History Lesson: Bears will bounce back strong

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History Lesson: Bears will bounce back strong

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
5:04 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The Bears will need a rebound after Sundays debacle at the hands of the New England Patriots. History says they will quite possibly get it, because Lovie Smith has managed to pick his teams up after very bad losses.

Indeed, the worse the loss, usually the better the comeback.

Last year they were blown out by Baltimore on Dec. 20 and recovered to defeat Minnesota and Detroit in the next two games. After the Cincinnati Bengals destroyed them in late October, they came back the next week to beat Cleveland.

In 2008, a 37-3 loss to Green Bay, then in 2007, a 27-3 win over St. Louis. A 20-point loss to Minnesota, then three straight wins. A 19-point loss to end 2006, then two straight playoff wins to reach the Super Bowl.

The Bears need very much for a repeat of the things they do after bad losses.

I think the key is identifying some of the things you did wrong quickly with the video, Smith said. I dont believe in not watching the tape and all that. You learn from games like yesterday. We did that. You want to see exactly what happened.

At times its hard to know exactly what was going on, even seeing what was happening out there at times. We were able to see what was happening out there. Most of it we didnt like. But some of it we did.

Playoffs?! Youre talking about playoffs?!

The New England Patriots are behind them and the MinnesotaDetroit Vikings are a week off, albeit without a playing venue set yet. The Bears can take a big step toward clinching the NFC North with a win over Minnesota, and that does enter into their thinking this week.

We all know the numbers and where we stand, said center Olin Kreutz. Hopefully Sunday was a learning experience.

Getting defensive

Anytime an opponent rolls over a defense for record yardage and massive point totals, that scheme comes under question. Doubts about the preferred Cover-2 scheme of Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli will be flying around like Sunday snowflakes, even though the Bears were near the top of the NFL in fewest points allowed before Sunday.

That was a rare happening yesterday, Lovie Smith said. Theres nothing wrong with our scheme. We played a little Cover 2 yesterday. Normally, thats easy for a person to jump on, but yesterday we werent in an awful lot, to be truthful. So were not going to use that. The scheme is good; we didnt execute. The scheme has helped us get to 9-3, but yesterday, again, we didnt execute.

The bad thing.

about all the weather conditions Sunday is that they actually were perhaps more revealing about the Bears rather than less. The Chicago defense may have functioned better in better weather, for instance, but so might the New England offense, to be perfectly fair. The weather took some disguise and scheming out of play for both sides.

They outplayed us, said defensive tackle Tommie Harris. When you line up in those conditions theres not going to be much trickery.

Welkering down

Wes Welker did to the Bears about what hes been doing to lots of teams for a number of years now. Whats perhaps most remarkable is that hes, well, unremarkable as he goes about being one of the only players in NFL history to catch 100 passes in three straight seasons.

He works hard but its not like hes going to over-amaze you, said nickel back D.J. Moore. Hes just good. And combine him with that quarterback and its a pretty good combination.

Good guys

Chris Harris and Corey Graham may still be treating wounds from Sunday but theyre making time for kids on Tuesday as part of their After-School All-Stars Touchdown vs. Shutdown from 2-4 p.m. at J.Ward Middle School in Chicago. Harris and Graham donate on a per-tackle basis to after-school programs and activities for at-risk youths and will hang out with the kids Tuesday afternoon to answer questions and talk about issues.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

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Sometimes the passage of time makes things a little sweeter.
 
Josh Sitton had been selected to three Pro Bowls while a member of the Green Bay Packers. At the end of training camp last year, the Packers abruptly released Sitton.
 
On Monday, Sitton was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, replacing former Green Bay teammate T.J. Lang. At age 30, this Pro Bowl was special.
 
"It's a great honor, always a goal of mine every year," Sitton said via conference call. "It's an honor to me and to the guys I play with, the guys helping me along...
 
"I would say just the age thing, the older you get, the more you appreciate them. You can't play at a high level in this game so the whole age thing makes it even more special."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
 
When the Bears were forced to go into Week 1 of the 2015 season with a shuffled offensive line, the situation wasn't ideal; Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long moving to right tackle as a hurried fill when neither Charles Leno nor Jordan Mills were an answer.
 
The 2016 season also began with an unexpected and significant shuffle, but this time with one that immediately bumped up the quality of the line. GM Ryan Pace moved quickly to sign Sitton after his release by the Green Bay Packers, a step that bumped rookie Cody Whitehair from guard to center, where he earned All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
 
"It was challenging for sure," Sitton said. "It was something I haven't had to do for quite some time but it was stimulating being thrown in and needing to learn the offense in four or five days."
 
Sitton, who signed a three-year contract worth as much as $21 million with $10 million guaranteed, joins rookie running back Jordan Howard as the two Bears scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, missing time with an ankle injury but being a strong presence in a line that ranked No. 8 in sack percentage while getting Howard to a franchise-record 1,313 rushing yards even with a rookie center and a group that never played a game together before Week 1 in Houston against the Texans.
 
"I think we can only get better, now that we'll have an offseason together," Sitton said. "We'll see what we can do."