Survive & Advance - Bears 24, Lions 20

Phew.  That…was…close.  Chicago narrowly avoided a disastrous loss at the hands of the Lions Sunday but hung on to win 24-20, improving their record to 9-3 and maintaining their lead in the NFC North.  Nothing about this win was easy.  Understanding the importance of this game (a must-win), I sweated out the first 58 minutes - I’m sure all my fellow Bears fans had the same unenjoyable time.  Honestly, the Bears played pretty good but so did Detroit.  That was the hardest part: it’s one thing to play a bad team close because of turnovers, penalties or a big play or two but when you are just being pressed by a 2-9 squad in every facet, that can be disconcerting.

But I’m not going to look at Sunday’s effort in a negative light at all.  This was a classic trap-game - a big win last week and a huge game against New England next Sunday sandwiched by a road test against a familiar opponent that hasn’t won a division game in four years.  The Lions had their third-string quarterback playing and were without one of their defenders.  Chicago had every reason to come out flat (which they did) but when push came to shove, the Bears found a way to win.  Good teams can win with their B- game and the Bears certainly did that on Sunday.

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  • Little hair for a bit there.

    - Kev

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A Cut Above The Rest - Bears 31, Eagles 26

Holy fuck, the Bears are 8-3.  Following Sunday’s impressive 31-26 win over Philadelphia, Chicago has the second best record in the NFC and a 1.5 game lead in the division with five games to go.  I saw this team winning 5 games all season (as one of our commenter’s was so kind to point out) but now find myself seriously questioning how far they can go.  Is this a Super Bowl team?  I’m not sold yet but there’s a really chance they will host a playoff game.  And here’s the best part: they’re getting better. Chicago is 4-0 since the bye and yesterday’s win was one of the biggest by a Bears team in years.

Overall, it was a great performance.  Everyone contributed and that had to be the case because the Eagles are a really good football team.  Before we look at specifics, let’s consider the big picture after Sunday.  The Bears earned a tie-breaker against one of the teams they will be competing with for a first-round bye.  The win, coupled with Green Bay’s loss, also gives Chicago a virtual 1.5 game lead in the NFC North.  With five tough games on the schedule, it was critical to stay ahead of the pack in the NFC and the Bears were able to do that on Sunday.  Here’s how:

  • Jay Cutler has never played a game like that in a Chicago uniform.  14 for 21, 247 yards and four touchdowns.  Franchise quarterback game.  For the fourth straight game (coincidence?), he made the right decisions.  And for the first time in his Bears tenure, the offense is being tailored to his strengths.  Kudos to Mike Martz on that point.  He opened the season with his crazy seven-step-drop scheme that nearly killed Jay but has adjusted to a more conservative gameplan, running the ball and using short, timing routes to move the ball down field.  And Jay is absolutely delivering.
  • The defensive line won the battle against Michael Vick in convincing fashion.  Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije and Henry Melton all had big games.  Anthony Adams was a terror on the inside.  And don’t look now but #91 Tommie Harris is starting to make some plays.  Harris is on the field about 25% of the snaps on defense at this point and that strategy might actually be working.  He’s strung a few good efforts together and his tipped ball that led to an interception late in the first half was the single most important play of the game.  Rod Marinelli and Lovie Smith have to like what they’ve seen from this group - especially with the contributions from unlikely guys.
  • Earl Bennett has three touchdowns in the last four games and, whenever Cutler needs a big conversion on third down or in the red zone, he looks in Bennett’s direction.

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  • Good point Ding Dong, I can’t stand those two. More than anything, I hate how Buck announces calls in such a boring, rhythmic pattern: “Cutler, Hester, first down”.

    - WAM
  • When calling a Cowboy game, do you notice how Joe Buck can’t suck enough Dallas Dick when they do something right?.. Even if it’s just a 5yrd dump-out: “..and the Cowboys just lit it up with an EXPLOSIVE surge for five yards by Dez Bryant..” “It was almost as if Miles Autin read Kitna’s mind on that 7yrd in-route, Troy..” Then there’s Aikman.. I like his disdain for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys and the way he subtly rips into them: “Just like they did last week, the offense looks stagnant and immobile..” “I don’t wanna say they’re giving up, Joe, but you have to question the determination of this football team..”

