Chicago Bears Report: Ugly Performances Like Sunday's Won't Translate Later

Geoffrey ClarkCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2010

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears rests during a time-out against the Detroit Lions during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Forget all that controversy ever happened.  Forget whether or not Calvin Johnson really had control of the ball during what many feel should have been ruled a touchdown.  Forget all of the talk about how the long-standing rule that a receiver must maintain control of the ball throughout the catch should be interpreted.  Just forget it.

The real story for Bears fans on Sunday is that their team barely escaped with a 19-14 victory over the Detroit Lions in a game that quite frankly, neither team really deserved to win for their own reasons.  That being the case, the Bears have more on the line this season than the Lions, who aren't expected to contend in the NFC North.  That's not to say the Bears are being thought of as a playoff team either, but they have more at stake because they have more talent on the roster and shouldn't do so poorly against teams like the Lions.

One issue for the Bears is not doing a very good job protecting the ball.  On Sunday, they committed four turnovers, the last three of which were lost fumbles.  Jay Cutler picks have become about as common as Brett Favre retirements, but fumbles are more maddening because just when it seems like a good play is about to be completed, the ball comes loose and the drive is stalled.  All of Detroit's points on Sunday came off turnovers and had they been a better team, they probably would have made the Bears pay more.

Worse yet, the Bears' offense was putrid whenever the ball was placed at the Detroit 1-yard line.  Five times they were faced with that situation, and five times they failed to get in the end zone.  This included a fumble recovery at that spot on the field that the offense just did not take advantage of in four plays.  Terrible red-zone offense is a problem that has plagued this team for some time now and Sunday's performance took that problem to a whole new level.

The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Bears as they will next travel to Dallas and after a "Monday Night Football" match-up against Green Bay at Soldier Field, they will meet the New York Giants on the road on a Sunday night.  Those three teams will make opponents pay for mistakes like the ones the Bears made in their game with the Lions.  Again, Bears fans really aren't expecting their team to accomplish a whole lot this year, but they would at the very least like to see them be competitive every week.  Otherwise, a lot of them will either be switching off their TVs early or changing the channel to watch who knows what.

It could be said that Sunday's victory was like eating a quick snack on the go:  it fills you up, but it's not very satisfying.  Football fans of any team would like to see victories that are like eating prime rib or a 40 oz. steak.  However, any more performances like the one Bears fans just saw and they'll feel like the only food they were left with was table scraps at a gourmet dinner.