When the 2011 NFL schedule was announced by the league, the December 25 Chicago Bears versus the Green Bay Packers game looked like the perfect way to end the holiday.
A long-time rivalry, you never know who is going to win thanks to the weather, the history and high expectations.
But this year, with the Bears implosion and Green Bay’s success, this final 2011 game between the two is going to be ugly. Very ugly.
After winning five consecutive games under quarterback Jay Cutler, the team turned to Hanie when Cutler went down with an injury. We all know how it’s worked out for the team: they have gone 0-4.
With Sunday’s loss against Seattle, it appears Bears coach Lovie Smith finally had the much-needed wake-up call: Hanie cannot play in Sunday’s game against Green Bay.
How bad is Hanie? In his four starts, he’s thrown more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (three). In three of his games, according to ESPN, he’s completed 50 percent of his passes or less. And on Sunday, Hanie had a less than impressive passer rating of 33.3.
In Sunday’s postgame press conference, Smith had been asked if he was open to a quarterback change.
“Open?” Smith asked about the quarterback position. “I mean, it’s right after the game and we’re disappointed in our performance today in the quarterback position. But I can’t tell you any more than that.”
So what’s Plan B?
Quarterback Josh McCown signed with the Bears around Thanksgiving. He’s been slow out of the starting gates even though he played under offensive coordinator Mike Martz while at the Detroit Lions–in 2006. His brief performance on Sunday didn’t give Bears fans much hope; he immediately threw one pick in his abbreviated play.
On Sunday, the question was posed to McCown on whether he’ll play against Green Bay. He responded, “I have no idea. I’m just gonna get myself ready like I’ve done every week, and then we’ll see what happens.”
I don’t have a lot of faith in him as I keep thinking about last season’s failed Todd Collins experiment.
But wait…there’s one more quarterback sitting on the Bears’ bench, rooking Nathan Enderle. I don’t even want to think about him as an option but stranger things have happened.
And then there’s the delusional possibility of Cutler returning. Last week, he said there’s an “outside chance” he’d return for the Green Bay game. While everyone would like to see this, there’s no point for his return other than potential bragging rights if the Bears win.
When the preseason began and questions arose on the backup quarterback situation, the Bears chose to stick with Hanie. I’ll admit I initially had faith in him but it was tough. As the Bears have seen its playoff hopes dwindle each week under Hanie as quarterback, it is extremely apparent there’s a backup quarterback problem.
Shame on management for making a poor decision.