Ugly, Ugly, Ugly: Bears Beat Bucs & Inch Closer to .500

| November 24th, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears

Going into halftime I was fully prepared to write a “Marc Trestman Must Be Relieved of His Duties Today” column. That’s how lifeless the Bears were for thirty minutes. How thoroughly unmotivated they seemed. They would have enraged a surprisingly large and vocal crowd but the Soldier Field faithful were too bored to express anger.

Then they went into the locker room. Then they came out of the locker room.

I don’t know what Marc Trestman said to his football team. I don’t know the contents of Martellus Bennett’s MLK-inspired halftime tirade. But I do know Trestman had a tangible opportunity to display leadership. He had a chance to show the entire organization he was not only a capable leader of men but a capable leader of these specific men, in this specific locker room. And in Lovie Smith’s old locker room, Trestman delivered. If the Bears had played two second halves yesterday they would have beaten Tampa by 35 points.

Do these two wins mean a lot for the Chicago Bears? No. But they were the first essential destination on the Trestman road map to remaining the Chicago Bears head coach. Now the Bears play a month of games against NFC playoff teams (even though I don’t believe the Lions will ultimately make the postseason). Now the results are measuring sticks. Now the results matter.

More thoughts on Sunday’s win over the Bucs…

  • One has to believe Lovie Smith watched all of Josh McCown’s snaps as Bears quarterback in 2013. Then Lovie, a man who has coached football since two years prior to my birth, determined McCown was the man to lead the Tampa organization. How is that even possible? How is it possible Smith has so little feel for the quarterback position? Anyone who watched the games understood why McCown was successful. Lovie’s inability to coach the quarterback marred his tenure in Chicago. It’ll do the same in Tampa.
  • Understanding the opponent, one had to get a bit excited by the young Chicago defenders yesterday. Cornelius Washington played great. David Bass, who has a penchant for making game-changing plays, made another one. Kyle Fuller is going to be a wonderful cover corner and getting beat by Mike Evans will help his development. Paea, Ferguson and Sutton all contributed in the middle. The Bears should be committing to these young players down the stretch.
  • Stephen Paea should be on the Chicago Bears next year, along side Ego and Sutton.
  • When Chris Conte makes interceptions, they tend to be spectacular. I also thought he played excellent in run support. I’m a believer that when healthy Conte can be the Bears free safety.
  • Sad to see Lance Briggs’ tenure with the Bears come to the conclusion it is coming to. Briggs simply never embraced this organization since Lovie’s firing. Unfortunately many Bears fans will forget the years of dominance and remember these two years of cantankerousness and futility.
  • I want to see more Damontre Hurst.
  • Marquess Wilson catches the ball like a seventh-round draft pick.
  • Where is Brandon Marshall’s head? You can’t be fighting Wilson on the sideline for his drops when you’re committing penalties on every fifth down.
  • Of course the first time the Alshon Jeffery bubble screen works it is against Lovie Smith.
  • Yards were not easy for Matt Forte on the ground but he grinded out one of his more impressive performances of the year. Trestman made it very clear down the stretch he was going to rely on his running back, not his quarterback, to seal the victory.
  • New nickname: “Midfield” Mariani.
  • Pat O’Donnell had a somewhat shaky second half but his performance in the first half is the only reason the Bears weren’t down 20 points.
  • When did Robbie Gould stop making field goals?
  • Have to see the All-22 to understand Cutler’s performance but it sure seemed there was nobody open down the field. Couple that with issues in protection and you have the makings for a bland quarterbacking day.

Short work week here at the blog. There will be some material here later today and tomorrow, game preview Wednesday and then Bears at Lions Thursday morning. The March to .500 is here at DBB.

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