The Chicago Bears departed Denver on Sunday night after a 13-10 loss to the Broncos in overtime. After slumping in their seats on the plane, they prepared to eat a meal—a steaming mound of “humble pie” was rationed to all.
Just a few days ago, the defense didn't think they would be sinking their teeth into a dish as bitter as this. Of course, that was before they were officially “Tebowed.”
Losing to the lowly Chiefs is one thing, but being paraded nationally as another notch on Tebow's belt is another.
In the days leading up to the game, the defense sounded off on what they expected to encounter on Sunday.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher didn't seem too concerned about the capabilities of the NFL’s new golden boy. “Carolina ran a similar offense. Every once in a while, they’d run some option, so it’s not a whole lot of adjusting for us,’’ he said.
Why wouldn’t the Bears be confident?
During this season, they have achieved repeated success against mobile quarterbacks, including the likes of Tampa Bays' Josh Freeman (no rushing yards, 50.5 passer rating) and the Eagles' Michael Vick (34 rushing yards, 60.5 passer rating).
Ending a two-game losing streak and closing the fairytale chapter of the Bronco’s season sounded like the perfect recipe for the Monsters of the Midway.
Someone please 86 that special.
After boasting the demise of the Bronco’s offensive game plan, the Bears were on the short end of the football stick Sunday night. Limiting Tebow to 49 rushing yards put them in a good position to win.
However, thanks to the arm of the Denver quarterback (192 yards in the fourth quarter) and the leg of kicker Matt Prater—who hit both a 59- and a 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation to end the game—the Broncos continued their magical run to a possible playoff berth.
Sure, the Bears were able to sack Tebow five times and force an interception, but when the smoke cleared, No. 15 was again pointing to the sky in jubilation.
So now the Bears give the Tebow and Broncos props, right? Wrong.
After the game, the once-confident Brian Urlacher issued a back-handed compliment to Tebow saying, “He’s a good running back…He does a good job for them.”
Ironically, Chicago’s own quarterback Caleb Hanie threw for 115 yards against Tebow’s 236 passing yards.
Linebacker Julius Peppers chimed in, “We got to finish better. That’s pretty much it. It wasn’t anything he [Tebow] did.”
Understandably, the Bears are frustrated with their current situation.
In the midst of a three-game losing streak—and presumably losing their top offensive threats Jay Cutler and Matt Forte for the season—their playoff hopes are being as quickly erased as a chalky blackboard.
As professionals, however, they need to wash that harsh taste out of their mouth.
By showing no respect to Tebow, the Bears essentially added to his Rodney Dangerfield act—a performance that continues to swell to the size of the Bear’s bruised ego.
Undeniably, Chicago could have issued the same cliché sound bites or even eaten the proverbial crow.
Instead, they chose to indulge in a somber serving for all professional athletes: a mile-high-sized bowl of sour grapes.