Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And the only undeated team in the NFC is...

Da Bears. I have sat here all day trying to mull over what exactly last night's win over green bay means besides that the bears are only 1 of 3 teams left unbeaten in the NFL. Does this mean that I believe they have the best team in the NFC or top 5 in the NFL? Nope sorry even my homerism cant go that far. Do I believe this team is the best in the division? Nope, sorry. I still think green bay is a better team. Does this win set up the bears to control the NFC north the rest of the season? You bet it does and I now believe the bears will make the playoffs. But, I am still not quite sure of what to think of this team and how to project it. A look at the upcoming schedule though does make me think that the bears will be atleast 6-2 by week 9 (bears have a bye in there). Which wow that exceeds even what i thought were lofty preseason predictions. As for last night's game, here is what I saw:

The Good:
1. Hello, Devin Hester! Yep he is back. Everyone was starting to wonder if he had lost his return ability and he pretty much won the bears that game. Not only because he took one to the house but because of his 28 yard return (on which he got tackled by the punter, the punter!!) before the half set up the bears offense for a TD. If he can be a game breaker on punt returns again, this team can be very very good.
2. Crash test dummy Jay. I cant say enough about how impressed I have been with Jay Cutler this year. The guy gets killed back there every week and not only am I impressed that he pops back up but you never see him yell at an offensive lineman. I mean I have to think he wakes up after every game black and blue from head to toe but you dont even see him react to missed blocks or assignments this year. Plus, his althetic ability is just off the charts and how bout him faking that packers defender out on the scramble and gaining an extra 5 yards. Wow what a difference a year makes.
3. Stars on defense. Urlacher and Briggs look fantastic and better than ever. Not only are they back there wacking guys across the middle and pursuing to the ball but they are penetrating the line of scrimmage and making plays behind the line. Can't say enough about their play this year. And Julius Peppers is awesome. I know he only has 1 sack so far but his presence disrupts the entire offensive line. The MNF guys said a lot about this last night but what is even more impressive is watching Peppers' first step because he is so quick and big that most of the time he is almost already around the tackle with that first step.

The Bad:
1. A run game please. Look i know the bears are moving the ball on offense and Cutler has looked great but please for the love of god Mike Martz discover some sort of run game. I would be happy with 80 yards a game and it doesnt count if your QB has 37 yards in a game as Cutler did last night. I'm not sure the bears havent just changed Forte and Taylor's listed positions to WRs. To have a great passing game is good but the bears will need to have some sort of semblance of a running game to beat teams in the playoffs. Plus, with no running game, it kills the bears on time of possession, wearing down your defense. Last night - Packers 35:49 Bears 24:11.
2. 1 sack is all im asking for. Yes, Peppers had a good game but at the end of the day. Rodgers threw the ball 45 times and not once did the bears pull him down. Someone, anyone on the defensive line has to step up and be better pass rushers. I have liked what i have seen out of Henry Melton so far but he hasn't been on the field all that much. I mean come on, 45 times and no sacks are the bears counting to 5 banana before they start rushing? Pressure and maybe a sack is all im asking for.
3. Long drives. As stated above, the bears got killed in time of possession and it really wears on your defense, even a defense that rotates as many players as the bears. While partially the offenses' fault for not holding on to the ball longer, it is still up to the defense to stop the opponent's offense and while the bears didnt give up a lot of points, they gave up very long and sustained drives to the packers. I understand the defensive philosophy of bend but dont break (which I'm pretty sure, I and every other bears fan hates) but the defense still has to make plays to get off the field.

The Ugly:
They won, shouldn't this section be "the splendid"? Nope sorry folks, I saw 2 things that must be changed right away or I dont think this team can make the playoffs.
#1 = goal line offense. 2 out of 3 weeks in a row the bears have failed to put the ball in the endzone from a yard away. I dont know what the bears' percentage inside the redzone is this season but i know they look bad inside it. When Martz cant spread the field with multiple WRs, the bears seem to have no idea how to put the ball in the endzone and without a running game they cant power it in. They need to figure this out quickly!
#2 - Lovie is an idiot. First off, he is stupid for challenging whether bennett was in the endzone because everyone watching that live and the replay knew that a packer had touched bennett before he rolled into the endzone. Not only did Lovie lose a timeout in the 2nd half of a tight game but he lost the ability to challenge anymore calls the rest of the game before the 3rd quarter was done. Now, what if the refs' had ruled that the fumble recovered by jennings had gone out of bounds. Guess what the bears where out of challenges and it would have been packers ball and probably a very different result of the game. But most importantly, why does Lovie refuse to take the points??? The bears again went for it on 4th down at the 1 and failed to get the TD. Yes, with a good throw they do score but they didnt score. Plus, Lovie in case you havent been watching the games your team can run the ball in short yardage and they arent that good at scoring TDs, why dont you take the points??? I just cant understand how you dont take the points to tie a game in the 2nd half. Lovie, its gonna cost you one of these games and being lucky over good will only get you so far in the NFL.


Pete said...

great preview but do you really expect CJ to have 9 pts a game. I hope he doesnt have to play that much.

2j said...

You're probably right Pete, 9 ppg for CJ is a little high. But he is a volume shooter (relative to his minutes) and we don;t have much offense on the 2nd unit (assuming KK will get time with Rose/Boozer to help space the floor with the first unit). So CJ will be creating and shooting a lot in the second unit. But you're still right, 9ppg is slightly high.

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