All Saints Day: Brees scares Bears (great headline, huh? I should write for newspapers)
Now there's a familiar Bears feeling! You know that one that comes from just south of your ribs? Like you had a bad batch of wings? Yes, that's the feeling that percolated yesterday while watching the Bears stumble back to mediocrity, knocking on the door of awful.
But it's just one game - and a road game against a playoff team, at that. I am hating on the Bears today because they took all the fun away from what could have ratcheted up this week's intensity. A 2-0 showdown with the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field? But now I guess I'll simmer down this week and treat the Bears/Pack like any other Week 3 game. Ugh.
In reality, yesterday's Bears-Saints match up was a good game 'til about midway through the third quarter. The Bears were down six at the half and stopped the Saints twice at the beginning of the third quarter. The Bears cut the lead to 16-13 and then all hell broke loose. How? Basic breakdowns, like, um, I don't know...blocking?
What's really concerning, however, are the injuries. Last year, the Bears overachieved because they were able to play with minimal injuries all year long. As a matter of fact, I don't think they had anyone on the injury report for their playoff games. But this year, prized free agent acquisition Roy Williams is down. Marion Barber (back up RB) is out. And safety Chris Harris was in street clothes. Add to the list our 1st round draft pick Gabe Carimi who fell clutching his knee yesterday and we have a slight early season problem. And the Bears (unlike other teams) lack the depth to adjust well to injury.
Now we hope Marion Barber returns this week. We hope Roy Williams returns. We hope Chris Harris returns. We hope the Bears return.
Here are some random observations from yesterday's game:
- I haven't seen the papers this morning, but did either use the headline "All Saints Day?" No brainer, right?
- Brad Biggs believes the play calling by Martz was all ego. I agree. It's almost like he can't stand to hear chatter about better offensive production (i.e. Drew Brees). So he throws everything else away and concentrates on the ol' zig-zag routes. It's like when you play Madden. Really, Martz is sort of like you when you play Madden.
- I watched the game in a bar. It was a great time and the bar would go to music during the commercials so I missed any coverage of funny, absurd or downright stupid commercial moments. I did however get to hear Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. Fox's A squad. Man, I miss Madden and Summerall. Geesh, I'd even take Enberg and Olsen over these two clowns. If I hear them say "The Sean Payton Factor" or "Cutler can't get up" one more time... I mean, c'mon Fox. Was there not a NY Giants or Dallas Cowboys game they could cover, instead? And the dynamic duo is back for the Packer game. Ugh. Get ready for some serious Aaron Rodgers fluff.
- Can I say something here? Between friends? Enough of the Drew Brees/Katrina bullsh*t. We get it. Brees is awesome.
- Did I read this right? The Bears only ran the ball 12 times. That total is the second lowest in franchise history. HISTORY. And this isn't the Jacksonville Jaguars. No, the Bears are an NFL charter team. To break any team records for futility is usually...well, futile.
- Is there a stat for how many fake-handoffs there are in a game? Cuz' it seems like the Bears could've won that.
- Lovie didn't challenge the last Saints' touchdown although the replay clearly showed a foot touching the sidelines before the endzone. Was Lovie saving time-outs? Nah, Lovie was probably as disgusted as the fans were. What's one more touchdown? Stew in the blowout, fellas.
- Wow, that offensive line regressed. Who knew Lance Louis (injured in game 1) was such a star? The line was just beat, all day. They were bull rushed, out-schemed and out-hustled. I mean, when your QB is blindsided in less than three seconds and the ball pops out, that's just ridiculous. Suddenly, I have reservations about our offensive line.
- With Roy Williams sidelined and Earl Bennett out with injury, we were back to the Johnny Knox/Devin Hester show. And we saw Knox and Hester fail to get any separation or use their bodies to shield defenders away from the ball. So over and over we saw corners and safeties knock the ball away from the speedy receiver on a critical third down play. EXACTLY why we needed to upgrade the position. Instead, we have an inactive Williams and an undrafted rookie Sanzenbacher around to save the day. Suddenly, I have reservations about our receiving corps.
- Did I see Craig Steltz and Chris Conte in the game yesterday? These are our backup safeties? It'd be one thing if you were a big hitter or a ballhawk, but do either of these two guys have any skills except being paid less than other good safeties? And are we seeing the second coming of Kevin Payne in Mr. Major Wright? It seems like his big skill is getting hurt. Suddenly, I have reservations about our secondary.
- Wow, the Philadelphia Eagles' third string QB looked better than Cutler. Greeeat. Suddenly...oh forget it.
- Don't look now, but the Lions are 2-0. And they won 48-3. So take away those gimme games on the schedule. The Bears still have a chance to start hot (2-1) with a victory over the hated Pack next Sunday. But then, what seemed to be a easier part of the sked just got a bit harder. The next two games? Carolina and Cam Newton, followed by a Monday nighter against the Lions. Uh-oh.
- I'll make you a deal, Bears. If you come out and thump the Packers next week, I'll go back and delete this post. Are we cool?