2. Mike Martz: Regardless of how Caleb Hanie fits or doesn’t fit his system, he should have at least found a way to keep him from burning down the house.
Updated: December 5, 2011 3:39PM
It’s hard to tell which was more disappointing: that Caleb Hanie was worse in his second NFL start when he was expected to be better; or that his teammates failed to step up and help him out when he needed it most.
Either way, those two developments cast a sudden pall on the Bears’ once-glorious season. From at least dreaming of catching the Packers a few weeks ago to fighting for their playoff lives after a stunning, discouraging 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Now what? Donovan McNabb is looking like a much better option today than he did last week — when Hanie looked like he could handle the job and before Jay Cutler hinted that he might be out for the season.
But when the heat is on, Lovie Smith and the Bears usually batten down the hatches and stay the course. The more we lose faith in Hanie the more they maintain faith in Hanie. Lovie was a year-and-a-half behind us in realizing that Rex was not his quarterback. It’s doubtful he’s going to pull the plug on Caleb Hanie after two starts. And even if he did, his Plan B would be Josh McCown, who is as rusty now as Todd Collins was last year. Hanie was the better option then. Now he’s the problem. The Bears always seem to be knee deep in it, don’t they?
So what is the solution? After watching the Bears gum up a golden opportunity to pull their flailing quarterback out of the muck — Marion Barber not lining up properly costing Hanie one touchdown; Roy Williams turning another touchdown into an interception with a untimely bobble at the goal line — their suddenly dire situation is all they have going for them. The Bears usually respond best when it’s them against the world. And they’re back in the familiar position of nobody believing in them. That’s not much to hang your hat on. But in today’s unpredictable NFL, where circumstances change for almost everybody on a week-to-week basis, it’s not as hopeless as you might think. And now, 10 other observations from the Bears-Chiefs game: