I know this feeling. It's that same feeling I remember when watching the Bears lose the NFC Championship game. We have too many good players to get blown out. But our back-ups aren't gamers yet. Therefore our skill players play Cade McNown football and our defense keep us within a score, without an actual chance to score. You know what I mean? And there we were, all game long. We know we shouldn't win. We know we didn't deserve to win. But we still have a chance to win. After that terrible, terrible performance, we have a chance. Now if we could stop them...
It's also very Dick Jauron-like Bears football. Fighting to not get blown out. Shane Matthews to Marty Booker and a bunch of three and outs. All we were missing was Ted Washington.
May I sum up this game? Hanie or running back/receiver make a first down mistake which put the Bears behind the eight ball. Then terrible things happen on second down, leading to an impossible third down. Then either a punt or a turnover leads to good Raider field position and a field goal for the Raiders. Rinse and repeat. Did I miss anything?
Here are some more observations from a road loss. Not a big deal to lose on the West Coast, but I hope it wasn't a preview of the kind of football we should expect from the Chicago Bears in December:
Remember when Caleb Hanie took the ball with 1:01 to play in that fourth quarter to go 93 yards to beat the Raiders? His first regular season start?? Me neither. The ballgame over on a 10 second runoff. That's a great way to end a football game, NFL. DO you ever think of the fans? Even Raider fans thought that was weak.Why would you call that? Whatever, NFL. Why don't you just lock out again.
What happened to the Oakland Coliseum with the half football/half baseball stadium look? Where Bo Jackson or Marcus Allen get tackled in dirt? That was Oaktown football. No wonder there is such an explosive occupy movement in Oakland. I was kind of looking forward to that. Instead, it was too pretty.
What is the stat when the Bears play in the bright sun in December? I feel like they are 0-100. We like it gray. Football should be gross, please.
The Raiders had a pretty easy game. They'll be lucky to win the division. Honestly, the Bears did more to lose this game than the Raiders (at home) did to win it. It was like they were quietly handed candy by Grandma without Mom looking. Interceptions, good punts (lucky bounces) and bad Chicago penalties. It was like a smorgasbord of butterscotch and root beer barrels.
The good news? Caleb Hanie looks like Jay Cutler. Unfortunately, it's the Jay Cutler from early 2010 (think Washington Redskins vs. DeAngelo Hall). Can I offer up my game plan for the next game? RUN, BLOCK, TACKLE, SACK, TAKEAWAY, KICK. Notice how I didn't say pass. Don't pass. A lot of passing for Mr. Caleb Hanie. Are we the only ones that know that Caleb Hanie isn't Jay Cutler? He doesn't have the arm, accuracy or game speed experience. So we have to adjust. It will be interesting to see how the Bears feel under the direction of Hanie. That's why we wanted Orton. Because we liked that chemistry (not the "I'm better than Grossman" but the "I am lucky to be playing" Orton).
Doesn't it seem like the Bears defense can't play with a) the lead or b) the momentum? They like being back against the wall. They are either X-sport athletes or meth addicts, tweaking. They want to get as close to the rush as possible. Instead of skate boards or Sudafed, they get off on field goals.
You know who I haven't really spoken of that deserves more attention? Lance Briggs. Briggs is quietly playing like a Pro bowler. He seems to getting stronger as the season gets longer. And that's a good thing. When the Raiders wanted to go smash mouth football, it seemed like Lance Briggs single-handedly answered that call. He sets the tone and to me, is the heart and soul of that defense. I would sign him to a new contract. Let him finish out his career a happy Bear.
I think we now know why Tim Jennings is a CB, and not a WR. At least two interceptions right through his hands. And does that onside kick fumble count as a forced fumble for Charles Tillman? Pro bowl bound!
While we are at it, people in Chicago are going to start loving on this Marion Barber character. There's a nickname there with his long hair too, but I haven't played around with it enough. He changed the direction of this game. In both halves, it felt like the Bears were just going to get blown out until he came in and gave a spark. So anyone wondering why Chester Taylor isn't here anymore, exhibit A. But all of that success seemed to be undone by perplexing moves by Mike Martz. The Bears would go away from Barber when he got hot and put the ball in Hanie's hands. That's right, put the ball in Caleb Hanie's hands.
Is there any guy on the field that is as good/bad as Johnny Knox every single game? He'll score a huge TD and then be called out by the announcers week after week over fundamental footing? Seriously? He's getting coached up by Tony Siragusa on the broadcast? That being said, Johnny Knox is Jeckyl & Hyde awesome. Johnny Knox had a TD and over 100 yards receiving, including a kick-ass return that should have resulted in points right before the half. And then you throw in the deep ball at the end of the game? Great showing. But that being said, a ton of little mistakes here and there. He is inconsistently explosive.
Only QB beside Hanie who first threw a postseason TD before regular season TD? Gary Hogeboom! I needed that reference. Although I guess he was on Survivor, which kind of ruins that reference.
Next up, the Kansas City Chiefs at home. Run the ball, win the game. We'll be all right.