Bernstein: Ugly Loss, But OK Day For Bears

By Dan Bernstein–

So the Bears are not as good as the Patriots. We probably knew that, at least those of us who expressed pessimism about their chances, even in mythically-advantageous weather.

That’s really all we got from yesterday’s embarrassment. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are enough to keep the Bears from claiming a position among the league’s elite — a level that includes pretty much just the Patriots.

It was awful, yes. But it’s over, and it really has no effect on the Bears’ chances to win the Super Bowl, since the Packers became the Lions’ first NFC North victim in over three years. Indeed, the division title is there for the Bears with a win over the Vikings next week and a Green Bay loss to these same Patriots in Foxboro.

Want more evidence of things going Lovie Smith’s way in 2010? Aaron Rodgers suffered his second concussion of the season after having his cranium spiked on the Ford Field turf. His availability for next week and beyond is in question.

The Vikings added a literal collapse to match the figurative one that has been occurring all season in Minneapolis. The torn Metrodome roof (somewhere Hawk Harrelson did a thankful sky-point after his years of voodoo hexes finally worked) has forced their game against the Giants to be played tonight in Detroit. So now the Vikings will face the Bears with one day less of recovery time after playing a physical opponent, even if the game could be outdoors at the University of Minnesota.

New England exposed the Bears yesterday, but what about that fact really matters going forward in this NFL?

Each week we remind ourselves that these individual games are self-contained, three-hour realities. One outcome – for better or worse – is just one outcome. This does not erase the dominating win over the Eagles that vaulted the Bears into consideration for larger goals. Who is to say the Bears would be utterly unable to beat the Pats in Dallas should they meet again, under conditions better suited to what the Bears do?

(Yeah, I said it, meatballs. And so did CBS analyst Bill Cowher after the game, as he observed the importance of Julius Peppers and his linemates generating pressure. He said it was impossible to get enough traction to rush the passer effectively, and it undermined any chance the Bears had)

Smith will meet the media this afternoon. He will stand at the lectern and say something like “We are still a first-place football team, and we still control our own destiny.”

Even as bad as it all was yesterday, he’ll be right.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    The Pats are the #1 team in the NFL…The Bears are top-8.
    I think that the beloved will win a playoff game, then lose the next one and then that’ll be it for the year.
    The Bears overachieved relative to my expectations this year.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    So much for “Bears weather” huh?

  • bigtime sucker

    this was my brain activity during the game yesterday ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    go bulls

  • Mike in Davenport

    I think that, legally, we have to call it Patriots’ weather now.

  • bigtime sucker

    and tonight is a big test for the bulls. they beat an elite team friday, stomped all over a doormat saturday, tonight they play the hardest type of team to play, the mediocre team!!! the team that beats the lakers and loses to the raptors. if we handle pacers tonight, than my feelings about this season will start really coming to fruition and we can go on an epic run!!!

  • bigtime sucker

    it’s not that we lost, i can handle that, we didn’t compete, that sucks

  • Orton For MVP

    Jay Cutler is a horrible QB. How can any Bears fan have any confidence in him?

  • Johnnybot

    that’s funny, but the weather and lack of traction didn’t seem to affect the Patriots defense. They were able to wreck havoc all day.

  • Denver Smeghead

    I’m sorry, but this team is back to square one. They didn’t show up for the first half against the Lions, and they didn’t show up at all last night.

    Weeks ago, I said the Bears were the worst 4-0 team in a long time. Now they’re the worst 9-4 team in a long time.

    “Orton For MVP”

    We still need better trolls.

  • Wes Heim

    Could the bears be any luckier?!! Its just one one thing after another. There is no reason we should not win the division.

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    That was ugly, we got manhandeled on all sides of the ball. But the Packers lost!! I think next week will be a test on tjhe road, whereever it ends up to be?

  • bronzo

    In reality has no effect on the Bears winning the super bowl??? What? Dan you must be joking!! The Bears got exposed to what they are…a middle of the road team. they will never beat the patriots at any point in time this year or the next.

  • bigtime sucker

    NO. i am not happy with the bears preformance, but let’s start looking at reality. the patriots are just that much better than everybody else. i think it’s obvious that there are two levels, the patriots and the league. we could have competed better i agree, but they the patriots just took two teams with less than 4 losses and made them look like college teams. i think the statement is the patriots are for real


      That’s how I see it, bts.

