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Columnist
Last laugh not going Bears' way
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 11/12/2009 11:40 PM

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The Bears off a bye week were a disaster.

So if they were awful with two weeks to get ready, what exactly did you expect from Bears coaches preparing their players with only two days on their side?

Sure enough, the Bears were terrible again Thursday night in a 10-6 loss to the Niners.

Yeah, the defense was very good against a very bad San Francisco offense, but the litany of errors committed by the Bears, supposedly an NFL team, and by Jay Cutler, supposedly a Pro Bowl quarterback, was embarrassing.

Right now Cutler is Rex Grossman, only with a better arm and a worse demeanor. Not that he had any help - again.

His offensive line was ridiculously bad. His center couldn't get him a shotgun snap on the fly. His running back can't hit a hole and has no idea how to follow a block.

His top receiver, Devin Hester, reportedly on his way to the Hall of Fame after a couple decent games, was remarkably clueless most of the evening.

And the defense, as well as it played, seemed to jump offside every time the Niners needed some help.

Once again, there was a complete lack of discipline and concentration from the Bears all night, with the team committing some absolutely idiotic mistakes.

The worst belonged to Cutler, who drove the Bears 88 yards in 18 plays to the San Francisco 1-yard line, taking eight minutes off the clock in the first half.

On a third-and-goal, Cutler saw something in the end zone, but apparently not the four Niners players surrounding one Bear, hitting 320-pound nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin right in his considerable stomach.

There were many others, like Hester falling on a cut and the ball intended for him landing softly in the hands of Niners corner Tarell Brown, who returned it 51 yards, leading to a 7-0 San Francisco lead.

Of course, as laughably painful mistakes go, you may prefer the delay of game penalty as Robbie Gould was kicking a 45-yard field goal near the end of the first half.

The points came off the board, but Gould bailed out an indecisive coaching staff by nailing a 50-yarder and pulling the Bears to within 7-3.

Cutler continued to throw it to the wrong team throughout the second half, including once when Hester stopped across the middle after running into an on-field official.

You have to laugh at that one, right?

And, of course, still alive on the final play of the game, Cutler, fittingly, forced yet another ball and threw yet another interception, when it appeared as though he might be able to run it in for a game-winning touchdown.

Instead, 5 picks against a team that had 6 interceptions in eight games coming into this one, and with that Cutler vaulted into the NFL lead in interceptions with 17.

It's certainly not all his fault. In fact, most of it isn't. It's hard to complete a pass from flat on your back with 300 pounds of lineman in your face.

And no one would blame Cutler if he's a bit gun-shy or tired of being hit. But this is what Cutler wanted when he threw a tantrum and forced his way out of Denver.

So if Bears fans couldn't find a way to laugh at the absurdity Thursday night, you can be certain someone is. Somewhere in Denver, Josh McDaniels is busting a gut at your expense.

brozner@dailyherald.com