The less hope I hold for the Bears defense next season, as well. And maybe the season after that.
Sorry, but nobody in Chicago could watch the Seahawks on Sunday night and not wonder how close the Bears were to championship caliber -- or how far away the defense is from just being cruddy.
How soon the Bears could grow up to be like that?
Can you say “light years,’’ boys and girls?
The Bears defense did nothing to even the weakest offenses it faced last season, and there were the Seahawks killing the best in the NFL.
If you’d seen the Seahawks throughout the season or postseason, you knew they were good. But if you were a Bears fans who hadn’t cared until Sunday, you probably thought you were watching CGI.
You had no idea that perfect, fierce tackling was legal in the NFL. Geez, you had no idea that even being in the TV shot to attempt a tackle was legal.
The Seahawks seemed to have five players around the ball every time. That’s scheme, technique and athleticism. That’s also a three-and-out for the Bears defense.
The Seahwks didn’t try to game the Broncos. The Seahawks just lined up and played their scheme and destroyed the best offense in the NFL.
Sure, the Broncos helped by starting the game with a safety. But the Seahawks ruined a quarterback who ruined the rest of the NFL.
The Seahawks got Peyton Manning off his spot. The Seahawks hit Manning. The Seahawks hurried Manning. The Seahawks had -- read my lips, Mel Tucker -- a pass rush and it created a 69-yard interception return that signalled a rout.
When the Broncos completed passes, they were short and painful. Sometimes they were picked off. Sometimes they were punched loose. The Super Bowl MVP was a linebacker who had a pick-6 and a fumble recovery.
Remember when the Bears linebackers used to do that?
Remember when the Bears used to have linebackers?
Remember when the Bears didn’t stand around and watch fumbles?
The Seahawks defense obliterated the Broncos' skill players. Wideouts, running backs, tight ends -- didn’t matter. Manning couldn’t hit anything deep, and when he threw short, the Seahawks left corpses.
The Seahawks delivered pain. They tackled, and when the Seahawks hit, the Broncos stayed hit. The Seahawks made the Broncos scream for mommy to make it stop.
This, Bears fans, is what a defense looks like.
This, Mel Tucker, is what a defense does.