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Pompei: Observations From Bears-Bucs

By Dan Pompei--

(CBS) Of the nine games the Bears have played this season, Sunday's loss to the Bucs was the most difficult to understand and the most out of character for this team. To me, that points to a lack of focus and/or intensity. It will be interesting to see how the Bears respond next week.

My other observations:

1. As preposterous as this seems, the Bears played like a team that believed their press clippings. They looked more like fat cats than wounded dogs.

2. The league's better quarterbacks never have a performance like the one Jay Cutler had Sunday.

3. Cutler's regrettable passes often are the result of poor decisions. On Sunday, some of his regrettable passes were just careless, bad throws.

4. Cutler responds to adversity too often by going into a funk, and it happened again. More than anything, that's what has prevented him from reaching his potential.

5. If we gave Cutler credit for great leadership against the Vikings, we should give him demerits for poor leadership against the Bucs.

6. Dangling the football with one hand running out of the pocket? Don't they teach that in Pop Warner?

7. The Hail Mary touchdown was a lucky play. But it was a well-executed play, both by Cutler and Cameron Meredith. Practice paid off there.

8. The inconsistent commitment to the run is illogical. Running is what the Bears do best — and it's also a pretty good way to help the quarterback. Yet the Bears ran it 42 percent of the plays in the game and only 28 percent in the second half.

9. One of the reasons Cutler cut down on turnovers last season is the game plans protected him from himself. The game plan didn't protect him Sunday.

10. Runners who fight for extra yards the way Jordan Howard does are going to fumble now and then. It's not a bad trade-off for all of the yards after contact he gains.

11. The Bears' giveaways had a cumulative effect, wearing down their own defense.

12. This team probably won't have any Pro Bowlers, but Tracy Porter has been playing close to that level.

13. Leonard Floyd reminds me of a teenager who seems to get taller every time you look at him. The growth is remarkable.

14. When the Bears were down 17 late in the third quarter, that was the time to take risks. So no problem with Eddie Royal fielding a punt on the 4-yard line in that situation. Any other situation, Royal has to let that punt bounce.

15. I would have liked to have been able to listen to what the late, great Doug Buffone had to say after that one.

16. Games like that are why TV ratings are down.

Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670's Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.

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