Need something to dial down the hysteria reaction to the Bears’ 34-6 pasting in Seattle? How about this:
The 2012 Bears were smacked around for 31 points by eventual division winners Denver and Washington in consecutive preseason games, then finished 10-6 on the year with a defense that ranked No. 3 in points allowed and No. 5 in yardage.
The 2011 Bears gave up 41 points in a blowout preseason loss to the New York Giants, then went 7-3 before Jay Cutler broke his thumb.
The 2010 Bears found their way to 11-5 and within a touchdown of the Super Bowl despite preseason shreddings for 25 points by San Diego and then 32 by Oakland, two AFC West also-rans.
Feel better about the 31 points the Seahawks scored on the Bears’ No. 1 defense?
No? OK, how about this then?
One member of the ’85 Bears called me on Saturday and laughed at the hand-wringing, pointed out that his bunch was 1-3 in preseason, lost the first three in a row, and went all Allen Iverson with, “It’s preseason.”
Obviously, no amount of deodorant will mask any of the odor emanating from last Friday’s three-phase embarrassment for the Bears in Seattle:
The No. 1 offense didn’t get close enough even for a field-goal try and saw a Brandon Marshall penalty and an Alshon Jeffery drop cost the Bears touchdowns.
The No. 1 defense allowed the Seahawks to convert all seven third downs in the first half and nearly made it eight with a 21-yard completion on a 3rd-and-23 before Pete Carroll called off Russell Wilson.
Special teams (use of “No. 1” there doesn’t work) allowed Seattle a 59-yard punt return and 46-yard kickoff return while giving the offense an average starting position of the Chicago 17 on the first five Bears possessions. All of which left questions still in need of resolution.
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Whether Jonathan Bostic or Shea McClellin wins a starting job, the Bears still don’t have conclusive proof that either Bostic or McClellin is a top-grade NFL linebacker.
Ryan Mundy has played sufficiently mistake-free football to win the strong-safety job but at free safety, Chris Conte left the game with a concussion and Danny McCray was a special-teams player in three of his four seasons as a Dallas Cowboy.
No. 3 wide receiver
Santonio Holmes and Josh Morgan might be the starting wideouts in Cleveland in part because the offense has not had a definitive performance to decide on a No. 3 receiver. The Bears could keep six receivers because of Marquess Wilson’s absence for potentially the first eight games.
Chris Williams, who was a scratch in Seattle because of hamstring soreness, has never returned an NFL kick but has caught a TD pass (the one vs. Philadelphia when he injured the hamstring).
A receiver group of Jeffery, Marshall, Holmes, Morgan, Williams and Wilson would not surprise.