Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bears Escape Jolly Old England With a Win

What a strange Bears team this is. The Bears looked great in the first half, moving the ball and playing outstanding defense. But in the second half, questionable play calling, the return of the terrible offensive line, and some bad defensive plays made the Bears sneaking out of London with a win more nerve racking than it should have been.

Forte Was Dominant, As Usual
The real story of the game was again Matt Forte. He tore the Bucs apart, including a ridiculous 32 yard touchdown run. He carried the Bears offense again, especially on a day with a few Jay Cutler turnovers, so the question again becomes why Jerry Angelo will not pay the man. The longer the Bears wait, the more money they will have to pay him, thus increasing the chances he walks. It's disgusting to even think about, but given the ineptitude of the Bears front office, anything can happen. I can't think of a player in the NFL who carries his offense quite like Forte; he represents close to 50% of the team's total offense. That is absolutely invaluable. Angelo - PAY THE MAN.

Besides Forte, the only glimmer of productivity on offense, besides a very average/mediocre day from Jay Cutler, were the Cowboys rejects, Roy "Cupcake" Williams and Marion Barber. An initial drop from Williams, and his subsequent "I don't give a shit" smile, drew the ire of Bears fans as usual, but he made up for it with some catches and a key touchdown. Same goes for Barber, who had his best game as a Bear with a touchdown and big run into space. Both of these guys were brought in to play pretty big roles, so to see this today was encouraging.

The offensive line had a big first half, opening holes for Forte the whole time, but regressed to their normal craptastic level in the second half. J'Marcus Webb continues to disappoint; it is entirely shocking that he continues to play the most important position on the offensive line while performing as badly as he does. Still, he's probably better than whatever we have on the bench, including Frank "Oh My God I Crapped My Pants" Omiyale.

The defense played great for most of the game, especially Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. These guys were all over the field, with interceptions for both of them. They showed the true leadership that both possess, and the entire defense played fired up as a result. There are still major concerns in the secondary, besides Charles Tillman who is excellent and severely underrated. The concerns start with Chris Harris, who was handed his job back only to get blown up on a touchdown pass late in the second half to make the game 21-18. No wonder he got benched in the first place. A second concern is with the pass rush. Only Julius Peppers gets consistently to the passer. The defensive line made some good plays, but against a good team will need to show they can get to the passer more frequently to allow the Cover 2 type of defense we often play to flourish.

Whatever the result, the Bears played like they have all year. Shone at times and played terrible at others. Besides the Atlanta game, we've yet to see a consistent effort. Until that happens, I think that Bears fans should continue to expect the same we've been seeing all year. And with a division that is top heavy with the Packers and Lions, what we've been seeing isn't good enough for the playoffs this year. Time to turn it around, Bears.