The Chicago Bears had it all set up perfectly for them to win the NFC North and make it into the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-31, and the Detroit Lions pretty much embarrassed themselves by losing in overtime to the stone-cold New York Giants. Now the Philadelphia Eagles are a potential playoff team in their own right (they’ll make it if they beat the Dallas Cowboys next week), but there’s still no excuse for the Bears to lose 54-11 in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football. It was an absolutely pathetic performance, and the Bears were beat badly in every phase of the game. Once again, the defense was horrendous, and Jay Cutler couldn’t take advantage of the mis-matches that Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery had.
Cutler was pulled for Josh McCown at the end of the game, but the game was well in-hand anyway, so it’s not like the benching was a damning statement from Marc Trestman against Cutler. Still, it led to plenty of discussion regarding the chances of the Bears going back to Josh McCown for next week’s game against the Packers, which will decide the NFC North champion.
Trestman confirmed after the game that he will still be sticking with Jay Cutler, and that decision shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. While Cutler had a rough night against the Eagles and threw an awful pick six, the Bears pretty much have to stick with him if they want to re-sign him in the offseason. The merits of keeping Cutler is an argument that would take about a thousand words to properly address, and the more important thing for the Bears right now is the defense. It’s been bad all year due to injuries, and it was at its worst yesterday. They were shredded by Nick Foles and allowed two 100-yard rushers, and that’s simply unacceptable. People can make this a Cutler-related issue all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that both QBs have played well this season and that the Bears skill position players and offensive coaching are excellent. No, the issue with this team is a defense that can’t stop a nosebleed or cover anyone downfield.