The NFC playoff picture seems to be working itself into a pretty clear picture, and, although it could still happen, my prediction of a 12-4 season for the Chicago Bears looks unobtainable. And honestly, at this point, I'm not so sure that our coaching is to blame.
Our GM brought in three new offensive linemen, and none of them have helped. Can Ron Turner be to blame for our porous running game? He didn't make the FA signings.
On the other side of the ball, we do not have the personnel to run a Tampa-2/ Cover-2 defense. Our secondary is a liability,,, is Lovie to blame for our lack of talent on defense? We just don't have the personnel.
The only mystery for me is the DL/ Rod Marinelli situation. It seems like half of our roster is comprised of defensive linemen, and we still chose to trade our 2010 2nd round draft pick for another pass rusher. Add to that, we have a guy that is well-known around the league as being one of the best DL coaches in the NFL... you'd think that would be an area of strength for us.
We know our offense is failing because of our personnel at OL, we know our LB corp is thinned out and that our secondary is incredibly weak... but where's the front 4? Why have we seen over the last few weeks our DL get dominated in the passing and rushing games? What's up with Coach Marinelli?
- Rashied Davis is still doing a mighty fine job on STs. And undersized WR making great open-field tackles... gotta love it.
- Tommie, Tommie, Tommie. What happened to Tommie Harris? Is his career coming to a quick halt? We can expect him not to be wearing a Bears uniform next season... but will he even be in the NFL? Maybe not, unless the Bungles give him a shot.
- One of my notes simply said that Fitz > Tillman. But, that was early in the game. Now, I'll change that note to say that it is a shame when Charles Tillman is our best coverage cornerback.
- I have been wondering for 2 weeks if Hunter Hillenmeyer was really 100% healthy. Rib injuries take much longer than 2 weeks to heal from, and I smelled a rat when he came back so quickly.
- Jay Cutler's first possession of the game: he walks onto the field with his head down, looking at the ground.
- Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Greg Olsen have all developed great hands. I mentioned last week that Cutler puts them in positions where they have to make tough catches... well, they can. Exhibit "A": that catch early in Q1 down the sidelines when Hester was blanketed by the CB. Cutler saw the single-coverage, audibled into a fly route, and made a picture-perfect throw to Hester. And what a catch!
- Garrett Wolfe made an outstanding tackle on KO coverage.
- While we looked like we might be able to generate some pressure on Kurt Warner early in the game, turns out, not really. Soft coverage on the WRs + zero pass rush = duplication of the Cincy game.
- Arizona's OL absolutely dominated Marinelli's DL. Passing plays, rushing plays... didn't matter. An inside source said that the Card's OL even formed a wall in front of the Bears showers after the game, and the DL couldn't bust through then either. They went home without showering.
- Johnny Knox was one cut away from daylight on the KOR following Arizona's second TD. But, he was going too fast to make that final cut.
- We finally saw Cutler looking downfield for our WRs more this week, especially to Hester. On a related note, kudos to the OL. While they still broke down and sucked a large part of the game, there were spurts where they did a good job of protecting the QB. Kudos guys.
- My OL grades: Chris Williams: B, Roberto Garza: B-, Olin Kreutz: C, Josh Beekman/ Frank Omiyale: D, Orlando Pace: C-
- 3rd and 16, 1st quarter. Earl Bennett runs a deep post, right into the lap of the safety. Had he turned that deep post into a skinny post, things would have happened. I know it's his first year on the field, but he's gotta be more aware. Against zone defenses, you have to find the soft spots... not run straight to a defender.
- My prediction of turnovers, penalties, and QB sacks for both teams did not some true. Well, Cutler did get nailed, and the Bears did have too many penalties. But I was thinking it would go both ways.
- As of the 10 minute mark in the second quarter, Matt Forte had exactly one rush.
- Question: If it's 3rd and 5 for Arizona, why are our DBs 12 yards off the WRs? I mean, I trust Lovie Smith, and I know he is having to play defense with some bad talent... but 12 yards off the WRs? Of course they converted a first down. And eventually scored a TD.
- Oh, speaking of converting... 3rd and 10, Arizona ball. Easy pitch and catch on a 12 yard curl route. 5 plays later, TD. Too easy, too soft.
- Kevin Payne plays hard, and hits hard. Good to see a bit of fire from someone on defense.
- Alex Brown fights hard. Even in the 4th quarter when we are getting schooled. Keep on fighting big guy.
- Injuries: Yikes. And now we have another game in three days. Friggin great. You know what though? We will beat San Francisco.