Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ho Sit Down! Week 14 - Lovie Smith

While it would be easy to give Marion Barber the Ho Sit Down! treatment this week after he made a terrible mental mistake with 1:55 left in the game and then fumbled the ball in overtime, this game was lost on the sidelines. The shit that Barber did was inexcusable; but the Bears lost this game because of a philosophy that they've followed for as long as Lovie Smith has been in charge... go limp when you have the lead.

I've seen it too many times in the past to overlook the fact that it happened again versus the Broncos. When the Bears have the lead in the 4th quarter, they drop the safeties back deep and leave the middle of the field wide open for easy completions. The idea is that if you prevent the big play, it makes it harder for the other team to score. The problem with this philosophy is that even though they are forced to burn clock, the offense can easily march the entire field by dumping the ball over the middle. Then once they get in the red zone it only takes one defensive breakdown to allow an easy touchdown.

Remember last year how the Bears dominated the Eagles for three quarters and then give up 13 points in the 4th and almost lost? The Eagles couldn't do shit against the Bears all game, averaging just over 23 yards per drive through the first three quarters. Then the Eagles last three possessions go for 65, 58 and 68 yards and three scores. It's not that the Eagles suddenly remembered how to run an offense, it's that the Bears defense got the orders from The Top to bend over and expose their middle parts.

Sticking to the same old script versus the Broncos, the Bears held Denver to just under 20 yards per drive for their first 12 drives. Then when the clock starting running low in the 4th quarter, the Bears go soft on a 63 yard TD drive before a 39 yard drive that ends in a FG to force overtime.

They've been running this end-of-game defense for years, even before Rod M starting calling the plays, so it's not like he was the one that decided to pull back the defensive reins. Lovie is the only person that makes these kinds of strategic decisions.

So while Tim Jennings allowed a huge completion to let the Broncos tie the game in the 4th, and although Marion Barber coughed the ball up in OT which gave Zack Bowman a chance to do his best "Johnny Knox falling down" impression, there was a much Higher Power to blame for this big letdown... Lovie Smith calling the shots From Above.

Lovie, drink your cough syrup and sit your ho ass down!




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