      I’d like to know, frankly, how they haven’t suffered much from low draft picks.
      Is there any aspect you want to watch of the current Steelers, Colts, or Cowboys?
      There were a couple of plays that could have kept the Bears in that game. We’ve seen the Bears not compete in the regular season before (New Years Eve, in bad weather, before the Superbowl). They didn’t need this game, and the Patriots did.
      I wanted to see better, but Knox’s bad fumble sealed the game

      • bigtime sucker

        no, chris harris’s overrun of urlachers tipped ball sealed the game. it’s like a stupid error in baseball, why would you want to give tom brady one more down? it’s like giving the yankees an extra out. you need to haul that ball in, the whole game changed from that point on.

  • bronzo

    Yes BTS i agree that’s my point… if the road to winning the super bowl goes through New England or Atlanta for that matter Bears will lose.. I’m not happy to say that but that is the reality.

  • bigtime sucker

    atlanta’s record is impressive, but their preformances haven’t been. They always seem to make about 3 or 4 more plays than their opponents and that seems to be enough. The patriots are like frickin brain surgons. they are so precise in every aspect of the game. Their preformance outshines their record and like i said, in atlanta their record outshines their preformance.

  • bronzo

    Agree but so does the Bears don’t you thiink?

  • WiscChifan

    The Patriots are who we thought they were.

    • BearsFanInHoustonTx

      Good One!!!

  • Gentleman RaRa

    The minute I heard about the Metrodome’s roof collapsing, I immediately had visions of Hawk Harrelson strutting around his house screaming “YES” to anybody at ear length, while thumb-upping the YouTube footage clip hours on end.

  • bigtime sucker

    i understood his premise, see the atheletes in ideal conditions so nothing else effects their preformance. it’s like world record sprinters having an astrix by their name for having a time be “wind aided”. i disagree with it, because it’s a team game and how the team responds to outside elements should play into it. New England preforms despite elements, that’s why they are so impressive.


      And, I just can’t shake the results of the Packers–Lions game.
      Ten points
      Aaron Rogers was drubbed. In synthetic conditions.

      After, I believe the first, penalty on the Patriots (holding? SHOCKING!), the referees decided that a Bear was off sides within 2 plays:
      How many off-sides calls have the Bears drawn in recent memory?
      How could they find the neutral zone in a snow-covered field? I’m sure it was there, if you look for it.
      I’d love to see this one replayed in Dallas.
      No one thought the Giants were all that special two seasons ago.

      • bigtime sucker

        the giants challenged the pats in their reg season loss 2 years ago, they lost, but they challenged. the bears didn’t challenge, the laid down

  • BearsFanInHoustonTx

    Why didn’t NE run up the score? Respect? Frankly we deserved that butt kick!

  • Denver Smeghead

    Hmm, I wonder how long it will take for my moderated comment to show up.

  • bigtime sucker

    actually houston i am guessing injury protection, just keep plays simple, don’t want a silly injury in the midst of blowout

  • meesohawnee

    “It was awful, yes. But it’s over, and it really has no effect on the Bears’ chances to win the Super Bowl”.. yes and they are still close to none. still only really one good win in football’s norris division

  • bigtime sucker

    bronzo, this is a litlte late but touche, you got me!!! : )


      Yeah, Bts. You could argue that a Brady ball is hard to pick when it feels like a track and field discus, but wasn’t that one off of a rebound?
      The conditions favored an offense that can catch. When you need to cover the top 3 options and react on a frozen field, you can only hope for turnovers or incompletions.
      Brad Maynard deserves a new car for three particular punts in the last two games.


    There’s no question that the Patriots weren’t affected by the snow, cold and strong gusty winds in their 36-7 blowout win of the Bears yesterday. In my own opinion, Tom Brady picked up right where he left off in the blowout win a week ago vs. the Jets and in the second half of the Thanksgiving Day win over the Lions in Detroit. No matter what defense Lovie Smith & defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli tried to dial up, Brady carved the Bear defense in much the same ways he did to the Jets & Lions beforehand. I think the turning point was the John Knox fumble that Gary Guyton ran back 35 yards for a touchdown just seconds after the Patriots’ second offensive TD that gave New England a 21-0 edge in the 2nd quarter. You knew it was not your day when the Pats had back-to-back double digit scoring drives following a three-and-out to start the game. The first one was 12 plays, 85 yards and the second was 11 plays, 87 yards. Folks, the way they’re playing right now, I think the Packers are next on New England’s hit list next Sunday night, even if Aaron Rodgers recovers from a concussion in time.

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