View from the Moon: Are Bears ready for playoffs?

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View from the Moon: Are Bears ready for playoffs?

Monday, Jan 3, 2011
9:18 AM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Cleaning out the notebook the morning after...

The one thought persisting through the attempts to assess what Sundays 10-3 loss at Green Bay means is that it may be exactly what the Bears needed: a swift shot to the chops. Or at least one side of the ball does.

The Bears continue to demonstrate that they are one of those teams that has more trouble coming off a good win than a bad loss. And this, for the offense in particular, was a bad loss. Dont excuse this as simply a game that didnt matter and players just going through the motions accordingly.

Lovie Smith playing the starters throughout was the correct call for a number of reasons, including one perhaps unintended. The performance of his offense should dispel any notion that Mike Martz, Jay Cutler, the offensive line and anyone this side of Matt Forte is really ready for playoff football.

On the very positive side, the defense held the ninth-ranked scoring offense (25.2 ppg.) to 10 points and eighth-ranked yardage generator (363 ypg.) to 284.

But as he did in too often 2009, Cutler stops being a quarterback and reverts to being a passer and a not very good one at that. Never confuse arm strength with judgment and throwing an interceptable pass from the opposing 24-yard line with your team leading 3-0 and your defense working on a string of five straight possessions not allowing a very good offense to cross midfield.

Perhaps more concerning should be the direction that the hand on the tiller steered the vessel.

First, it is somewhat misleading characterize Martz as a balanced offensive thinker because the Bears had more runs (238) than pass plays (231) over the previous eight games. That run total included 33 runs by Cutler; does anyone really suppose that Cutler was hearing Keeper in his helmet headset all those play-calls?

More to the point, the protection (and Cutler himself) allowed the quarterback to be sacked four times in the span of 11 plays in the third-fourth quarters. Against a blitzing defense, Martz was writing checks that his blockers couldnt cash.

Yet as he did in the New York Giants debacle that cost him Cutler for a game and a half, Martz kept throwing in spite of Forte and Chester Taylor combining for 65 rushing yards and 7.2 yards per pop in the first half.

A family member just leaned in and asked, Who do we want to root for next weekend in the wild-card games?

My answer is that it doesnt matter. As the Bears themselves have said, it really is all about what they do. Or as was the case Sunday, what they dont do.

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.

Bears trade up and get their quarterback: North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky

Bears trade up and get their quarterback: North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky

General manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday the Bears had come to a consensus on the three best players available in this year’s NFL Draft. One of those players, as it turned out, was North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. 

The Bears traded the Nos. 3, 67 and 111 picks, as well as a 2018 third-round pick, to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the second overall pick. 

Here's what Pro Football Focus wrote on Trubisky:

"Despite being a one-year starter, Trubisky is very polished as a passer playing with good balance and consistent mechanics, which leads him to throw with great accuracy in the short/intermediate passing game. Although he comes from a version of the spread in his college offense, he was asked to do many full field progressions and showed he can click from receiver to receiver quickly and efficiently. Has very good pocket instincts and ability to keep eye level up to see receivers down the field while moving within the pocket. His three-quarters release may lead to more batted balls at the LOS but is likely not a huge issue at the next level. Will need to work on hitting his deep shots with more consistent accuracy to keep defenses from sitting at the break point. Shows all of the tools to develop into a very solid NFL starting quarterback and appears to be the safest option of the 2017 quarterback draft class."

Trubisky completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,767 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2016 with North Carolina. The 6-foot-2, 222 pound Ohio native is the sixth quarterback to be taken by the Bears in the top five in franchise history:

Sid Luckman (1939, No. 2 overall)
Bob Williams (1951, No. 2 overall)
Bobby Layne (1948, No. 3 overall)
Johnny Lujack (1946, No. 4 overall)
Jim McMahon (1982, No. 5 overall)

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What will Bears do with No. 3 overall pick?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What will Bears do with No. 3 overall pick?

Nick Friedell (ESPNChicago.com), Mark Lazerus (Chicago Sun-Times) and Jordan Cornette (120 Sports) join Kap on the panel. Will the Bears go defense or quarterback with the No. 3 pick? Alex Brown drops by to say who he wants Ryan Pace to take. 

Plus the Bulls lose again. Can Fred Hoiberg do anything to save the season?

Listen to the full episode here: