By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Some offence, and just enough defence.
Despite making us kick our heels a bit, the Bears win, even if not by a long chalk. In fact, it appeared for a time that they might do a Devon Loch.
Though a loss to the Bucs would have fluttered the dovecoats, the message sent from London was plain as a pikestaff: keep your wig on, and your chin up. 24-18.
The game itself was a bit of a curate's egg, -- often dull as ditchwater -- but belabouring that point would be carrying coals to Newcastle.
The right royal outcome means a 4-3 record, and hope still alive. Had it gone black as Newgate's knocker, any playoff possibilities would have had a spanner thrown in the works, approaching a sticky end (as the actress said to the bishop).
Matt Forte may indeed be quids in, his yeoman's service making the man on the Clapham omnibus wonder if GM Jerry Angelo is willing to spoil the ship for a ha'pworth of tar, or if, to him, Forte's production is like giving a donkey strawberries. As long as he's in rude health, his production is on the cards.
Last week Jay Cutler was like a bear with a sore head when dealing with Mike Martz, with the two involved in Chinese whispers over playcalling. Cutler has more front than Brighton, and his feelings were audibly clear that he'd prefer to send Martz to Coventry.
After two good games on the trot, though, Cutler was a damp squib. He could still be at the end of his tether with his coordinator, who went pear-shaped near the end of the game. Martz believes what he believes, and is no Vicar of Bray. He will not stop trying to get a quart into a pint pot, ignoring the belt-and-braces approach – keen as mustard for the full Monty, instead of grasping the nettle. He's a queer fish.
Devin Hester, too, was on the blink, seeming to lose his bottle on returns. His decision-making is thick as mince. He can score in a tick, but too many runbacks continue to go Heath Robinson.
Luckily the same was true of Aqib Talib, who is daft as a brush. His late banana skin of a penalty kept the Bears from going down like a lead balloon. This was yet another game of tears before bedtime that Bears fans know all too well.
The barrack-room lawyers will go off on one, getting out of their prams to make a song and dance, throwing wobblers over a victory that was well short of being the dog's bollocks. Injuries meant hard cheese for Tampa Bay, they'll whinge.
But Lovie Smith's business-trip strategy (no beer and skittles) was sound as a pound, as the Bears' Dunkirk spirit kept the season from going for a burton. Things may not be fine and dandy, but they haven't gone up the spout.
To not understand that, you'd have to be an idiom.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of "Boers and Bernstein" since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein's columns here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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