“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman was waxing poetic about the human condition here, but he might as well have been describing my reaction to Sunday’s loss to Miami. It was a gut punch, a heart-breaker, a golden opportunity that slipped away.
It was also exciting, competitive and full of promise.
So this week’s column embraces the contradictory nature of a game like this, both as stand-alone event, and as part of a much larger puzzle we’re still in the process of piecing together.
The Bears are a great defense AND they played terribly vs the Dolphins.
The Bears defense we’ve seen for the past four games was not the defense that showed up on Sunday.
Kyle Fuller had a solid game with two big interceptions, and the defense played well enough in the first half, holding the Dolphins to 154 yards and just 7 points. However, they collapsed in the second half and OT, allowing 387 yards and 24 points. They let Brock Osweiler and Albert Wilson beat them on bubble screens, and when all was said and done the Dolphins produced 274 yards after the catch.
That’s terrible. That’s embarrassing. That’s inexcusable. But…
- Khalil Mack was hampered with an ankle injury.
- They played in brutally hot and humid conditions, and weren’t used to it.
- The refs did them no favors.
- Even great defenses have off games.
Excuses mean nothing in the NFL. All that matters are wins and losses, but it’s ridiculous to not concede those first three issues factored into Sunday’s loss, and that as a rule, good teams can have bad games without it spilling over into the rest of the season.
Right now, I’m not worried about this defense. Not one bit. But…ask me again in a few weeks.