By Mark Grote–

Every Bears loss has felt devastating this season.

Jay Cutler was nearly sacked to death in New York. You don’t lose to Seattle at home. You don’t lose to the Redskins at home. You are allowed to lose to New England at home, just not like that. Not by blowing off the final play of the first half and allowing Tom Brady to throw a 59-yard touchdown strike to Deion Branch, triggering a cold flow of Bear fans to the exits. Not by gaining a total of 33 yards against the 31st ranked defense. Not by looking frigid after a week of “Bear weather” boasting.

Other than a couple of Devin Hester/Danieal Manning bursts, and a Chester Taylor too late touchdown, there really is nothing positive to take out of this game. If this was a measuring stick for the NFL’s finest, then we should begin calculation of draft position right now.

But let’s take a look at the big picture. At some Midwest venue next week, be it Detroit, St. Louis or a repaired Metrodome, the Bears will raise the roof versus a Vikings team next Monday that is more their speed. After that, the Bears will host the Jets, a matchup of the two teams recently embarrassed by the Patriots. The final stop is Lambeau Field in a game that could mean the world, or at least the NFC North championship.

If your measuring stick cracked in half like an icicle Sunday, remember those wins over Dallas, Green Bay and Philadelphia, which were leading to some thoughts of the Super Bowl.

Putting the Patriots chill aside, the near future is still bright for 2010. Wherever they play next Monday night, the Bears could easily be celebrating a division championship, assuming the Patriots play fair and treat the Packers they same way they treated the Bears, coupled with a Bears victory in what could be the Favre finale.

So, go ahead, ask Santa for a new measuring stick this year.

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