If only for a second, everything seemed to align in the proper place, spelling a Bears postseason appaearance — the New York Giants were beating the Vikings and Oakland was pulling out a surprising win in Tampa against the Buccaneers.
But it all fell apart, as the Bears seem to do in the fourth quarter of so many games– today was no exception.
The Bears were on a role before facing this Texans team, though it did not come in the conventions sense. Sudden special teams plays and defemsive anomolies have saved the Bears in tough spots all season. There was no such event late in the Houston game, especially since a first down offsides penalty on the last Houston possession of the game put the Texans in position for an easy first down conversion, which they converted. The Bears wouldn’t recover from the costly blunder, and their season has come to an end against a team destined for vacation regardless of the games final.
While they stopped the run early, Andre Johnson took advantage of the absence of free safety Mike Brown’s and caught 10 balls. His success set up the run game which ultimately spelled the end for the Bears. The Texans two offensive phases, and an inept Bears offensive attack, became too much for the Bears to carry. The defense wilted in the latter stages of the game, surrendering big runs to Steve Slaton on successive offensive downs.
What hurt the Bears most, though, was the erie circumstances that led rookie running back Matt Forte to leave the game. The running back was having a stellar game but didn’t see much of the second half. In fact, he missed the entire fourth quarter. At no point was he more missed than a third down, goaline play where Adrian Peterson went in for the td and was immediately stopped at the one-yard line by one defender. Forte would have punched it in, no question.
All successful endings for the Bears hinged on a Sunday win, they simply couldn’t deliver.