Despite numerous great field positions on offense and at one point a 17 point cushion for the defense this game ended far to close for comfort.
Jay Cutler put the final nail in the coffin with a 20+ yard run on third down taking the ball to the Detroit 34 yard line with 2:42 left to play in the fourth quarter. When the Bears needed a play to keep their playoff hopes alive, Cutler stood up and was counted.
The Bears’ offense missed five/six opportunities at touchdown passes, Brandon Marshall looked off color all game, luckily for the Bears rookie WR Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett stood and made enough plays for the Bears to succeed.
Look on this performance, indeed every performance since week 9 against the Tennessee Titans, the Bears have done nothing to show me they can make any noise in the playoffs even if the Minnesota Vikings do lose to the Green Bay Packers.
If the Bears are to make any noise in the playoffs they have to convert turnovers into points much better than they did today and the defense has to hold a 17 point lead, but most importantly the coaches have to call a better game.
Mike Tice dialed up his usual unimaginative nonsense on offense; the Bears 2 minute defense is still broken as it gave up yet another 80 yard TD drive before the half.
Calvin Johnson missed out on 2000 receiving yards for the season and Matthew Stafford failed to make the 5000 passing yard mark, the final insult to a forgettable 2012 season for Lions fans.
The Bears have a lot to work on this week if they are in the playoffs, but the emergence of Jeffery and Bennett, plus the running of Matt Forte are both positives, the much beleaguered offensive line looked decent for the second week running as well.
This victory coupled with the comments of GM Phil Emery before the game leave me in little doubt that Lovie Smith will be back in 2013 as the Bears Head Coach, regardless of the result at the Mall of America Field this afternoon.
This leaves me in the unenviable position of routing for a Packers win this afternoon over the Vikings. I feel dirty already, but at least the pay off will be playoff football for the Bears come wildcard weekend next week.