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Sunday, December 13, 2009
Bears' penalties a sore spot all season


By JEFF DICKERSON

CHICAGO -- Of all the mistakes made by the Bears on Sunday, there is simply no excuse for any NFL team to commit 13 penalties.

"They hurt," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said. "We aren't a team that has been penalized that much."

Comments like that make you wonder if Smith is actually watching the games from the sidelines.

The Bears have been flagged 91 times in 2009, compared to 74 infractions by their opponents. Good teams can get away with an excessive amount of penalties, bad teams cannot. The Bears are a bad team. See the problem?

This has been a continuing theme all year -- just like turnovers and early breakdowns on defense. Chris Williams will take most of the heat, and maybe rightfully so. The Bears starting left tackle had a very bad day at the office, drawing a team-high three flags

"Three penalties is inexcusable on my part, and it cost us the game," Williams said in the postgame locker room. "My job is not to get penalties like that. The false start penalties were stupid. The hands to the face, I was just out there playing. You got to get your hands inside. Sometimes you get called for it."

But Williams certainly doesn't deserve all the blame. This was a collective effort by the entire team, that started with left guard Frank Omiyale being whistled for a pair of false starts on the same drive in the opening quarter.

Here are other players who committed penalties: Tommie Harris, Greg Olsen, Patrick Mannelly, Darrell McClover, Zack Bowman, Al Afalava, Corey Graham and Olin Kreutz.

It's been the same story year, We all see it. Well, almost everybody sees it.