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Week 4 of the season (I suppose it is still Week 3 until the Packers and Chiefs wrap things up tonight but I am moving on as quickly as possible) and already the imagination is curdling.
Of course there are a few clever observations to offer up in the aftermath of the Bears' 26-0 loss to the Seahawks. One can start with the line for next week's game.
And let's briefly zero in on the two lowest lowlights from yesterday. First, the Bears were shut out for the first time in almost 200 games (since 2002). Second, the Bears totaled 10 punts - and nine completions.
Also, it must be noted that no NFL team has made the playoffs after starting 0-3 since 1998. Since then, 82 teams have started 0-3. None have bounced back into the post-season.
One more thing: the Bears were totally screwed in the first half, right? The punt obviously bounced off the Seahawk blocker and Sherrick McManus recovered it before it went out of bounds at the Seattle 12 yard line. Someone needs to roast NFL head officiating honcho Dean Blandino, who claimed there wasn't conclusive video evidence that the call was wrong.
In #CHIvsSEA there is no angle that shows the ball touch the leg. Ball changing direction is not definitive evidence.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) September 27, 2015
Get on that Coach Fox! I will help pay your fine after you tear that guy a new one! Maybe Mike Pereira will pitch in too!
Speaking of the coach, one play on Sunday was more irritating than all the rest. If you are playing to win a football game, as opposed to simply trying to hold down the score, there comes a time in every game when you have to skip the punt and go for it. I don't care if the play is well back in your own territory and I don't care if the "to go" number is higher than you'd like.
Actually the Bears had that moment at a time when they were neither deep in their own territory nor facing an insurmountable amount of yardage to cover. When they punted on fourth-and-one at their own 46 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter they were saying "We give up. Please, Seahawks, don't hurt us." I'm sure it made Fox happy when the defense rose up in the red zone a couple times in the fourth quarter and forced field goals, thereby making it possible for the coach to boast that his team had lost by less than four touchdowns.
The rest of us would rather the team take at least one shot for goodness sakes.
Lots of talk in the aftermath of this one is about "building for the future." Lets tackle that load of nonsense yet again shall we?
There is no building for the future in the NFL. There is only this season. Teams that try to "rebuild" just end up losing now and suffering critical injuries later. How many times do high draft picks, especially quarterbacks, have to wash out before people figure out that teams are only built incrementally, with smart draft picks piling up and teams being competitive and then at some point catching a big break or two?
Let's be clear: The Seahawks made a whole bunch of good draft picks, almost all of them not in the top 10, to build up their awesome offense. Then they got lucky and were able to land Russell Wilson in the draft.
Let's wrap this up with what will become a weekly feature this season- Reasons for optimism: Um, well, hey wait a minute, defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff returns from suspension this week! Looks like the smart bet will be on the Bears no matter what the oddsmakers say.
Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.
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