On 2nd Thought, about the Bears-Lions game…
When the game was over, there was definitely a bad taste in my mouth…we missed a MILLION tackles…we only scored 24 points…our special teams played their worst game of the season, maybe of Dave Toub’s tenure in Chicago…Our defense, having made an art form of not giving up big plays, gave up big play after big play after big play—that 2-play, 30-second, 90-yard drive the Lions had at the end of the first half was one of the worst things I have ever seen—I mean, if this is what DREW STANTON is doing to us, what will TOM BRADY do to us next week? I had a headache.
But now that I have had a chance to not be emotionally caught up in the game, and had a chance to look at the numbers, I will (attempt) to give 10 positives that came out of this game.
1) Going against a very good run defense with Suh & Corey Williams, Forte and Taylor ran for 97 yard on 22 carries–a 4.8 ypc average. add in Jay’s scrambles, and a 5-yard sprint sweep by Hester, and we had 114 yards on 28 carries—definitely enough to make future opponents respect the run game. In fact, I though with the exception of the Webb v. Avril matchup, our line played really well. Chris Williams seems to have settled in nicely at LG. Omiyale is playing well. Garza got beat a couple times, and I didn’t like how our play-calling put a TE blocking Avril 1-v-1 on a couple plays; but they played pretty well overall.
2) Jay protected the ball–AGAIN. its getting to the point where you can no longer say its because he had a flukey game or a bad ooponent. You can tell he is consciously taking care of the ball. The fumble is a tough one, because a QB has gotta be looking downfield on that one, and you really can’t expect a DE to get in there that quickly. But Jay is making smart,quick decisions; and running when he has to. And him and Bennett seem to be re-developing the rapport they had at Vandy.
3) Bennett establishing himself as a legit #1 WR. I know, the Bears like to say they have no true #1; whoever gets open gets the ball. But it is becoming obvious who Jay trusts on money downs. And why not Bennett? He makes all the tough catches, runs good routes, and is tough after the catch. Remember, that Jay had a WR in Denver who wasn’t terribly fast, but ran good routes, had great hands, and picked up YAC—and Jay made him an All-Pro.
4) After giving up 253 yard in the 1st half—and making Drew Stanton and the Lions look like Joe Montana and the 1989 49ers—our defense buckled down and held the Lions to 49 yard in the second half. The tackling was much improved; as was the lane discipline on running plays. Very quietly, Brian Urlacher ended up with 17 tackles, after being invisible the first half of the game.
5) Robbie Gould nailed a 54-yard field goal, and Brad Maynard pinned 2 punts inside the 10-yard line. Going into the tough part of our schedule, being able to get points on FGs from outside the 30-yard line and pin teams down at the goal-line for our defense could be HUGE.