Hanie awful, but hardly alone in brutal Bears loss
Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie walks off the field after Sunday's loss to the Chiefs at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Rick West | Staff Photographer
The Bears spent a significant portion of last week trying to convince everyone that we would see a different Caleb Hanie this week — no one more so that Caleb Hanie himself.
And the Bears were right. He was different.
He was worse.
He was bad. As in Chad Hutchinson bad. As in Jon Quinn bad. As in Henry Burris bad.
As in so bad that Tyler Palko wasn't the worst quarterback in the stadium Sunday.
That's bad because Palko was terrible.
Hanie was so bad his 23.8 QB rating was worse than that of Kyle Orton, who threw a single pass that fell incomplete. With a dislocated finger, Orton exited the game with a 39.6 passer rating.
Hanie was so bad that he didn't reach 100 yards passing until there was 4:47 remaining in the game.
Hanie was so bad that the Bears have to consider signing Donovan McNabb, who with no knowledge of the Bears' offense can't possibly be worse than Hanie was Sunday.
"I always expect to play well," Hanie said. "I always expect us to be successful, and when we're not, that's not obviously what I expect.
"I expect to bounce back from this game, personally. And I will do everything this week to fix the issues that I can fix and help out any way I can."
That's nice, but Hanie was worse than terrible in the Bears' 10-3 loss to Kansas City at Soldier Field.
"Don't blame one guy for this loss," said head coach Lovie Smith. "We all have a big say in what happened today."
That's true. Hanie was not alone. He had lots of company, starting with Smith, who manages the clock like he's blindfolded and under water. In a cave. At 30 fathoms. During a tsunami.
There was Brian Urlacher and Chris Conte fighting to knock down a Hail Mary at the end of the first half that resulted in a Chiefs touchdown.
"I guess I should have caught it," Urlacher said. "I've never done that. I just tried to knock it down."
Conte went over Urlacher's back and the two batted it right to Dexter McCluster for Palko's first NFL TD and a 7-3 K.C. lead as time ran out on the first half.
"We were supposed to knock it down," Conte said. "Unfortunately, the guy (McCluster) is supposed to get boxed out and he wasn't."
That was bad and certainly some bad luck, but not nearly as bad as Roy Williams dropping a touchdown pass that would have tied the game at 10-10 with 4:01 left. Instead, it was tipped up and intercepted.
"A lot of things went wrong for us today, especially on my part at the end," Williams said. "That's what everyone wants to talk about. That's fine. It's my fault. I got to make those plays. Did I lose the game? No. There were a lot of things that happened before that.
"In the fans' mind, yes. So, put it on me. Put it on me. That's fine."
Fine, it's on you, too, but even Williams wasn't as bad as an offensive line that offered up jailbreak after jailbreak once Matt Forte went down with a knee injury.
Hanie was sacked seven times and hit nearly twice that many.
"We didn't protect him,'' said center Roberto Garza. "We didn't play well as a group."
Also bad now is the Bears' luck, which was so overwhelming in their favor a year ago, keeping them healthy all the way until midway through the NFC title game when Jay Cutler was injured.
But now in the last three games they've lost Cutler and Forte and their playoff chances have gone from a virtual lock to a serious question at 7-5 and with games left against the red-hot Broncos and Packers, and the wretched Seahawks and Vikings.
But no opponent can be considered weak now after losing to a sad Chiefs team that came in Sunday at 4-7.
"We need to get a win next week (in Denver)," Smith said. "We're still in good shape as far as I'm concerned. We're in great shape."
Smith then recognized the nonsensical nature of what he was saying in the face of so much evidence to the contrary.
"I'm talking about if we make those necessary changes, adjustments and improvements we have to make, we'll be in great shape," Smith added. "We're one win away from feeling a lot better."
It's true that a victory next week would make the Bears and their fans feel a lot better about everything.
Until then, visions of Caleb Hanie dancing in their heads are going to make them feel anything but better.
•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.
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