Chicago Bears: Caleb Hanie Is NFL's Worst Quarterback

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIDecember 19, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 38-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have always managed to obtain sucky quarterbacks, but current disaster Caleb Hanie is easily the worst quarterback in the NFL.

Hanie, a fourth-year clipboard -holder, has heavily contributed to the Bears' 0-4 record in Jay Cutler's absence.

During that span, Hanie struggled mightily against less than stellar competition in the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. The Bears offense has just four touchdowns while averaging 10 points a game.

Hanie has not made a positive difference in the Bears' passing game. The Colorado State product can scramble a bit and make some throws rolling out of the pocket. However, Hanie cannot pass at all in the pocket.

This was proven during the Seahawks game this Sunday. Hanie played well in the first half, including nailing running back Kahlil Bell for a 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Then Seahawks Pete Carroll made a minor adjustment in having his defensive ends collapse the Bears' pocket inside to prevent Hanie from rolling out left or right.

Hanie could not make adjust to the added pressure, as the Bears could not score or sustain any drives.

The horrendous Hanie also did the cardinal sin any intelligent quarterback would avoid—blindly throwing the ball to evade an impending sack.

After the Seahawks tied the game at 14 in the third, Hanie was almost sacked by Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright. Hanie rushed a throw that Seahawks 323-pound defensive end Red Bryant returned for a 17-yard touchdown.

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Chris Clemons #91 of the Seattle Seahawks sacks Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears as J'Marcus Webb #73 tries to block at Soldier Field on December18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 38-14.  (Photo
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears were not even done dealing with Hanie's ineptness, as he chucked another pick-six to Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.

Hanie cannot even do good things for the Bears, as he blew a potential touchdown pass to tight end Kellen Davis on a seam route. The ball was under-thrown, allowing Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor to tip it and his teammate Earl Thomas intercepted the deflected ball.

The stooge-like play of Hanie doesn't end there.

Even on a game where he is "good," he fails the Bears. Against the Raiders, Hanie was 18-of-36 for 254 yards and two touchdowns. However, 126 of those yards came in the final 3:47 of the game while he threw three interceptions.

The Raiders also sacked Hanie four times and Hanie overthrew wide receiver Johnny Knox on a sure touchdown—the difference in a 25-20 loss.

Oh, don't forget that he could be the only quarterback in NFL history to draw an intentional grounding penalty on an easy spike, running off the game's final few seconds to prevent the Bears from winning.

The lone game Hanie did not have a turnover was against the Denver Broncos; he still inadvertently lost the game for the Bears. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz clearly doesn't trust Hanie's abilities and had his running backs run 12 straight run plays to end the fourth quarter that resulted in four three-and-outs.

Against the Chiefs, another poor quarterback in Tyler Palko clearly outplayed Hanie. Palko only has one touchdown this year, and that came against the Bears. He threw no interceptions and gained 157 yards on 17-of-30 passing.

Hanie was 11-of-24 for 133 yards and three picks.

Palko is probably the only quarterback who could give Hanie a run for his money, but he still bests him.

The Chief quarterback has 796 yards on 80-of-134 passing with two touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 59.8 passer rating. Hanie has 613 yards on 51-of-102 passing with three touchdowns and nine interceptions for a 41.3 passer rating.

Other quarterbacks who could be considered the NFL's worst quarterback, like Jacksonville Jaguar Blaine Gabbert (11 touchdowns, 10 picks, 65.6 passer rating), Minnesota Viking Christian Ponder (13 touchdowns, 12 picks, 72.3 passer rating) and Indianapolis Colt Curtis Painter (nine picks in 243 attempts, 66.6 passer rating) all are statistically playing better than Hanie.

With Hanie's bad decision-making and lack of talent, he is clearly the NFL's worst quarterback. If Hanie starts for the Bears, immediately chalk those two games against the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings as losses.


Bob Bajek is a Feature Columnist. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at and Twitter