Did Anyone See the Second Half?

| December 31st, 2009

I’ve heard it a million times since Monday night.  “This could be the win that saves Lovie Smith’s job in Chicago.”  Read it in both major papers.  Listened to Adam Schefter say it on ESPN this morning.  Now I’d just like someone to explain this to me: why?

If anyone was redeemed Monday night, it was Ron Turner.  Turner’s offense lit up the scoreboard against a pretty good and definitely hungry defense.  His play-calling kept head-coach-in-waiting Leslie Frazier on his heels all evening, especially down around the goalline.  For the first time all season, the Bears received dynamic offensive line play and subsequently looked like a dynamic offense.  Schefter said that Lovie will likely be retained “while changes are made on the offensive coaching staff.”  If Monday night was any part of the reason, then Turner should be promoted to General Manager.

Lovie Smith’s defense, the defense he is now entirely responsible for, allowed thirty points in the second half.  If the Bears had lost this game they could have easily lost, fans would have woken up Tuesday morning with a lit torch in their hands.  The Bears defense showed the same flaws they’ve shown all season: soft on third-and-longs, lack of pressure for the duration of the second half and failure to adapt to basic offensive calls. 

If the Bears make the decision to retain Lovie Smith, a decision that has now been forced onto the lap of Virginia McCaskey (believe that and I’ll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge), don’t try to sell the fans on the meaning of two meaningless games at the end of a lost season.  Tell us it’s about the money.  Or tell us it’s about the faith you have in the man in charge.  But there is one word that can not be used when announcing the decision…


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