Do you consider this to be a good win or an unsatisfying win for Da Bears? There isn’t an option for a bad win because there is no such thing…
The answer was this was a very good win…but it would have been an absolutely devastating, “how the f@#k di that happen” loss. How is that possible?
Well take a moment to analyze all of the good that happened in this game:
- Cutler looked awesome all game. 24-36, 262 yards and two TDs (predicted: 24-34, 275 yards, 2 tds, 1 int – it would be ignorant to not predict a Cutler stat line without an INT). I will maintain a clear head about Jay all year and tonight is a good reason to point out the good and the maturation. Jay likes to play well against bad teams. His next challenge is to beat the elite and he usually throws up duds there so let’s wait and see.
- Brandon Marshall is the man. He definitely loves himself way too much and normally that’s off putting in an athlete…but with Brandon and the way this city has needed a wide receiver like him for forever it’s a match made in heaven. Brandon’s first half was as good as it gets. In his post game he mentioned that he’s tough on himself and that he could have done more. I agree, he needed to impose his will more in the 2nd half. Brandon’s stat line was 9 receptions, 87 yards and 2 TDS (predicted: 9 receptions, 121 yards, 1 TD)
- Tim Jennings is still a pro bowler. Any worry about him being a product of the system can continue to mild your stance. The defense wasn’t great tonight but Jennings had two INTs including a pick six and a key deflection. Jennings was clearly the defensive player of the game and might be of the week if the rest of the NFL has an off defensive week. Hate that pass interference rule that he got called on because that was also great coverage.
- Martysaurus Rex, the “Black Unicorn” didn’t have a standout game, but for any football aficionados of the Bears cannot deny his presence is key. Marty didn’t hit the end zone but he proved to be an extremely reliable target on key 2nd and 3rd downs. Tonight Marty showed up in the second half and reminded Bears fans how nice it is to have an actual tight end. (predicted: 7 catches 68 yards, 1 TD actual: 6 catches, 69 yards, 0 TDs)
- Finally, here’s a nice sigh of relief for Bears fans: Cutler was sacked 0 times, he threw 0 interceptions, the Bears had 0 fumbles, caused 3 turnovers, won time of possession by 5 minutes and had a pick six. That will win you nearly every game in any football game you play.
Now down the stretch this game suddenly looked like it might be spinning in the Giants favor and it was shocking. At one point it felt like everything was on cruise control and then all of a sudden that moment of panic. As the old adage goes, “it’s a game of inches” and it’s a game of a few minor decisions. The Bears were so close to winning this game by 14+ but instead the Giants were methodically, slowly and painfully looking like they could stab the Bears in the heart. Did they deserve it? Tough to say but let’s analyze if a few key decisions go differently what happens to the game…
- 3rd Quarter: Bears are on the Giants 45 with 1st and 10. Three straight no no yards gained including a 7 yard drop by Forte on 3rd down. So close to being points. Podlesh Punts
- 3rd Quarter, next drive: Bears are up 27-14. Giants are driving against the Bears defense but Randall spiking the ball after not being touched should have been a fumble and Bears ball. Refs can’t allow mental mistakes a second chance. Should have been Bears ball, should be up 27-14 still at this time to start he fourth quarter…almost.
- 4th Quarter: Bears are on the Giants 35 2nd and 3. Quick screen to Brandon Marshall where Brandon fails to get positive yards. 3rd down, Giants blitz and force Cutler to make a quick decision which turned out to be questionably bad. Refs call intentional grounding which is a 10 yard penalty and a loss of down. Bears settle for an incomplete pass, Robbie Gould is in range, Bears put this away.
The game will unravel how it may and the Bears were fortunate enough to get a win. The point is that this was a good win. The Bears offense looked really good. The defense created turnovers and there were no miscues.
But let’s say that the Giants were able to score a touchdown on the last drive, with or without help from the refs, all of Bears nation would be left with the headline “Bears fall to the awful Giants…how did this happen” and panic would ensue in the city. But now that they won, there are much more positives than there are negatives. The difference between a good win and a terrible loss can be a product of a few snap decisions and moments and tonight was the product of that.
The Bears still have yet to prove objective eyes that they are capable of winning the super bowl with this team. Right now they look like a wild card team so curb your enthusiasm.
- DJ Williams appeared to have separated his shoulder. Bostic filled in his place, pay attention to this story line.
- Bears ran a lot of overload sets with Eben Britton either acting as another lineman on the line of scrimmage or as a fullback in an offensive shift. Interesting element adding support to the line.
- Joe Anderson looks to be closer to cracking the lineup than Marquess Wilson as JA got some live PT
- On passing downs, Mel Tucker flirted with a four defensive end set featuring Peppers, Shea, Corey and Bass
- No Zach Minter love tonight
- Kyle Long’s high school highlight film was AWESOME. 295lb quarterback and receiver in high school. A high school bud of mine told me that if he had to face him he would “have taken himself out of the game”…no shit