    - Shamalama Ding Dong

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Thursday Night Football Stinks - Bears @ Dolphins

Thursday night football stinks, you know it, I know it, and the NFL knows it. But who gives a shit, I’ll still watch every second

Bears @ Dolphins -2

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That’s It, I’ve Seen Enough — Redskins 17, Bears 14

Another Sunday, another dreadful performance by a Chicago team that has to make you wonder how they ever won four games in the first place.  The Bears fell to the Redskins 17-14 yesterday in a game that provided a new definition for the word “ineptitude”.  Our “offense” started the game with six straight punts…and it only got worse from there.  Sure, there was that nice seven play, 70 yard touchdown drive right before halftime but that whole blind squirrel principle applies in this instance.  The Bears took the momentum into halftime and shit their pants.  Here is what the Bears with the football in the second half (prepare yourself…no, seriously, get ready…and now): fumble, interception, interception-for-TD, fumble, punt, interception.  You can’t make this stuff up.  Two weeks ago the Bears were 4-1 and looked like they had a real shot of reaching 6-1 before their bye week.  Now, fuck, who knows where this thing goes after a week off.

  • I’m really, really tired of the uninterested, throw the ball all over the fucking place Jay Cutler.  When he’s on, he can be elite but after watching him for the last year and half, it’s clear to me that he is a front-runner.  Even worse, he has shown absolutely no ability to rebound from a bad play or a mistake.  One bad Cutler interception spirals into three, four or five.  Great quarterbacks have the mental make-up to lead a game-winning drive no matter how poorly they have played and that is a skill Cutler does not have.  His last interception against the Redskins (DeAngelo Hall’s fourth) was a give-up throw.  Unacceptable.

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  • The best part is that Bears fans are almost surprised… like they actually bought into the Bears and thought they were a good team.

    This team is a pile of garbage.

    - Schwa
  • Beyond pathetic, this team stinks

    - Anonymous

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Bears vs. Redskins And Other Week 7 Thoughts


Fresh off one of the most frustrating losses in recent memory, the Bears (4-2) are looking to right the ship before their bye week with a home date against the Washington Redskins.  We all know on paper this is an important game for the Bears.  A fifth win in seven games would far exceed expectations for Chicago, if they haven’t exceeded them already.  Plus, the NFC North is only going to get closer as the season moves on but a win on Sunday, combined with a Vikings loss, would give Chicago virtual 2-game lead in the division.  Throw in the atrocity that was last week’s 23-20 loss to Seattle at home nonetheless, this game is clearly a must-win.

More importantly, however, I think this game may be the defining moment for the 2010 Bears in terms of character and heart.  Sure, those words are cliche and heard on every pregame show every Sunday thanks to some mumbling, post-concussion-syndrome suffering has-been wide receiver or quarterback.  But every once in a while the Sports Gods throw us an opportunity to really, truly see how much these larger-than-life characters’ actually care.  And that is the opportunity the Bears have on Sunday.  Here’s how I see it: you surprised and excited everyone with a great start thanks to a fat schedule, got your shit kicked-in at home by a crappy team to come crashing back to earth and now face another team you should beat in front of your home fans.  If the Bears don’t come out ready to play, and play angry, I’ll have seen all I needed to from this team.  No heart, a lame-duck coach, no leadership - 2 or 3 wins the rest of the way.  But if they do come out and (to paraphrase Rex Ryan) line-up and beat the fuck out of the Redskins, well then I guess the second half of the season will be more interesting than I originally thought.

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  • Biggest game of the year without a doubt. Find out whether the Bears can make something of this season or not.

    - KEV

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The Bears Are Who We Thought They Were - Seahawks 23, Bears 20

Well that did not go as planned.  The Bears, sitting pretty at 4-1 with three winnable games upcoming, were hosting a rebuilding team that has not won a road game in like 40 years and yet somehow they completely failed to show up.  Give Seattle a lot of credit for their performance; they were prepared and played patient, mistake free-football.  What’s frustrating is that it’s not like the Bears hurt themselves either.  They didn’t turn the ball over, committed two penalties yet somehow found themselves down 10 with two minutes to go.  And that is what scares me most about today’s outcome — you can’t point to a reason why they lost except for the fact that they were outplayed by a crappy team.  Ipso facto the Bears might not be very good.

