Before the Bears/ Vikings game even started, Soldier Field was rocking out with hardcore Bears fans, and more had spilled over into the parking lots- a "full house despite the fact that we have been playing terrible" sort of atmosphere.
Stop buying tickets? Stop buying merchandise? Wear bags over our heads? Root for the Bears to lose so that we can start cleaning house? Maybe some of you felt that way, but you were in the vast minority... last night, despite all of the things that Bears fans have experienced in 2009, true football fans showed up and supported their team. And the team happened to show up as well.
- Stat line of the night: Jared Allen, 2 tackles, 1 QB hit. And that's all. Just like Orlando Pace handled him in the first meeting, Chris Williams took care of the Mullett last night. Possibly the most significant performance all night.
- Good to see Desmond Clark getting targeted more. We mentioned in the preseason that he was showing great hands and toughness after the catch, but has been under-utilized most of the year. He looked good last night.
- Rashied Davis showed great hands last night. That's twice this year (sort of) that he has shown good hand-eye coordination and dexterity. More on Rashied shortly.
- As we mentioned before, Greg Olsen loves to ask for pass interference flags. Granted, when the guy is double-covered a majority of the time, he's gonna draw some contact, but jeesh. You can almost expect him to throw his hands up to a ref anytime he doesn't catch a ball.
- Tim Shaw continues to impress on STs. He might be the special teams co-captain next year.
- Tommie Harris looked strong again last night.... nice to see him fired up. The only thing I kept noticing about him though, he seems to be slow getting off the ball on the snap. Several times, the other DLinemen would fire off the ball well before Tommie.
- Israel Idonije should have gotten a game ball. Defense, special teams... all around great game for him.
- One thing I have been saying all season long was how our terrible OL prevented our offense from being able to take advantage of Jay Cutler's play-action talents (by not having a respectable running game). I maintain that Cutler is one of the best play-action QBs in the game, and last night, we finally got to see it, and it was beautifully effective.
- Also, we saw a bit of no-huddle by Ron Turner. He seemed to be trying a few things out of the norm last night. It's amazing what you can do when the OL is playing well!
- Anthony Adams can really move. I like that guy a lot. He plays hard every play, and never seems to get winded.
- Is Kahlil Bell making a case to be the #2 guy next year?
- First half yards: Chicago 225, Minny 82
- If Devin Aromashodu is going to be the guy for 2010, who will not be back on the roster for 2010?
- Jamar Williams very aggressive on STs coverage.
- Mike Tirico: ball cap + suit = silly looking.
- Dropped passes really hurt the Vikes.
- Danieal Manning continues to impress at KORs.
- As far as I'm concerned, Charles Tillman might be the most over-paid player on our roster. Have you seen his contract? 2009: $2.25 million, 2010: $3.35 million, 2011: $3.4 million, 2012: $3.5 million, 2013: $7.95 million (+ $550,000 roster bonus), 2014: Free Agent.
- Good to see Craig Steltz hold his own last night.
And finally, a parting note about Rashied Davis. Early in the year, I remember seeing a pre-game huddle on the Bears sideline, with Rashied right in the middle, getting in players' faces, getting people pumped up. I had never seen that before, but realized that we don't see a whole lot of what goes on in the locker room and on the sidelines.
Well, a buddy of mine had some really great seats last night, and kept texting me about Rashied. Apparently, he is a huge motivator for not just the offensive players, but STs and defense as well. He continually was pumping up his fellow players, congratulating at times, and yelling at others. He gathered the OL and DL around him on different occasions, and they responded to him very well.
I heard that he was one of the emotional leaders of the team, but had no idea the extent of his influence. We always hear about different guys, Urlacher, Kreutz, etc., but apparently, it is quite common to see Rashied getting folks fired up. It's easy to root against they guy when he's out dropping passes... but when we hear how much everyone respects and responds to him, it feels good.
What did you all see last night that is worth mentioning?