Originally published November 19, 2010
This season may only be a little past the halfway mark but it’s time to atone for my sins.
Dear Lord George Halas,
I’m sorry for ever doubting you and the mighty mighty Chicago Bears.
I’m sorry for doubting Jerry Angelo when he gave up the farm for the first decent quarterback in 60 years who may or may not have looked like a prima donna.
I’m sorry for doubting complacent Lovie Smith for not having a fiery side like the coach I wanted, Bill Cowher.
I’m sorry because at this point I’ve been more wrong about this season.
Please don’t send me to Bears’ hell. I can’t survive in Lambeau.
Sincerely, Bill Hopkins
If I were a betting man, and thank Halas I’m not, I would have put good money on a dismal sea- son for the Bears.
I know there’s a lot of season left and some good teams remain on the Bears’ schedule but this team actually looks, dare I say, good?
Coming into this season, I saw three things: the Packers, the Bears’ offensive line and Jay Cutler.
First off, by the graces of Halas, the Packers have had some huge injuries to players such as JerMichael Finley and Ryan Grant. I looked at them as a team that could probably win the Super Bowl and, as much as it kills me to say, I love Aaron Rodgers as a player. He belongs in that Joe Mauer category of players I want to love but geographically can’t.
Coming into this season, I thought there was no chance in Lambeau the Bears could even beat the Packers at Solider Field. But in Week 3, they did.
Another reason I looked at this season as a flop was the O-line. Last season, Cutler was sacked an average amount of times, according to pro-football-reference.com. But on that same website, Cutler is down to well-below average this season. The line is far and away the weakest link on this team.
Even though the Bears brought in Mike Tice to work his former head coaching magic, the Bears’ line has done its job preventing the Bears from establishing a dominant passing game that they could have.
The NFL’s most overrated player, Olin Kruetz, is supposed to make this line better with his leadership and experience. But instead, he and J’Marcus Webb are competing this season to see who can commit the most penalties for the Bears. In the end, the line has been just good enough to prevent the Bears from losing much this year. Teams with good pass rushes will destroy them, much like the Giants did. But so far, the Bears have been able to overcome.
Regardless of whether or not the line performed this season, my largest doubt was somewhere else. Someone else who was the focus of a column I wrote when he first arrived in Chicago.
Jay Cutler was anointed savior of the franchise when he was traded to the Bears before last season and proceeded to lead the league in interceptions, making me look like a genius.
But this season has been a little different. While he’s not tearing up the league, a la Michael Vick, he’s been consistently leading the Bears to victory. With unflappable performances like last week against the Vikings, he seems to have turned the corner.
So if you can find it in your heart, Lord Halas and Saints Ditka and Payton, to let me stay a fan of your hallowed franchise, I will never doubt your mystical powers again.