Another game, another loss, and another heaping helping of humble pie. I'll be incredibly honest and say that it was extremely hard game to watch, and an even harder game to find something to be happy about in. However, even in our darkest hour there is a new day just around the corner, and there were a few things to be happy about even in this extremely poor game.
The Offensive Line still doesn't look good, but it sure looks better than it did.
We didn't have a top 20 offensive line last night, but it sure wasn't the absolute train wreck that we saw at the beginning of the year. Kreutz still got manhandled too often, and Shaffer didn't look better than average most of the game, but there were no where near as many complete breakdowns of the line. The number of penalties seemed to be way down, and while it's just a start I didn't wish bodily harm on Ole a single time during the game.
The biggest difference in this line is CDub in his natural position, he gave quality protection on the edge all game, and even had a short stack of pancakes driving his attacker to the ground which is good to see from someone more known for his finesse game. If the improvement we see on a game to game basis out of Chris Williams continue we definitely have a rising star that should be starting at LT for a long long time.
Earl Bennett really showed why he is our slot/possession receiver for the present and future.
Fort Knox has received a lot of attention this year, and for good reason. He still makes a few mistakes, specially in regards to ball protection, but his talent is undeniable. Speed, ability to pick up an offense, veteran plays, good hands. It's because of Knox's breakout rookie year and Hester's remarkable improvement that Earl Bennett hasn't received the attention he deserves.
He was the sole Bears player to score any points this week, but he showed the same skill set in his return as he did in a short pass to the outside in the first quarter. Earl Bennett just doesn't go down from tiny bit of a weak contact like lots of other wide receivers. On both the return, and the reception there were more than one opposing player that made contact with him, and a few arm tackles that didn't phase the Vandy product. This guy is everything we ever wanted out of Rashied including the sure hands, and the ability for good yards after the catch.
It also doesn't hurt that on an offense still trying to gel that he has multiple years of experience catching the ball from our brand new QB. I think we can feel good going into next year with Bennett having locked up his WR position.
This season is almost over, and we've got some big changes to look forward to.
It's pretty much a given at this point that there will be some kind of change in the coaching this off season. Whether it's Lovie, Turner, Babich, or some combination of the three it's fairly obvious that they aren't all making it through the Spring. There is a lot of coaching talent in limbo floating around as well, so all signs point to someone catching the boot.
That helps salve some wounds, as does the fact that Christmas is in just a day or two depending on where you are and it's a time for family and friends, and not for bring down hatestorms on the the Bears organization as a whole.
Everyone take these two bright spots in what was an otherwise abysmal day and enjoy your holidays.
Merry Christmahanakwanaka to everyone!