IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m worried. I went into the season thinking 8-8 was a completely realistic expectation, and that 10-6 could happen if things gelled and we got some breaks. Now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not so sure if 6-10 isnt a much more realistic expectation and 7-9 a mere dream. I am a cynic, so I am prone to gloomy outlooks, and there certainly were some bright spots and signs of potential. But forgive me if I no longer think that games like the Bengals, Bucs, etc are ones we can win.
Ã‚Â· PENALTIES: We were abysmal with penalties last year and we look to be just as bad this year. We negated a huge defensive interception and 55yrd return with a penalty, we had our only real drive and a real tangible chance to score the game winning TD or field goal destroyed by THREE CONSECUTIVE FALSE STARTS and then a sack to go from 1st and 10 on their 34 to 3rd and 38. AFTER TWO FALSE STARTS CALL A DAMN TIME OUT AND REGROUP. We deserved to lose the game purely because of those four plays.
Ã‚Â· Kyle Orton. He played well. Up against one of the best DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in the league who brought incredible pressure he stepped up. His play improved as the game went on, he was composed, generally played solid football. He occasionally made bad decisions (notably the attempt to Bradley in double coverage and the interception when we were on the 22) but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s to be expected of a rookie in his first game, much less on the road against that D in a stadium that loud. I like him, I think give him a few more games and he can win games for the bears not just Ã¢â‚¬Å“not loseÃ¢â‚¬?.
Ã‚Â· Mushin: Played better than a Bears receiver has played in years but that said he had some costly drops that a player of his caliber, and of his salary, shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drop. One of those cost us a first down on 3rd and 10. Overall though I was happy with what I say of him and if Bradley/Gage/Berrian/Wade develop and he can draw some man to man then we have a serious weapon on our hands.
Ã‚Â· Brad Maynard: his performance yesterday after missing most of the preseason with a strained hamstring was inspiring. Bears MVP and every win the Bears have will be due in large measure to his unbelieavable punting ability. All-Pro this year without question. Bears wont be playing glamorous football, but with Maynard punting, we wont have to.
Ã‚Â· Our ability to get first downs and put together drives is better than we showed yesterday. A rookie QB and the redskinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ D made us look more anemic then we are but our complete lack of a running game means that our offense will still struggle in most games. TJ was averaging 2.1 yards a carry but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t all him, he had absolutely no where to go, there were no gaps created for him. Benson, when hes ready, might be able to plow through for a few more yards, but for a supposedly run oriented and run dependent offense yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s display was alarming.
Ã‚Â· Why have Bradley do all returns. What happened to Rashead?
Ã‚Â· Our much touted (by Bears fans) defense was the single most worrisome part of SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s loss. I know they only gave up 9 points, no touchdowns (for something like the 11th or 12th consecutive quarter played by our first string defense since the preseason began), had 3 sacks, 2 turnovers and nearly decapitated a quarterback but all that belies the fact that Ã¢â‚¬Å“on no possession other than those at the end of both halves did they stop Washington without at least one first down, and they allowed the Redskins drives of 12, nine and eight plays in the first half and one of 15 in the second.Ã¢â‚¬? We allowed one of the leagues worst offenses to convert on 41 percent of third and fourth downs and 323 yards. Portis and Betts ran all over us, Ramsey/Brunell quarterbacks worse in my opinion that Orton were given plenty of targets, including Santana Moss who had 96yrds on 4 catches. We would have big plays only to let up on coverage so that Redskin receivers could drive our backs beyond first-down markers and break back to the ball for first-down catches.
Ã‚Â· If the Bears D is going to dominate enough to win games, as Lovie says it needs to be better not only than our opponents offense but better than their D too. It needs to be big and scary. And big scary DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to adopt a bend-donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-break defense against the REDSKINS. A scary D not only decapitates their opponents quarterback it stops an offense that bad cold with three-and-outs on most possessions.
Ã‚Â· Replacing Mike Green with Todd McMillon in order to stop the run was a mistake. One that should have been corrected after it became obvious that he was playing to far back and only stopping the run after they had gotten another first down. Lovie says they are experimenting with different configurations. This was a failure. Keep Mike Green on the field, even if he brings back a 55yard interception play. That brings me to my next point.
Ã‚Â· Nathan Vasher is a ballhawk. He hawks balls like nobodies business.
Ã‚Â· There were some other bright spots on the D. Urlacher played really well. He made some big plays, and when he does that consistently (something he was unable to do last year because of injuries) we are going to win more than we lose.
Ã‚Â· Azumah was rusty and missing a step. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s understandable. He will shake that off. And when he returns to form shortly thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to make a big difference.
Ã‚Â· Lance BriggÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hit on Patrick Ramsey is worth every cent of the huge fine he is going to get. That was exactly the kind of nasty hit that will make opponents scared to line up opposite our defense. It was the highlight of the game, and made even better with slow mo replays and the amazing montages of Ramsey getting various massages for his sprained neck.
As always though, its always darkest on a Monday, and Sunday still offers redemption. And no matter what, solace can be taken in the fact that no matter how bad we are, this year we will still be better than the Packers.
#2 jeff said . . .
Ive never been down on the whole brevity thing. Especially when complaining
September 12, 2005
#3 Max said . . .
I actually read all of that pretty fast.
A couple responses:
1. I know the defense wasn't flawless. It's Week One. And they allowed 9 points. When 9 points allowed doesn't win you a game, you're not going to win a lot of game.
2. I think you'll see that this defense is better than 27 other defenses in football. The Redskins, I think, are still better.
3. The kick return question is a good one. I don't think you'll see Mark back there next week. And I think the reason Zoom wasn't back there is because he's still a step slow. The Redskins picked Zoom at nickel corner. He'll get better.
4. Word on Lance. Word on Vash.
5. Penalties will be corrected. Believe it, Lovie was very pissed this week.
6. The Bears beat the Lions this week and it's all a wash.
September 12, 2005
#4 revdad said . . .
I say this next game is pivitol. If they lose to the Lions, not only will I ball my eyes out and break a TV, I think their season will end up at 4-12.
September 12, 2005
rev: ok, i get it now. i thought you were studying the lsats, not the bears stats. ... and max, learn to spell 'pivotal.' ... mainly good points all, but jeff: penalties didn't stop all last year, and they didn't stop all preseason. why would they now? lovie NEVER gets pissed, tho he should. i said 8-8 in my predix last week, and i'm sticking with it, but this sure makes it tougher.
September 14, 2005
Here at DaBearsBlog, you are free to kill us or the Bears as you so wish. You are not free, however, to be an asshole. So if you spew racism or ill-meaning foul language (cursing about football is just fine) or anything of that ilk, your comments ain't gonna last long, jerk.