  • If you ever questioned how good Lance Briggs is look no further than today’s game.  Without #55, the Bears defense, which had been rock-solid all season, was shredded by Seattle throughout the game.  The short passes are one thing, the Bears are willing to give them up.  The real difference was against the run where Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett routinely had their way.  This is no knock on Briggs’ replacement, Brian Iwuh, either.  It’s more of a testament to how important Lance is to this team’s success.
  • Jay Cutler took another beating and that is now a routine occurrence.  More importantly, when Cutler had time, he was not very good at all.  Accuracy continues to be an issue as Jay completed just 17 of 39 pass attempts.  It doesn’t help that the receivers cannot create any sort of separation.  If I have to see another slant call on third down I’m going to vomit.  With the Bears small receivers, that play just does not work.
  • Speaking of play-calling, Mike Martz has to run the ball more.  Plain and simple.  There were 14 runs Sunday, two of which were Jay Cutler scrambles.  That means he called 39 passes against 12 runs.  What happened to Lovie’s mantra “We get off the bus running”?  You have to be able to run the ball in this league to take pressure off your quarterback.  Until Martz proves he can commit to the run teams will send blitz after blitz and continue to fucking rock Jay Cutler.
  • The Bears two best offensive plays?  Punt returns and pass interference.  Mike Martz the genius, everybody!

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  • Ugly Game, good to see hester is 100% back to his awesome ways

    - kev

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Bears vs. Seahawks And Other Week 6 Thoughts


Finally the Bears get Jay Cutler back!  Ok, I know he was out for just six quarters but, be honest, those were a loooooooooonnnnnngggggg six quarters.  It felt like two fucking months watching Todd Collins and (to a lesser degree) Caleb Hanie stink up the joint.  Cutler’s return comes at a very crucial moment in the Bears season.  Minnesota is 1-3 and has a home game against a 1-3 Dallas team that certainly will be looking for some revenge following last postseason’s 34-3 beatdown to the Purple People Eaters.  Green Bay is essentially a game and a half back but more importantly are picking up injuries like they’re going out of style.  The Pack hosts a tough Dolphins team before next week’s showdown with the Vikings.  Meanwhile, the Bears have Seattle this week, Washington next week and play at the Toronto Bills the week after their bye.  Translation: by the end of October, the NFC North will be a two-team race.  And now is the time for the Bears to cement their place along the rail.

The Bears and Seahawks play again Sunday for the fifth time in five seasons, including playoffs, but this time the Seahawks are led by former-USC head coach-turned-fleeing NFL head coach Pete Carroll.  Carroll’s Seahawks are 2-2 and in the NFC West that’s like an undefeated record.  I mean, seriously, a LOT of people still like the 0-5 49ers to win the division — it’s that bad.  Seattle is 2-0 playing at home where their crowd gives them a major, major boost.  On the road, however, they’ve been outscored 51-17 and have not won.  Expect that trend to continue on Sunday.  Here’s 10 things to keep your eye on as well as some other NFL randomness.

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  • Brad Childress can go eat a bag of dicks, just brutal

    - Kev

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Define “Ugly Win”: Bears 23, Panthers 6

Wow!  I hope by now you have had enough time to catch your breath after Chicago’s exhilarating 23-6 over Carolina on Sunday.  Any time you get two teams of this caliber on the same field, you know you are in for something special.  And do not mistake yourself: this game was special.  The leading passer threw for 61 yards and the top quarterback rating (84.0) came from a guy who attempted all of three passes.  And hell, those are just statistics for two of the four quarterbacks who saw action.  Todd Collins, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore and Caleb Hanie (to a lesser degree) may have set the quarterback position back a half century with their performances under center.  The teams combined to convert six of 33 third downs and gained 103 yards total, again combined, in the second half.  See?  I told you it was a special game.

In this league, however, a win is a win and the Bears should not apologize for taking over sole possession of first place in the NFC North (with a 1.5 game lead nonetheless).  They managed to beat a Carolina team that is in full-scale rebuilding by 17 on the road.  How many points would they have won by if Jay Cutler played?  It’s certainly not a statement win or a signature achievement but, through five games, the Bears are 4-1 and have three very winnable games upcoming.  Plus, there were a few positives to take away from yesterday’s game:

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  • Fact: Bears finish the season on an 8-game losing streak.

