There are a lot of things to dislike about last night's Bears loss.
The Cutler concussion, the four turnovers in the first half, the field.
But a bullied defense? That's ridiculous.
That's what ESPN's Michael Wilbon calls it, though, in his column about how the Bears are who we thought they were, which is "not ready for big games."
I call shenanigans. I toss the red challenge flag. I send Jay Cutler to yell at him, once his head stops ringing.
I don't think we learned a whole heckuva lot about the Bears last night, save perhaps that throwing the ball in bad weather is sort of insane when you have Matt Forte and that Jason Campbell needs more than a few snaps to get going in relief.
What I do know is this defense held the Texans to 13 points. No defense has held them under 21 points all year.
Hey Mike, you know why the Bears were having trouble tackling Foster aside from, I don't know, he's one of the best running backs in the NFL? They were gassed. They were on the field too long because the offense was stalled constantly at the end of the game.
Calling them bullied is just sub-moronic. It tells me you barely watched the game or don't know what you're looking at.
I'll give Wilbon his criticism of offensive coordinator Mike Tice because, yes, you should get more out of an offense with this much talent. The play-calling is obvious and mediocre when it isn't being mediocre and obvious.
Sure, Matt Forte struggled, but how about not running him only in the most obvious running situations ever? Get Bennett and Hester more involved.
Do something different.
Again though, how can you completely judge this offense without Cutler in it? We always knew there was a drop-off from Cutler to Campbell and you can compound it with bad weather, no real prep (because backups don't get much prep) and an absent run game.
Still, and even accounting for the two picks thrown by Cutler, this is a much better offense with him in it.
Not to take anything away from a hard-fought and well-deserved win by the Texans, but the Bears aren't the same without Cutler.
All that said, I still can't see how you say the defense was bullied. It had a bad series where one of the top five backs in the NFL put together a great run. It was at a terrible time, sure, but it's not as if the defense allowed 213 yards an 14 touchdowns.
Are we at the point with the Bears' defense where anything less then never-to-be-had perfection isn't good enough? Where 13 points, 215 total yards and a pair of interceptions (one of which should have been a pick-six, which changes the entire game) is them being bullied?
Please. I'll take that bullied defense any day of the week.
You can blame a ton of things for the loss, but the defense is not one of them.
Nice troll, Wilbon.
Onto the rest of the NFC North.
While having Cutler might have allowed the Bears to beat Houston, his long-term health was a bigger consideration, according to David Haugh of the Tribune.
If the Bears lose Cutler for several games, this is the worst possible time to have it happen, according to the Tribune's Dan Pompei.
Bleacher Report's Alex Crowe gives you the winners and losers from last night.
The Free Press' Drew Sharp says the Lions are deluding themselves if they think they will make the playoffs.
Chris Houston thinks the Vikings hurt him intentionally, according to MLive.com's Anwar Richardson. If that's the case, gravity was in on it.
John Niyo of The Detroit News says it's not looking good for the Lions' playoff hopes.
Mike Vandermause gives his midseason grades and awards over at the Press-Gazette.
CheeseheadTV.com's Max Ginsburg debates who is the better Packers signal-caller, The Favre or The Rodgers?
The Journal-Sentinel's Tyler Dunne is back with a look at the final stretch of the Packers' season.
Over at 1500 ESPN, Tom Pelissero says the Vikings go into the bye week having corrected some problems.
The defense got itself together against the Lions, according to the Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy.
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