Though the Bears aren’t done yet, they’re chances of erasing a 14-0 deficit have just gotten a lot longer.
With starting quarterback Jay Cutler out due to a knee injury (FOX’s Chris Myers said moments ago that Cutler doesn’t know when the injury specifically happened), Todd Collins has taken a crack at sparking the offense, and he has failed.
Next up? Caleb Hanie.
The situation highlights the failure of the Bears to sign a proven veteran to back up Cutler. Sure, plenty of other teams also didn’t have a quality No. 2, but none of them are currently down two scores in the NFC title game and desperately in need of a spark.
With Mike Martz running the offense in Chicago, the smart move would have been to sign Marc Bulger after he was cut by the Rams. Our theory in the offseason was that G.M. Jerry Angelo didn’t want Bulger to become the most popular man in Chicago if Cutler and the Bears had started off 1-3 instead of 3-1.
In Angelo’s defense, he also surely never envisioned needing Bulger in the NFC title game, since no one would have reasonably expected the Bears to get this far.
So it’ll be Hanie the rest of the way. As FOX’s Joe Buck pointed out at the start of the fourth quarter, the decision to use the No. 3 quarterback before the fourth quarter means that neither Cutler nor Collins may return.
UPDATE: And, of course, Hanie has sparked the Bears to a touchdown, cutting the Green Bay lead in half.