    - El Capiflán
  • Take them anyway you can

    - Tim

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Barf-Fest 2010 Complete - Giants 17, Bears 3

I don’t know what to say, really.  It’s hard to imagine an offense playing worse than Chicago’s did on Sunday night.  Actually, fuck that.  It’s impossible for an offense to play worse.  Plain and simple.  Nine sacks in the first half?  Inexcusable.  Jay Cutler was atrocious and held onto the ball way, way, way too long.  The offensive line did not do him any favors.  And lastly, why the fuck does Mike Martz insist on completely abandoning the running game?  I don’t care if you don’t gain a yard — when your quarterback is taking that kind of a beating, you HAVE to call a few run plays.  I put fault in the first half at 50% Cutler, 30% offensive line and 20% Martz.  And all that happened before the franchise quarterback suffered a concussion and had to leave the game.  Fuck it, if you watched this trainwreck you know how I feel.  Words fail me…

  • Credit to the defense.  As bad as the offense played, the defense was really, really good.  They gave up some bigger plays as the game went on but that has to be attributed to the fact that they were on the field all night.  The defense is the strength of the team and it’s nice to see them return to elite form.
  • I, like (I hope) most Bears fans, am very impressed with Julius Peppers so far in 2010.  For the second straight week, he was the best player on the field.  Last week he made his impact as a pass-rusher and against the Giants it was his play against the run that stood out.  Expect another big game from Peppers next week in his return to Carolina.
  • Honestly, I’m out of things to say at this point.  Nice game by Brad Maynard I guess.  The Giants are not very good.
  • Where was Lance Briggs tonight?
  • The Giants should quit being bitches and just realize Ahmad Bradshaw is their best player.  Don’t even think about giving the ball to Brandon Jacobs.
  • Sick, sick, sick play by Zach Bowman chasing down Bradshaw and punching the ball out.  That should be enough to get your name out of the doghouse, Zach.
  • I wish I could go on but I need a day or two to digest what this game means for the 2010 Chicago Bears.  Is this the beginning of the end?  Maybe.  But the optimist in me sees another angle.  Look, the offensive line needs a lot of work.  But if the team played even 10% better, they would have won.  Things couldn’t have gone any worse (I mean, they had like four fucking first downs), yet they were in this game until the 4:30 mark.  Either way next week is very, very important for the season and the psyche of everyone in Chicago.

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  • That was easily one of the ugliest games I have ever watched

    - Timmy

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Bears vs. Giants Preview And Other Week 4 Thoughts


The story of the season so far (ok, at least the NFC) is the 3-0 Chicago Bears.  And if Monday night’s win over Green Bay wasn’t enough proof of their “real-ness”, the Bears have yet another chance in prime-time to show the rest of the league what they are made of when they travel to the new Meadowlands Stadium to take on the 1-2 New York Football Giants.  This has the makings of a classic let-down game but the Bears have a unique perspective that should help them remain focused on the task at hand.  That perspective is simple and nothing new to those who follow Chicago: they subscribe to the “no one believes in us” theory like clockwork, even if it’s not true.  Listen to the statements from team leaders Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler and all you hear is a bunch of “we have to continue to prove ourselves” and “a lot of people don’t respect us still” type statements.  Regardless of whether you think this team can make the Super Bowl, or even the playoffs, one thing is certain: no one expected them to be this competitive.

Which brings me to the Giants.  This team is hard to figure out, maybe the hardest in the entire league.  They won the Super Bowl, started last season 6-0 and looked to be building a defensive powerhouse that would compete for years.  Instead, the defense has completely fallen apart and, despite the acquisitions of some big-named free agents, has shown little improvement this season.  Offensively they can move the football but also cannot manage to get out of their own way.  It’s impossible to predict what they will do.  The Giants can look like world-beaters or bottom-feeders, often in the same game.  So let’s take a look at the keys to the game in addition to some other league-wide thoughts.

And 10…

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  • Is your top 5 in order? Because I don’t know how you can be that high on Baltimore when Flacco looks lost out there and Ray Rice is banged up. The D is nasty, no doubt, but not at the Steelers’ level.

    Also, I can’t wait for the Bears and their fans to come crashing back down to Earth. That will be fun.

    - Schwa
  • AFC East no question. 3 playoff teams will come out of there

    - Timmy

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