A Win For the Maligned: Rapid Fire Recap of Bears Season-Stabilizing Victory over Falcons

| October 13th, 2014

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This was a win for the maligned, the individuals who have suffered the slings and arrows of fans/media for weeks and in some cases years. Rapid fire recap of a massive, impressive road victory for the Chicago Bears.

  • Maligned #1: Mel Tucker. Called his best game as Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and utilized the team’s 5-6-7 options at linebacker expertly. Darryl Sharpton jumped off the screen but the main reason was Tucker putting him in positions to make plays all afternoon long.
  • Maligned #2: Joe DeCamillis. While the Twitter terrorists killed Joe D for a blocked extra point (one of the dumbest reactions in many a year) it was Joe D’s punt coverage units brilliantly handling the greatest kick returner that’s ever lived that impressed me. Pat O’Donnell is a weapon.
  • Maligned #3: Jared Allen. That was a four-quarter performance from a player who’d been showing up in spurts. Getting into the sack column should be the springboard for the remainder of his 2014 campaign.
  • Maligned #4: Jay Cutler. Flawless.

  • How soft are the Falcons wide receivers? I can’t remember a game where I had less respect for a group of NFL players than that collection of alligator-armed non-factors. Catch the ball.
  • If Darryl Sharpton is not on the field next week there is something wrong.
  • Kyle Fuller is a star in the making.
  • Willie Young in a star in the moment. Seven sacks through six games and the team’s MVP at this point.
  • Matt Forte now leads the league in receptions. This was the role I imagined for him when Marc Trestman was hired.
  • When the Bears have their receivers healthy you see performances like Sunday. They are simply impossible to cover.
  • If Martellus Bennett catches the ball yesterday would have been an even more dynamic performance from the pass attack. Healthy wide outs will provide Bennett with endless opportunities to makes plays. He has to make them.
  • Did I mention how good Pat O’Donnell punted yesterday? But no, that was a wasted draft pick. Bears would have been much better off with another inactive offensive lineman.
  • Cutler took some massive hits yesterday and still delivered that performance. Remember when his toughness was in question? Has Maurice Jones-Drew played a football game since criticizing Cutler? Where is he, Oakland?
  • Chris Conte needs to go to a beach somewhere and just relax for a few months. His body is in shambles.
  • Stephen Paea is having his best season as a Bear.
  • Bears need Jermon Bushrod to return as soon as possible and when he does the team might consider moving Michael Ola to right tackle. Jordan Mills didn’t look like he belonged on an NFL field yesterday.
  • Can Bears kick returners stop taking the ball out of the end zone? If I’m Joe D I would position Willie Young directly in front of the kick returner. If said returner attempts to take the ball out of the end zone from six yards deep Willie Young is permitted to take him out.
  • Santonio Holmes may not have the speed of Chris Williams but could he really be worse on kick returns? Stick him back there and free up the Williams roster spot.
  • You want the gutsiest play call of the year? 3rd and 9. Atlanta 9. Game on the line. Trestman runs the ball! If that play fails and the Bears lose the game he is being slaughtered everywhere today. (This is why I argue the most hotly debated and overrated element of football games is play-calling. When they work they are all brilliant. When they don’t, fire em!)
  • Quick question: how are stiff arms legal? David Diehl praised several stiff arms yesterday from Matt Forte. Stiff arms are an offensive player shoving the head of a defensive player. Isn’t this completely illegal now? Like I continue to say, I don’t mind the referees calling these things if they call them consistently.
  • Same goes for Ryan Mundy flag waive off for helmet-to-helmet. How does that get waived off? What did those referees say to each other to waive it off? NFL can’t survive the game being arbitrarily officiated and that’s how it feels every Sunday.

Four road games. Three wins. Impressive. If they bring that form to Soldier Field, they are contenders for the NFC North title.

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