Chicago’s midseason hiccup, along with quarterback Jay Cutler's continuing backslide, has just about ended the competitive portion of the Bears' season.
Sunday night's loss was their third in a row and fifth in their past six games. They’ve fallen to 4-6 after a 3-1 start, their only victory during that stretch coming against 1-9 Cleveland, and stand on the far outskirts of the NFC playoff picture.
Worse, Cutler played what I can only call a self-conscious game in his first appearance since a five-interception performance at San Francisco. He overthrew three passes that would have gone for touchdowns -- one each to Greg Olsen, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester -- and finished with only 171 yards passing despite completing 24 of his 43 attempts.
Cutler telegraphed his only interception of the night, a pass he forced to Olsen on the Bears’ final drive. Overall, he seemed too tentative in response to an overly aggressive stretch of games.
You can only assume that Cutler will eventually work through these issues, but it isn’t likely to come in time to save this season for the Bears.