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MORRISSEY: Hard to make case Bears have realistic chance of beating Packers

 
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Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown celebrates two-point conversiduring second half an NFL football game against Green Bay Packers Sunday Dec.

Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown celebrates a two-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

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Updated: November 4, 2013 3:23PM



Allow me to make a case for the Bears beating the Packers on Monday night.

(You’d have an easier time making a case for Johnny Knoxville beating Tom Hanks on Oscar night.)

No, really. There are very legitimate reasons to think the Bears have a shot against their archrivals at Lambeau Field. And, yes, I am aware that the Packers’ offense is averaging 438.9 yards a game and that the Bears’ defense is struggling.

(Struggling? A pair of parentheses could score on this defense.)

It’s true the Bears are in trouble defensively. They were bad with linebacker Lance Briggs having a good season, and they figure to be worse with Briggs out at least a month because of a fractured bone in his left shoulder.

(I feel a very interesting ‘‘but’’ coming.)

But did you see the hit rookie linebacker Jon Bostic put on the Chargers’ Mike Willie in the preseason? I still can hear it, still can hear the promise in it. There are echoes of Dick Butkus in that collision.

(That substance you’re using, is it for medicinal or recreational purposes? Bostic looks lost half the time, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be staring at him in a way that will make the kid want to find a hole in which to live out his remaining days. And are you aware another rookie linebacker, Khaseem Greene, will be starting? I hope Rodgers remembers to bring floss.)

The Bears haven’t played since losing Oct. 20 against the Redskins, meaning cornerback Charles Tillman has had a lot of time to rest his bothersome right knee. The inflammation should have calmed down. If so, it wouldn’t be outrageous to expect Tillman to be in better shape to force a few turnovers, his forte.

(And let me guess: No team wants to face Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker after he has had two weeks of preparation.)

The biggest reason for optimism is backup quarterback Josh McCown. Crazy, I know. Jay Cutler is out for at least the next couple of weeks with a torn groin muscle, and the Bears should have no chance against the Packers. But did you see the way McCown played in relief of Cutler against the Redskins? The confidence? The methodical way he moved the team? There were echoes of . . .

(Chad Hutchinson?)

Tom Brady.

(Oh, good Lord.)

Listen, McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins. The bigger point, though, is that there’s something to build on here. This isn’t an unproven player. This is someone who has been in the league for 10 years. He’s not going to be intimidated by the surroundings in Green Bay or the magnitude of the game. Coach Marc Trestman is going to look at what McCown did well in the last game and put him in position to succeed.

(The Bears were playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL when they faced the Redskins. You conveniently forgot to mention that. And did I miss the part where you described how McCown was coaching high school football as recently as a year ago?)

Fine. But you forgot to mention that in 2011, McCown led the Bears to 21 points in a loss at — wait for it — Lambeau Field.

(I believe the key word is ‘‘loss.’’ Remember, you’re trying to make a case for why the Bears can win.)

They have a much better offensive supporting cast than they did in 2011. Ask Cutler. And it’s not as though the Packers’ defense is anything special. The Packers were 22nd in total defense heading into the weekend, and linebacker Clay Matthews is out with a broken thumb.

(We can go on like this forever, me being right and you being wrong. But take a look at the Bears’ pass rush. There is none. It’s the Ghost of Pass Rushes Past. The Packers will have the ball forever, the Bears’ defense will get gassed and Rodgers will cut the visitors to ribbons. Oh, and the Packers can run the ball, too.)

You remind me of the idiot who suggested to Trestman at a recent news conference that he didn’t have much of a team with Cutler and Briggs sidelined.

(That idiot was you.)

Oh. Right, then. Well, don’t you believe in second chances? Isn’t that what this country is built on?

(No, it’s built on cheese curds. Packers, 35-17.)

I hope your bad cholesterol spikes to dangerous levels.



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