The Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler expected to win their home opener, a matchup against perennial bottom feeder Buffalo Bills, but instead a shocking loss has the team and their quarterback trying to stay out of panic mode.
It was Cutler’s ill-advised throw in the fourth quarter that turned the course of the game. Cutler was scrambling and threw a pass across his body, right into the arms of lumbering lineman Kyle Williams — his first career interception. The Bills went on to take the lead, forcing the Bears into a desperate last drive to tie the team. Chicago would go on to lose in overtime.
On Monday, Jay Cutler said the team is just looking at it as just one game.
“We’re going to be fine. (When) you expect to win a game, and it doesn’t happen, especially a home opener, everyone’s going to be in panic mode,” he said. “But I know leaving the office today, everyone was in really good spirits.”
But many others are saying the Chicago Bears lacked preparation. Linebacker Lance Briggs — who took the blame for a 47-year-run by Anthony Dixon in the second quarter — was blamed for spending too much time on the town in the days before the game.
Briggs said he isn’t bothered by the criticism.
“We’ve only played one game,” he added. “I told [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] on my day off, I’m like, ‘Man, you know, I once came out in our first game and had 36 loafs and one tackle against Atlanta, and got some of the same criticism. [I] went on to have a regular year.’ I’m not like everybody else. I don’t hit the panic button. For us, it’s time to focus on beating the 49ers.”
Bears Coach Marc Trestman defended Briggs and the team.
“Regarding Lance or any of our players, I’ve never seen anything significant [that would affect preparation for a game],” Trestman said. “When guys show up to work, they’re here to work. That goes for Lance and everybody else on our team. I’ve never seen anything lingering in terms of guys not being ready to work and ready to practice since the time I’ve been here.”
But though Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears may be trying to avoid “panic mode,” the team many considered a dark horse Super Bowl contender could be in some trouble. They must now make travel to San Francisco for a difficult Sunday night matchup against the 49ers.
[Photo via SB Nation]