Observations from the Bears-Patriots Game
I decided to wait a few days before writing this to let the emotion of it all wear off. I mean, with a win, we could have all but sewn up the NFC North, with Green Bay traveling TO New England this weekend, possibly without Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay losing to the Lions, and us playing in adverse weather, against a predominantly passing offense AT HOME? It all seemed too perfect.
Then the game started.
Then it was over.
Now, after, flipping back and forth through the DVR recording of the game about 100 times,here are some things I noticed, other than the fact that we lost. BAD.
1) New England bullied us in the run game. A) Their Offensive lineman were controlling our defensive line, pushing them pretty much wherever they wanted all game long, and getting lineman to the second level to block Briggs and Urlacher alot more than in previous games. B) The Patriots seemed to exploit the area between the tackles, taking advantage of the wide splits our defensive line was taking. I know we are a Cover-2 team, and we will not change that to play ANYBODY; but I would have liked to have seen an adjustment to line up over where the Patriots were running the ball.
2) Our offensive line had a tough time versus Wilfork and Warren in the run game, and Webb struggled against Jermaine Cunningham in the passing game.
3) The play of our secondary was HORRID. TERRIBLE. The WRs for New England are not big; yet we could not jam them when we played up, nor could we tackle them when we played back. Chris Harris looked old and slow. I know he is a rookie, but Major Wright was constantly caught out of position. DJ Moore could not slow down Welker in the slot.
4) The last play of the second quarter was INEXCUSABLE. Safeties—your job with 5 seconds left in the half is to not get beat deep. Give up a 50-yard pass, just NO TOUCHDOWNS. And why the hell was Tillman playing normal depth on Branch anyway? Get 20-yards deep! After watching that play, my first thought was, “THIS is why Lovie Smith cannot be our coach next year.”
5) Maybe it is just me, but I thought FOR SURE our team would be the one that played well in the cold and on the bad turf. YET, it was OUR PLAYERS who were slipping, not tackling, dropping passes and potential interceptions, and fumbling the ball. It was like we were from Tampa, and had never played in freezing temperatures.
6) Did we get one call the entire game? I know you can’t put this one of the refs, but for a team that has been very fortunate all year in the penalty/turnover department, and it seemed like in this game, every call seemed to go against us.
All that being said, I like the way the team came out and still competed in the second half. And it was a non-conference game. and sometimes, these bad losses late in the season can be a good kick in the pants for the team going forward the rest of the way. I think we will know about 10 minutes into the Vikings game this Monday night what this team is made of.