Yesterday, the Bears coughed up one of the more lifeless, flaccid performances of recent years, the sort of game that causes you to question everything you tentatively thought about them before. Like, could this team actually be OK? Are they decent? Is a division win in a horrible NFC Central still possible? Is this defense actually this bad?
Apparently, we can't be sure of anything anymore. The Bears D hasn't been great all year, but these are the same players that used to be impenetrable, and most of them haven't aged all that much. So what's going on? No one appears to know, least of all the Bears. So instead of showing a little humility in their postgame comments, they decided to snap at reporters. We're looking at you, Brian Urlacher:
"I don't care what people think, to tell you the truth," linebacker Brian Urlacher snapped Sunday after the Bears' 37-3 thrashing by the Packers. "We know what we are."
Nice. He gets pushed out of the hole by the Packers O-line all day, and what does he do? Gets mad at the people asking him questions. That makes sense. Defensive coordinator Bob Babich was about as conciliatory, but this is getting warmer:
"There are a lot of things that went wrong, OK?" Babich said. "It starts with me, all right? We just didn't stop the run. We didn't do anything well as a defensive unit. We have to play better. We will play better. Our players have a lot of character, a lot of pride, and we have to get it taken care of."
OK, we're getting closer here. Someone drop some politely worded truth on me:
"Once we come to grips our defense isn't what it's supposed to be, then we'll all be better off," safety Mike Brown said. "The perception is we have a good defense. The reality is we don't. "Everyone wants [our defense] to be what it used to be, and it's not that," Brown added.
Whoa. That's not even quasi-truth, that's just a fact. Well done, Mike Brown. You get a gold star.
Of course, the Bears can be surly all they want, I suppose, and I'm not the one that has to deal with them in these moods, so it's not much skin of my back (though I do feel bad for the guys who just want to do their jobs without 300-pound men screaming at them). But if you get it handed to you, 37-3, to the Packers, you officially forfeit the right to be a jerk in the postgame press conference. These are the rules of the road. Mike Brown gets them. Brian Urlacher doesn't.
In the meantime, the Bears have some serious pondering to do. Like, why are we so bad? Should we try to tackle Ryan Grant? If Kyle Orton gets sacked and Bears fans are too apathetic to see it, does he really get sacked at all?