CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- There are plenty of reasons to let Bears quarterback Andy Dalton off the hook for his four-interception performance Sunday, if you’re interested in that.
For starters, the Bears are bad. That never helps. When they’re not turning the ball over, they’re almost turning the ball over. When they’re not doing that, they’re getting flagged for the same three penalties. When it's going well and they’re not turning the ball over or getting flagged for the same three penalties, the Bears are still punting from midfield. Even when they’re firing on all cylinders, tearing up the turf as they march toward a 37-yard field-goal attempt, it’s easy to see that there’s just not a whole lot of talent on the field right now. Mix a day-long battle with wonky headset shenanigans together with a whole lot of freezing rain, and the apologist's argument almost starts to write itself.
“I think today, just because you see it on both sides, I do think weather was involved,” coach Matt Nagy said after the Bears’ 33-22 loss to the Cardinals, their eighth in 12 games this season. “But at the same point in time, our guys know that. They understand that. So you've gotta really lock the football in, you've gotta be secure with what you do and for us, we just right now, we don't have room for error with that offensively. We've gotta be really good. We've gotta be sharp with our details. We've gotta be sharp with our execution.”
Consider this well-meaning suggestion: Instead of ostracizing yourself from friends and family in the name of excusing Dalton’s performance, simply forget it ever happened! The good news for Bears fans is that Dalton’s day was about as forgettable as a four-interception performance can get. There will be a time in the not-so-distant future when you don’t remember that he ever even played in a meaningless early December game, not to mention threw four ugly picks in it. Only after you have vivid flashbacks of receiver Jakeem Grant’s outstretched hand or tight end Cole Kmet looking like a boxer on the speed bag while trying to catch a 12-yard pass will you realize, oh yeah, that was a Dalton game. He did throw that ball right into a defensive lineman’s hands on a screen.
“Yeah, you can’t do that,” Dalton said after doing that. “You can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win the game. That hurt us. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but you can’t do that and expect to win, especially against a really good team.
“When I threw it, I thought I had it. And he made a good play. That’s really what it came down to.”
There is no point in asking yourself what Dalton brings to the offense anymore. There probably wasn’t any point to begin with, but now we know for sure. (And besides: at 4-8, there’s not really much of a point to anything anymore. Happy Holidays!) Spend your time worrying about other things, like how long cracked ribs take to recover, or how limiting cracked ribs can be to the throwing motion, or when the next PS5 drop is coming. Don’t make Sunday more than it was, which is simply a bad, boring game from a bad, boring team that had to start their backup quarterback. The Bears are moving on from this game, and you can too – just sit back, relax, and let the familiar sounds of Nagy’s postgame press conference wash your hippocampus clean of those four interceptions (or was it three? I already can't remember).
“When you lose you’ve got to look into the whys …” Nagy said. “The only thing that matters is winning and losing. That’s how we all look at it.”
Cam Ellis is a writer for 670 The Score and Audacy Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KingsleyEllis.