Hanie, Bears don't help each other

Everyone wants to vilify Caleb Hanie for the Bears' current two-game losing streak, but there is plenty of blame to go around for Chicago's recent struggles on the offensive side of the ball.

Caleb Hanie's 23.8 passer rating Sunday didn't help him in deflecting criticism from the growing number of voices who have put the quarterback under fire since he took over for injured starter Jay Cutler.

But the Bears didn't help Hanie as much as they could either Sunday, when they left several scoring opportunities on the field, only one of which could be looked at as the fault of the four-year veteran.

Marion Barber had his apparent four-yard touchdown catch nullified because he lined up two yards behind the line of scrimmage. The Bears ended up settling for a field goal.

"That's something that we should be able to do, getting lined up," coach Lovie Smith said. "Marion will tell you that. We can give him a little bit more time also to get aligned. But that's just a part of the group of things we did wrong that normally won't happen."

Hanie actually got into a groove late in the fourth quarter, with the Bears trailing 10-3. He completed four consecutive passes to move the Bears to the Kansas City Chiefs' 13-yard-line.

Then he hit Roy Williams just across the goal line for what looked to be a game-tying touchdown -- until Williams bobbled the ball, allowing Chiefs safety Jon McGraw to claim it.

"None of us did as good a job as we need to," Smith said. "Roy is a part of that. Next time he'll make that play. We had a lot of other opportunities. There are a lot of other plays I would like to have back. I think all of us here on our football team are saying that, and Roy is a part of that."

Not that Hanie didn't offer his own contributions to his poor rating. He overthrew Earl Bennett at the goal line late in the second quarter, and the Bears ended up having to punt. Bennett had been wide open.

Overall, Hanie's office was anything but a productive one, managing just a season-low 181 total yards.

"Offensively, we didn't get anything done," Smith said. "It's hard to maintain drives when you can't convert on third downs."

Aside from total yardage, Chicago had plenty of other cringe-inducing numbers. They managed just 88 passing yards, another season-low. They gave up more than half of Kansas City's previous sack total for the season, allowing seven to a team that had just 13 in its first 11 games, which had been the lowest mark in the NFL.

And on third down?

The Bears were 0-for-11.

Hanie was just 11 of 24 passing for 133 yards without the sacks. The Chiefs picked him off three times and the hope for him to improve from his first start the previous week was instead replaced with even more disappointment.

Still, Smith -- who said the Bears would stay with the group it had on the roster to replace Cutler amid reports Brett Favre could be interested in another comeback, with Chicago -- tried to spread the blame around.

"I know Caleb will be blamed for a lot of it," Smith said, "but it's us as an offense, overall."


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