, he’s crazy. But he’s wearing his seatbelt.