Bears Vs. Vikings: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears won a thriller yesterday, and we're going over our notes from the game.

  • I have to first articulate my displeasure with the FOX broadcast. I understand that in the face of technical difficulties, a broadcast crew has a tough row to hoe insofar as showing a broadcast to the people watching, many of whom are irritated that their team isn't being shown. That being said, to go into early halftime broadcasting and not offer an apology or any kind of update whatsoever as to what's going on in the game until near the end of that particular segment is brutal, especially when there's a high-pressure end-of-half drive taking place. I know when you don't have a picture or anything to show that's difficult, and maybe they lost the audio feed as well; however, even showing some kind of drive tracker on the bottom line for the Chicago audience would have provided a better picture of what was happening, as opposed to everyone thinking the Bears just knelt out the half (unless they were on Twitter). I know they eventually figured it out and got it working, but they missed too much action.
  • Now, to actual game play, and the Eric Weems play - the Vikings couldn't have scored a touchdown on it unless Weems picked it up and fumbled it, which was not going to happen; Weems said on Twitter afterward that he knew the rule all along that after the Vikings already touched it, they couldn't score a touchdown on it, and the worst case scenario is they'd pick the ball up where it eventually was touched. The best case scenario is the touchback which, by comparison, works out great. I'll admit, it's not a rule I knew.
  • Any time the Bears want to play a complete game and not have to make a fourth-quarter comeback, please and thank you, my heart would appreciate it before I have a heart attack before age 30. I'm not cut out for a full season of these. That being said...
  • Remember when the Bears didn't have an offense that could overcome an opening kickoff for a touchdown and a fumble return for a touchdown? Remember that now they do.
  • Jay Cutler looked great except for a couple of "moments." I can't really pin his first interception on him, bad things happen on batted balls. The second is a similar thing, he made a deep throw slightly underthrown to a receiver that loves jump balls, who didn't make the best play he could especially with the safety bearing down on the play to go up and make the play himself.
  • The Bears let Cutler feel a lot of pressure, but in this game he looked so much comfortable against that pressure and more aware of who was coming and where. Which was good, because the Vikings attacked the Bears' pass protection so much more effectively than the Bengals' front four did. Sending the delayed blitz on a few plays confused the Bears' pass protection.
  • Also, sorry Lester, you have to write a Sackwatch this week. Total count: 1. Heaven forbid.
  • Matt Forte looked much better this week; he also didn't get sent right into the teeth of the defense as frequently. A player looks better when used in the intended manner which makes the most of his abilities? Who knew?
  • It's amazing how much more flexible an offense can be when you have a legitimate, honest-to-goodness tight end. Martellus Bennett made two great touchdowns and his catch colliding into a cameraman was good enough that regardless it should have been a touchdown. According to reports he was in some pain after the game and played the second half with that pain.
  • When a quarterback doesn't have any pressure, even Christian Ponder can look really good. Some of that was the Vikings' tackles playing really well, but some of that was none of the defensive line getting consistent pressure. Corey Wootton picked up the lone sack for the Bears, and even that took quite a while to get. For the vaunted pass rush of the Bears and the defensive line being a strength, they only have two sacks and not as many pressures and hurries as you'd prefer.
  • That being said, Ponder just missed Tim Jennings on Jennings' interception; Jennings cut the route and the Bears blocked well enough for him to make the touchdown. Ponder was nailing his throws later in the game, and part of that was him, but the Bears were also focusing heavily on Adrian Peterson, because Adrian Peterson is pretty good at running the football.
  • Just when you think you've bottled up Adrian Peterson pretty well for the day, there goes Adrian Peterson getting big yardage and a key first down that almost broke the Bears' collective backs.
  • Maybe Cordarelle Patterson could fill a little of the Percy Harvin role. He's not quite there as a receiver, but his kickoff return was well blocked and his natural ability just took it the rest of the way. He's a scary one to keep an eye on.
  • Tony Fiametta just blocked the hell out of Erin Henderson again.
  • It was interesting that Shea McClellin got the start, but of course, McClellin and Corey Wootton rotated in frequently, even creating situations where Julius Peppers got swapped out and McClellin and Wootton bookended the line. It wasn't as effective as you'd have hoped.
  • Stephen Paea was pretty strong, though.
  • Marc Trestman's first challenge as a Chicago Bears head coach is a success, and the Vikings just ran for the first down on fourth anyway.
  • Not too often you see balls just ripped out of players' hands. Sunday we saw it twice - I guess wet footballs are a little harder to hold onto.
  • Devin Hester set a Bears' return yardage record in the game. And apart from not knowing when to just run up and take a fair catch, he was pretty solid against a Vikings' special teams unit he's ripped up in the past.
  • The Vikings had a higher yards-per-pass than the Bears (7.6 to 7.2). Let that sink in for a moment.
  • Time of possession was nearly identical, and the Vikings had one fewer possession than the Bears.
  • So, home team fans will still be loud at key offensive moments when the team's trying to run a two-minute drill.
  • First and goal at the one, and three straight passes for the touchdown to settle for a field goal at the end of the half? Okay.
  • The Bears ran an end-around that worked. And Mike Martz and Mike Tice rejoiced in their out-of-footballness..
  • There were only six punts combined in the game - three on each side. So many drives ended on either turnovers or scores that the punters didn't have much work to do.

That's all I've got from the game. What'd you notice?

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