Chicago Bears

Contrary to Popular Belief- Grossman is Capable of Taking Bears to Super Bowl

Kevin Federline may have received more positive reviews for his debut album than Rex Grossman did for his play at quarterback this year for the Bears. But if you grade his season on a curve and focus on how he played in the Bears most meaningful games, you’ll find that Grossman should really deserve a lot more credit than criticism for his overall play.Taking a quick glance around national media coverage of the upcoming divisional playoffs this weekend, it would be easy to assume that Rex Grossman must be the most incompetent quarterback to ever start a playoff game.
    It seems that everything negative Grossman has done this year far outweighed anything positive he has done for this franchise. If he would just step out of the way and play it safe the Bears would be well on their way to the Super Bowl most people seem to believe.
    The reality however, is quite the opposite.
    Grossman’s ability to throw the ball downfield has added a dimension to the Bears offensive attack that hasn’t existed since Willie Gault was running under rainbows from Jim McMahon in the late eighties. His quick start to the season was the primary reason people considered the Bears to be a Super Bowl front-runner in early October.
    Yes, they also had a dominant defense that was scoring touchdowns almost every week. But they’ve had pretty good defenses ever since Brian Urlacher and Mike Brown arrived in 2000. What separated this team from other recent Bears teams was having an offense capable of scoring more than 20 points on its own.
    In the two key games against NFC opponents where the top spot in the NFC standings was on the line, Grossman came up with two of his best games of the season. He was nearly flawless in a 37-6 romp over defending NFC champions Seattle and after starting slowly against the Giants he found his groove to the tune of 246 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-20 rout.
    Following his first poor performance of the season at Arizona, he responded by throwing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns against San Francisco before the game reached halftime
    Finally, in an early December game where the Bears could clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, it was Grossman who came to the rescue. On a day when the Bears defense made Tampa Bay backup Tim Rattay look like Joe Montana, Grossman had his finest day as a Bear. With the rest of the team struggling, all Grossman did was finish with a career-high 339 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes in a 34-31 overtime win.
    While Grossman surely had his share of both ups and downs this season, it should be noted that most of his ups came in the most important games of the season.
    His only poor performance in a marquee game came against New England when he was intercepted three times by pro-bowler Asante Samuel. But I don’t think he was the first quarterback to ever have a poor performance at New England. (See Peyton Manning in the playoffs)
    When examining his other poor performances, they were all cases of him not bringing his A-game against C-level or worse opponents. Grossman’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t seem to have a B or even a C game. In games against Arizona, Miami, Minnesota and the season-ending exhibition against Green Bay, Grossman played about as poorly as he could have possibly played.
    But even though the Bears still went 2-2 in these games, media critics seem to define Grossman by these performances rather than by all of the times he came up huge in key games throughout the rest of the year. You’ll read a lot more about his 1.3 and 0.0 passer ratings than you will about the fact that he led the league in games with passer ratings of 100 or better.
    Fortunately for the Bears, head coach Lovie Smith doesn’t care about quarterback ratings or what the media thinks. He knows that Grossman gives the Bears the best chance to win in the playoffs which is why he has stuck with him throughout the year when almost every member of the local and national media has been calling for a change.
    He knows that part of the blame for Grossman’s struggles this year falls on his shoulders for not getting his team motivated every week regardless of the opponent.
    But from here on out every game is a big one. This means Bears fans have a much better chance of seeing the good Rex rather than the bad Rex this Sunday.

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