A few of the WCG staffers were chatting yesterday before the Bears-Lions game, and I made a comment about wanting our team to look good. I realized that Detroit was not going to be a pushover, as they had added too much talent in the last couple of years to not be bothersome. So, win or lose, I was really hoping that we would not be stumbling, bumbling, falling down, missing tackles, dropping passes, etc. My hope was that we would look sharp, like a real NFL football team.
And for the most part, I would say we did. Sure there were some miscues, but there will be miscues in the first game of the regular season. Overall, there was a crispness to our offense, and our defense swarmed to the football with great regularity. We won, and despite what others may say, we looked pretty good doing it.
- Danieal Manning looked good on KORs just as he did last year. There was one return where he managed to run directly into a pile of Lions players, but otherwise looked solid.
- Lance Louis may have gotten beaten a few times, but he also won a few battles as well. He looked very aggressive yesterday, and I saw him fighting 5-7 yards downfield a few times. Pleasant surprise.
- Matt Forte has got his sexy back. And by sexy, I mean his speed. He showed his typical shiftiness and elusiveness, but his offseason surgery really put the turbo-boosters on. He showed his speed early, and even showed it later in the game as well, which is a sign of good conditioning.
- Lions DT Ndamukong Suh is a grown man. If he stays healthy, he will be a force to be reckoned with for the Lions for years to come.
- Frank Omiyale, I am rooting for you big guy. But, it does not help your case one bit when we are in our first goal line situation of the game, and I see your big butt get driven straight backwards into the backfield. Please don't do that anymore.
- We cannot count on Greg Olsen to tackle anyone if we throw an interception.
- I do not like DJ Moore being on the football field. While he did make one really nice play, making a line of scrimmage tackle on a straight handoff to the fullback, he also got tossed around like a ragdoll when he was in the thick of things. If the coaches want him to play pass coverage, fine. But, if the expectation is for him to provide run support as well, he's going to get killed.
- When Forte fumbled the ball in Q2, did you see Olin Kreutz "make the tackle"? And I use quotation marks, because that was only a tackle by statistical definition. Kreutz got PLOWED by whomever that large gentleman was that picked up the fumble and ran with the ball.
- I like Anthony Adams. I have always liked Adams, and I think he makes us a better football team when he is on the field. He plays very, very hard, and has great speed. He won't be dominant, but he will be disruptive.
- Henry Melton looked good on KO coverage.
- Game ball: Urlacher and Briggs. If they keep that pace up all season, they'll both be in Hawaii after the season. Complete domination.
- Speaking of LBs, Pisa Tinoisamoa knocked some heads yesterday. He wasn't making big plays like Urlacher and Briggs, but he was taking on some lead blockers with a fury, and freeing up his teammates to make the plays.
- I was so happy to see Jay Cutler getting outside the pocket on pass plays. Some were by design, and some were him scrambling. He looked awesome outside of the pocket for the most part. Also, did you all see the crispness of Cutler's passes? That dude can throw a beautiful football, and showed surprising accuracy for the most part yesterday.
- Overall, the OL did not perform up to standard. They did do well in pass blocking (at times), but the run blocking was terrible. On short yardage situations, we saw our guys get plowed over. I am very encouraged, however, to see a lot of misdirection (traps, pulls, crosses) being called by Mike Martz. He knows that our run blocking is bad, so he didn't try to just mow people down very much. Great use of angles, lanes, and crosses, in my opinion.
- Now, a few miscues that were very impactful: Peppers hit Stafford in the noggin on a 3rd down play, which in turn gave the Lions a 1st down. That lead to the Lions TD. Olsen fumbled. Forte fumbled. Cutler fumbled. Cutler INT'd. Aromashodu dropped a TD pass. Manning dropped an INT. There were other miscues, but had those not occured, we might have seen a larger margin of victory (I'm thinking blowout).
Overall, even with the miscues, our beloved Bears looked pretty damn good against a Lions team that will surprise some folks this season. Here's hoping we got all the rust knocked off , and that we will come out grinding in Dallas next week.
And for fun, here are some links:
David Haugh's reaction to the game.
Dan Pompei's reaction to the game.
Steve Rosenbloom's reaction to the game.
Jay Cutler: 23/35, 372 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 108.3 Rating
Forte/Taylor: 26 rushes, 79 yds (3.04 avg), 0 TDs
Forte: 7 rec, 151 yds, 2 TDs
Aromashodu: 5 rec, 71 yds
Knox: 3 rec, 52 yds
Briggs/Urlacher: 18 total tackles
Bowman/Tillman/Manning: 14 total tackles
Peppers: 1 sack, 2 QB hits
Maynard: 5 punts, 4 inside the 20.
Now that you've had time to process, what's your perspective?