Bears bomb on field and in ratings


Jay Cutler fumbles again. (USA Today)

If you thought the Chicago White Sox had a bad season…you ain’t seen nothing yet

Maybe we should send Chris Sale to cut up some Bears jerseys in the locker room.

Monday night certainly wasn’t football night for Bears fans as the team put up the worst performance in at least two seasons as the team was blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 29-14 in a game led by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.

Using a late-night talk anthology, Wentz indeed looked like Johnny Carson while veteran Bears QB Jay Cutler look like Chevy Chase.

And speaking of stuff lasting only five weeks, Cutler could be out of that long with a thumb injury.

As for the ratings, they looked like those of The Pat Sajak Show (in reality, no – Sajak fared much worse.) The game scored a 8.3 household metered-market rating for ESPN, down 11 percent from last year’s second game of the season.

In final numbers released late Tuesday, the number dropped to a 7.3 household rating, down marking the lowest-rated Week 2 of Monday Night Football of all time. This number was down 10 percent from a year ago.

Facing tough competition from the opening night of the new television season (and the Cubs), the Bears game in Chicago earned a below-average 22.1 rating (11.2 for ESPN; 10.9 for WCIU.) To put this in perspective, a Cubs playoff game against the Cardinals last year on TBS drew a 23.4 local rating. Game three of the NLCS between the Cubs and Mets drew a 25.1, also on TBS.

Game one of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning in June 2015 drew a 28 local rating. The sixth game where the Blackhawks clinched their third Stanley Cup championship drew a 41 rating.

The only positive is the Eagles-Bears game still topped all broadcast programming for the night in adults 18-49, earning a 4.5 rating, but was down 7 percent from last year’s week two Monday Night game. As noted here earlier, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was the night’s top show on broadcast with a 3.6.

Sadly, the Bears outdrawing most prime-time programming has become the norm as the broadcast networks’ outlook for this season isn’t any better than those for the Lakefront’s NFL Team.

This comes as ratings for NFL games have declined so far this season; some are wondering if viewership has peaked. Unfortunately for the NFL, the Bad News Bears have three more primetime games to go, including this Sunday’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, then an October 20 contest against Green Bay and a Halloween Night matchup against the Vikings. To say these two October contests could be outdrawn by Cubs playoff games next month is definitely not outside the realm of possibility.