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Blue: Reports are that Jay Cutler both knew his name and found his way to the plane after Sunday night's game. That and the fact that the defense looked tough for three-fourths of the game are about the only positives that can be found from the Bears 17-3 ass-whupping at the hands of the New York Giants. The offensive line didn't get off the bus, which made the passing attack as non-existent as the run game, which not only didn't get off the bus but doesn't appear to believe it has to get on the bus to get to the game. Ever. But I'm here to drink the Blue Kool-Aid of Bear love, so this might be a very quick installment.
However, before I get to the positives, I have to ask a small question: Did Jerry Angelo not realize - and does he still not realize - that no matter how fast you get the ball out of the quarterback's hands, he does need to have a few seconds with which to work as he looks for a receiver?
When he was on his feet, as opposed to on his ass or back, Cutler either couldn't find an open receiver or was waiting to be pummeled and inwardly bracing himself for the next hit. Never before did you feel so much like the quarterback's inner clock was tuned to "oh shit oh shit oh shit!" instead of knowing that he had to get the ball out about three seconds ago.
Oh wait, another question before we get to the happy part of the game. Where is the increased defensive pressure that Julius Peppers' presence was supposed to bring? Although our offensive line can't hold up against a mediocre and aging defense missing their No. 1 pass rusher, our vaunted D-line managed a measly two sacks. Through to the fourth quarter the defense looked to be fighting hard, but even they had to realize that the old arm of Todd Collins wasn't going to rally the offense to any points. There still seemed to be some reliance on the forcing of turnovers, but after we pulled the ball free on occasion, there was no offense to answer once the ball was given to us.
Positives you ask? We've got 12 games left. Logan Mankins is available via trade from the Patriots (if Cutler was worth two first-round picks and a third, this guy has to be worth giving up a second to shore up the O-line). Other than our franchise quarterback, the team made it out of this debacle unscathed as far as injuries go. I'm struggling to find positives past the fact my wife made an amazing pot of matzo ball soup that might have been laced with valium as to keep me from killing her during this terrible showing.
Bears at Panthers
WITH CUTLER: The Bears find some work-arounds to the total lack of O-line and the defense comes out strong versus a run-first, second and third team that will be sending a rookie quarterback out. Cutler gets the ball out quicker which leads to more completed passes versus sacks taken, Peppers plays with reckless abandon against his former team, and the defense shuts down the Panthers run game.
Bears 28, Panthers 10
WITHOUT CUTLER: Todd Collins hands the ball off 32 times, Forte cracks 70 yards, and you'd swear you're watching Ron Turner trying to keep Kyle Orton from showing that he can be an effective passer with a couple weapons. The defense holds tight, but tires down the stretch again as they are forced to stop Carolina's twin battering rams of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart.
Bears 13, Panthers 14
Orange: Okay, then. Moving on.
The Bears' offensive line may not be entirely to blame for the death of the 2010 season, but with nine sacks allowed during the first half of Sunday night's 17-3 loss to the New York Giants, they face charges of second-degree football manslaughter.
There are a myriad of horrifying statistics to be gleaned from inside the police tape in Sunday's game film, but none of them are quite as distressing as the possibility of playing any significant portion of the season without quarterback Jay Cutler, who was physically knocked from the game just prior to halftime and likely was mentally knocked from the game sometime early in the second quarter, having suffered the equivalent of a lobotomy around sack number five.
For a moment, let's assume the worst: Cutler is out for the season and GM Jerry Angelo is forced to make desperate moves to save his job. There are some options just crazy enough to work. Unfortunately, trading for 28-year-old holdout Logan Mankins, manliest lumberjack/guard in all of New England, is not on the list.
Five hundred words could be dedicated to this scenario alone. Let's just summarize by saying that because of Mankins' salary expectations and Bears players available for trade, it's just not going to happen . . . even though his flannel shirt does smell of freshly fallen leaves and he once pancake-blocked the rare woodland rhinoceros in a quest to learn the secrets of the forest.
* Trade for Jon Kitna.
The downside is that even though he's a 38-year-old quarterback, he's been unable to get a Wrangler Jeans endorsement deal. Also, he hasn't thrown a pass in a regular season game since 2008 and is under contract with the Dallas Cowboys. With that in mind, this might be the best option available. Kitna is familiar with the playbook having started 32 games under Mike Martz in 2006 and 2007 and can probably be had on the cheap (a signed Adam Archuleta jersey ought to be more than enough).
• Sign Jeff Garcia.
Believe it or not, he's available! Currently throwing touchdown passes to former Packer Robert Ferguson for the UFL's Omaha Nighthawks, the 40-year-old quarterback looked like he still had some gas in the tank in his stint during his stint with the Eagles in 2006. Even if he only runs bootleg scrambles and throws incomplete passes, he will still look better than Todd Collins did against the Giants.
* Convince Kurt Warner that Jesus is on the Bears' practice squad.
Save your angry letters, this isn't a knock on the proselytizing former Rams quarterback or Jesus. Just connect the dots. Kurt's gotten hit in the head a lot, he's a big fan of JC, and the Warner-Martz marriage in St. Louis was a huge part of the so called "Greatest Show on Turf." Plus, we know what Kurt is looking for. There's got to be some thin 30-year-old white guy out there who can be signed to the taxi squad under the conditions that he grow a beard and learn how to run a good slant.
From there it starts getting pretty thin. "See if Brad Maynard still knows how to throw the ball; he did that fake field goal play one time," or "We could always try running the ball," did not make the cut. But with 12 more games to go, the Bears might have to get creative to move on.
Bears at Panthers
WITH CUTLER: The Panthers are bad on offense and look beatable on defense. With Cutler's health a concern, the Bears construct an offensive game plan consisting of all six of Martz's running plays and five different types of bubble screens to Greg Olsen.
Carolina 12, Chicago 6
WITHOUT CUTLER: The Panthers are bad on offense and look beatable on defense. However, this embattled squad gave the defending champion Saints a good game in Week 4. Todd Collins, you are no Drew Brees.
Carolina 12, Chicago 9
Andrew Golden brings you the Blue half of this report every week; Carl Mohrbacher brings you the Orange. They welcome your comments.More from Beachwood Sports »