December 13th, 2011
by bearsbacker

The Bears played the part in three important areas, but still couldn’t come up with the win yesterday in Denver.

The Bears defense contained Broncos running back Willis McGahee allowing him to rush for only 34 yards on 17 carries.

They shut down Tim Tebow for the most part, allowing him to rush for 49 yards and throw for 236 yards.

Lastly, they forced two turnovers, an interception and a fumble.

Those things seemed to be working for the Bears up until almost the end of the game.

The score was 10-0, but they allowed Tim Tebow to complete throws down the field consistently. It looked like the Bears were playing prevent defense.

With no timeouts for the Broncos, the Bears allowed Tebow to lead his team to a touchdown to make the game 10-7.

The Broncos were forced to onside kick the ball with roughly 2:08 left on the clock, Bears linebacker Nick Roach recovered the kick.

The Bears ran one play, then the two minute warning stopped the clock. One first down would have ended the game.

The very next play Marion Barber, who up to that point was a big reason the Bears were ahead in the game made a big mistake.

He had the loan touchdown in the game for the Bears, but he ran out of bounds after picking up about five yards.

That stopped the clock once again. The Bears failed to pick up the first down.

The Caleb Hanie led offense was only able to convert two of 15 third downs.

So, the Broncos got the ball back and Tebow drove them down the field in time to set up a Matt Prater 59-yard field goal attempt.

Robbie Gould made a 57-yarder for the Bears to put them up 10-0 in the early stages of the fourth quarter, so the Broncos weren’t afraid to try a far kick either.

Prater made it and again Tebow brought back the Broncos in the fourth quarter.

The Bears win the toss in overtime and Caleb Hanie finds Knox and Barber a couple times to lead them into field goal range.

Marion Barber finds a hole on a run and it looks like he is going to break it for a touchdown. He loses the ball and the Broncos take over.

Prater boots a 51-yarder for the win and the rest was history.

The Bears blew a perfect chance at their eighth victory of the season.

Barber woes’

Barber has to hold on to the ball with two hands in a situation like that. Its a tough break for the Bears offense, who seemed to be set up for the win.

Hanie seemed to be consoling Barber on the sideline.

You got to feel bad for the Barber, but at the same time he knows better than to make a mistake like that in a key situation.

The seven-year veteran Barber, cost the Bears a touchdown a week ago against KC on an illegal formation play.

He ran out of bounds basically costing the Bears the game on Sunday and then he fumbled the game when it was on the line.

He runs hard, but maybe the Cowboys released him because he made too many mistakes.

Expect to see more Kahlil Bell on Sunday against Seattle, so Barber understands he can’t make big mistakes.

Now What?

At 7-6, the Bears are a game behind the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) and Detroit Lions (8-5) in the wild-card race.

The Bears have scored three touchdowns the past three weeks, compared to four touchdowns the week prior to Hanie taking over at quarterback.

Here’s what the playoff picture looks like in the NFC:

4th seed New York Giants (7-6)
Remaining games: Redskins (4-9), At Jets (8-5), Cowboys (7-6)

5th seed Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
Remaining games: Jaguars (4-9), At Saints (10-3), Bucs (4-9)

6th seed Detroit Lions (8-5)
Remaining games: At Oakland (7-6), Chargers (6-7), At Packers (13-0)

7th Bears (7-6)
Remaining games: Seahawks (5-7), At Packers (13-0), At Vikings (2-11)

8th Cowboys (7-6)
Remaining games: At Bucs (4-9), Eagles (5-8), At Giants (7-6)

The Bears must win next week against Seattle. Luckily they return home, where they’ve had success.

The offense needs to play mistake free football because the defense has been pretty good these past three losses.

It wasn’t the offenses fault completely on Sunday because the defense gave up big plays down the stretch, but Hanie and Co. need to step up now.

Expect a fired up bunch on Sunday against Seattle.Caleb Hanie needs to find ways to convert third downs for the offense because they’ve converted only two out of 26 over the past two games.

The offensive line gave up four sacks and had way too many false starts, but played much improved collectively.

Lovie needs to get this team together because the season is slipping away very fast.

The season isn’t over just yet. The Bears are not a team that gives up.

Do you believe?

Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.

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