Whether the Bears are 6-3 or 3-6, you gotta love it when they beat the Vikings and Brett Favre. It's all we ever ask.
The major sports media in town have taken the angle that this win just prolongs the inevitable: the firing of Lovie Smith. After a complete game in which we got to see the Chicago Bears signature defense and the Chicago Bears offense play in tandem, the focus is on how the Bears aren't really that good but this was a step in the right direction.
Flying around the ball, rolling the pocket, dominating in special teams - this was the way we thought the Bears would play under Lovie. If this kind of football is played with consistency, why would we want another coach?
I know it's unpopular to like Lovie Smith. But his style of football is to play loose and to wreak havoc. Toward the end of the game when kick returner Percy Harvin fumbled away the kickoff, I was hoping that the challenge would show he retained posession. Why? Cause the Bears were up two scores and I would much rather watch the Bears D in that situation than the Bears O. The D was going to tee-off on Favre. They didn't hit him, but Favre threw two picks in the final 5 minutes. Fun to watch. Much more fun than the patented Matt Forte flop at the line of scrimmage.
Another positive for Lovie: he knows how to beat Brett Favre. Remember a certain Dick Jauron? He couldn't beat Favre to save his job. And Dave Wannstedt? De-pantsed regularly by the gunslinger. Lovie is 8-3 against Favre. As a die-hard Bears fan, that's worth its weight in gold. We can thank Lovie directly for limiting the broadcaster's story-line that Favre loves to play the Bears. Remember that? Favre loves playing the Bears. Now, the storyline is Lovie's success against Favre. Thank you Lovie!
Devin Hester may be the best Chicago Bear in modern history (Pompei has it right). This guy is so sensational and so explosive that he makes the biggest plays on the football field every Sunday. He certainly did the heavy lifting for the Bears yesterday. Put it this way, if the Bears were like a college team that put Buckeyes on helmets for good plays, Hester would have them all over his helmet and down his back. And the question remains - why did the Vikings kick to him so much? Maybe it was a good thing that Hester seemed to be washed up as a kick returner earlier in the year. Teams think kicking to him may be better than kicking out of bounds. Something tells me that's about to change.
I don't coach. I know it seems like I do, but I'm just a casual observer. But if I were coaching the Vikings, I would run Adrian Peterson 40 times. Then throw to him 15 more. Childress deserves to be fired, just for not using purple Jesus enough. What was rookie Toby Gerhardt even on the field for?
And what was with color-commentator Moose Johnston's suit? Checkered, with a paisley tie? What, is he married/dating a model like Tom Brady is? Is this the new reality in the NFL? Clothes and hair? Ugh.
The NFL Network is running commercials for their first Thursday night football of the 2010 season. It's this Thursday's game and it's the Bears vs. Dolphins. In the commercial, they are going with the defense as the story-line for the Bears. They don't even mention Cutler's name. The network has spoken - the Bears are a defensive team.
Julius Peppers has 2 sacks. The debate has begun in the major sports media about whether or not we are getting our money's worth. So we have to ask the question: If the Bears D is back to a top 10 squad and we make the playoffs, do you care if Peppers got paid a ton with poor stats?
Paging Bernard. Bernard Berrian? If you are in the stadium, please report to the parking lot. Your bus is leaving. Could you imagine if we paid that guy millions to stay?
Possible problems on the horizon: The running game is very weak. If it's Forte or Taylor, they are both rushing for about 3 yards (max) a carry. And the only one who is having any success running the football is Cutler. This might be why the Bears offense has problems? Even though they ran the ball poorly, Jay Cutler bailed out the team with a tremendous third down conversion rate. When he doesn't do that, they struggle mightily. Most of those third down passes coming after he scrambled from the pocket and improvised with a receiver.
I mean really, wouldn't it be nice to hear the Joniak call that Forte was tackled by a linebacker, not a defensive lineman?
Okay, let's hand out some hardware:
Winners: Devin Hester, Jay Cutler, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije
Losers: Matt Forte, Chris Harris, Johnny Knox, Olin Kreutz, Robbie Gould and Mike Tice (just for once coaching the Vikings)