In case you've been in a coma for the last 24 hours, you know by now that the Bears season ended Sunday with a whimper, a 31-24 loss to the mediocre-at-best Houston Texans.
I'm not too bummed out about the Bears missing the playoffs because, frankly, they are not a very good team. If the season hadn't ended this week, it would have ended next week or the week after. This group wasn't going to get anywhere near the Super Bowl.
I'll tell you what does concern me: It doesn't seem like the Bears realize they stink. Their defense is terrible, as shown by the 455 yards the Texans gained on Sunday. It was the fourth time this season the Bears surrendered more than 400 yards in a game.
I know Mike Brown missed Sunday's game with a calf injury, but there are no excuses for this defense. The Bears have the second-highest paid defense in the league, trailing only the Baltimore Ravens. The defense is supposed to be this team's dominant unit.
Instead, it ranks 21st in the league. Second in salary, 21st in team defense. At least the highly-paid Ravens are ranked second in the league, behind the Pittsburgh Steelers. At least the highly-paid Ravens are going to the playoffs.
"When you're 9-7, you're close," quoth Lovie Smith, The Great Enabler. "You don't need any overhaul."
You're full of beans, Lovie. Either that, or you're just not watching. When the Bears were trailing 24-17 with nine minutes left Sunday, they needed their defense to make a quick stand and get the ball back for the offense.
Instead, the Texans drove 89 yards for a touchdown in six minutes, making it a two-score game and draining the clock. The key play? A 47-yard run by Steve Slaton that saw alleged Alpha Bear Brian Urlacher get knocked flat on his ass.
Urlacher's play has declined severely this season. Cornerback Charles Tillman, the alleged best player in the Bears secondary, got torched by Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson (10 catches, 148 yards, 2 TDs). Brown is hurt. Again. Injuries have taken their toll on Tommie Harris, who is not the same player he was two years ago. Nathan Vasher isn't "The Interceptor" anymore. He's just another guy who can't stay on the field. Does Adewale Ogunleye still exist? We only know he does because we see the picture of him above. He made no impact on the field.
Yes, this defense needs an overhaul. Chicago fans will no doubt blame Kyle Orton for this mess. After all, bitching about mediocre or subpar QB play is a tradition in the city. But if you take Orton off this team and replace him with Donovan McNabb, this is still not a playoff team. Orton didn't give up 455 yards yesterday.
This defense is terrible. The proof is in the pudding. Can't Lovie Smith see that?