During a season that's featured a five-game winning streak and now a four-game nosedive, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told the team's official website he's never experienced a ride as schizophrenic.
"Not like this one," Angelo said. "Things were going very well. We were feeling really good about the team and had no reason not to."
That's back when the Bears were 7-3, making a solid case for themselves as an NFC dark horse. Then starting quarterback Jay Cutler broke his thumb, leaving untested Caleb Hanie to guide the team through a four-game losing streak in which he tossed nine interceptions. During the ghastly stretch, Chicago generated less than 100 passing yards in three consecutive games for the first time since 1981.
The upshot of this chaos? Bears coach Lovie Smith tapped Josh McCown to start against the Packers on Sunday.
"When we made the switch with the quarterback (to Hanie), we knew it was going to be an adjustment," Angelo said. "But, unfortunately, we weren't able to do the things we needed to do to win games, particularly in the close ones. The thing that's probably been the most disappointing to me is that we weren't able to finish and we imploded in some cases."
The Bears cling to the narrow possibility of a playoff berth, but win or lose, Angelo insists Chicago's final two games will be used to evaluate a roster that could be ripe for adjustments in the coming months.