Week Three: What We Learned About the Chicago Bears
Bears fans really shouldn't be too excited over this win. Yes, it was another nice showing by Jay Cutler to bring the Bears back from a deficit, but who did they beat?
They beat a bad Seahawks team wearing bad jerseys missing their best offensive player, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and their best defensive player, linebacker Lofa Tatupu...barely, I may add.
Cutler Was Fantastic
Cutler completed 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards with three TDs, one interception, and a 126.4 passer rating. Besides the one interception inside the Seahawks' 20 and one fumble, which really wasn't his fault, Cutler was perfect.
Cutler also spread the ball out. Earl Bennett had four receptions for 80 yards, Devin Hester had five for 76 including a TD, Greg Olsen had five for 44 including a TD, Matt Forte had six for 40, and Johnny Knox had one for a seven-yard touchdown. The receivers, including Olsen and Forte, had a great game, giving Cutler different weapons to throw to.
Going to the Strip Club Usually Creates Regret
Charles Tillman is a great cornerback. He is a great cornerback because of his coverage, not because of his ability to strip the ball. Causing lots of fumbles means you allow a lot of receptions. As a cornerback, you're not supposed to allow receptions, hence my hatred of this dependence on stripping the ball.
We saw that in what went from being a punt situation to giving the Seahawks a field goal try to handing the Seahawks a touchdown on Tillman's missed tackle on Julius Jones, which turned into a 39-yard touchdown screen pass.
Nothing is more annoying than missed tackles. Wrap up, Bears.
Forte Was Better, but Not Great
Forte finished with 66 yards on the ground—unfortunately on 21 carries, so the average is still not there—and 40 yards receiving. This was his best game of the year, but still not that great. If that fumble in the red zone was not overturned, there is a good chance Forte's confidence would be completely shot. It was an extremely close call that went the Bears' way.
The offensive line continues to look bad, and adding three false starts to their résumé doesn't help.
The Defense Stepped Up in the Second Half
The Bears had only caused one turnover in their first two-and-a-half games but forced two in the second half in Seahawks territory and, more importantly, only allowed six second-half points.
Danieal Manning stripped the ball from T.J. Houshmandzadeh, recovered by Adewale Ogunleye, which led to a Bears touchdown. Lance Briggs also had a diving interception, which led to a Bears field goal.
The defense proved they could make adjustments just as they did against the Steelers. Seneca Wallace and the Seahawks offense seemed to do whatever they wanted in the first half, but the Bears clearly made some changes and got to them in the second half.
Hunter Hillenmeyer looked awful. He was all over the place, and the Seahawks had the middle open all game. Nick Roach stepped up big after Hillenmeyer went down with a rib injury, forcing a Wallace interception from his own end zone and making the final defensive stop of the game on a pass to Jones on 4th-and-2.
The Bears Are Not Scoring Early
The Bears once again failed to score in the first quarter, which is leading to many heart attacks for Bears fans, seeing as they are usually in an early hole. The Bears can't rely on late scoring forever.
I Jinxed Robbie Gould
After claiming I never think Robbie Gould is going to miss a field goal, Gould missed a field goal. I failed to mention the stipulation that I never think he is going to miss inside 50 yards. Outside 50 yards is not good as Gould territory, so I don't hold missing a 53-yarder against him. I'll take the blame for that one.
Saved By the Foot...Again
Olindo Mare missed two makeable field goals, a 43-yarder and a 34-yarder. These points proved to be huge seeing as the Bears won by six.
Overall, yes, it's a win for the Bears, which is nice, but being the pessimistic Chicago fan (who knew there was such a thing?) I am, I have to bring up a couple notes about the Bears so far this year.
Can the Bears continually expect kickers on opposing teams to miss huge field goals? No.
Can the Bears routinely expect late-game comebacks? No.
Can the Bears keep winning with no run game? No.
Can the Bears hope to face better-looking jerseys? Hopefully yes.
Sitting at 2-1 is better than 0-3, but the Bears still have a lot of proving to do if we are to take them seriously as Super Bowl contenders.
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