AL HAMNIK: Snakebitten Bears just can't seem to get a break

2013-11-11T18:15:00Z 2013-11-12T18:45:32Z AL HAMNIK: Snakebitten Bears just can't seem to get a breakAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 11, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

LAKE FOREST | The Bears season is coming apart like the cheap suit you wore on a date when a sleeve came off in the appetizer.

But what's happening up at Halas Hall is not funny. It has Bears fans scurrying for Kleenex.

Jay Cutler, to the fear of many, now has another injury — a high left ankle sprain from Sunday's NFC North loss to Detroit. He had missed the Green Bay win with a serious groin injury and will sit out the Ravens game this Sunday.

Cornerback Charles Tillman was less fortunate, suffering a torn triceps against the Lions that will sideline him for remainder of the regular season.

Marc Trestman's first season as head coach has been an absolute frightfest.

And he didn't earn any extra points with fans who blame him entirely for Sunday's loss because he stayed with the ineffective Cutler too long.

Trestman's highly-transparent news conferences begin with a blow-by-blow account on both sides of the football, a routine he wouldn't alter if the building was on fire.

That's just his style.

"On the offensive side of the ball, we all took turns making mistakes at the wrong time," Trestman said at his Monday teleconference. "It could've been physical, it could've been technical, it could've been mental, but there were too many breakdowns."

The Bears rushed for only 38 yards, the Lions 145, so now Trestman must spend the week making nice-nice to Matt Forte.

Chicago's offensive line was like Jell-O with the Lions pouncing on Cutler as if he were raw meat. It was not a pretty sight, considering the hard-luck QB looked out of sorts much of the game, making him easy prey.

"Jay got hit more times this week than he's gotten in the past," Trestman said, too late to help Cutler now. "He got hit three or four times, hard, then he got pushed down four or five times."

The Lions pass rush had 11 QB hurries, the Bears 0.

Trestman said the defense basically held Detroit's Matthew Stafford, his 219 yards, three touchdowns and 87.7 QB rating intact, albeit a pair of scores to the unstoppable Calvin Johnson.

It wasn't one of Stafford's better games, but he won.

Trestman did say Cutler's first-half sprained ankle was unrelated to his groin injury and had he not rolled the ankle, he could've finished the game instead of giving way to Josh McCown late.

And that happened only when Cutler told Trestman he couldn't continue.

"It's very tough to pull your starting quarterback out when he's throwing the ball with velocity, when he's hitting his receivers and he's able to move in the pocket and complete a throwing motion," Trestman said.

"Those three indications confirmed with me that I should keep him in there. I know we sacrificed his ability to move around and run (by keeping him in), but that was the case after two minutes and 53 seconds of the second quarter. So I feel good about what we decided to do with him."

Were we all watching the same game?

From the opening quarter on, Cutler was hit progressively harder, got up slower, his throws weren't as crisp, and his whole game seemed headed south.

A sense of urgency has once again overtaken the organization. The Bears have injuries everywhere, are missing key pieces, the defense remains bad and the final seven games are all booby-trapped.

Can it get any worse? Of course. It's the Bears.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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