There's an old adage that I remember hearing somewhere, but I can't seem to find a source for it. So maybe I made it up. It goes something like this:
A team is never as good as they look in their best win, and never as bad as their worst loss.
Let's hope this can be true, because for the offense... this is the worst they've looked in quite some time. Worse than the preseason, even. Not everything is terrible, though. The defense and special teams looked pretty solid for the most part. The defense played well enough to win this game. Special teams played well enough to win this game.
Get used to it now, all you're going to hear about all week are the sacks. I had a lot of little notes, but they all basically fold under the umbrella of suck that was the offensive performance.
The more it's thought about, the more I have to feel that one of the earlier plays caused the concussion, not the "head bounce" that NBC showed multiple times. As David Haugh points out, Cutler got up before that and appeared wobbly and walked to the wrong sideline. If that's the case, it explains a lot, including why Cutler would run out of bounds for the sack, or why he'd wait too long in the pocket and not see things. It's not an excuse, though. Someone should've been taking to Cutler and evaulating him for that kind of thing.
The offensive line just got beat. A lot. While not every sack is on them, the excessive number of Giants defensive linemen in the backfield is. A lot of people are asking where the adjustments from Martz are on that one. A large part of the apparent lack of adjustments is that there wasn't that much to adjust to. Since the Bears weren't looking at a lot of blitz heavy looks, there wasn't a blitz to adjust around. The four down lineman established their will on the Bears early, and neither Martz nor Tice were able to figure out anything that would stop them.
I didn't know a ton about Brandon Manumaleuna. I'd heard he was a good blocker. I'd like to see that, so perhaps I'll pick up some old game tape on ebay.
Lost in the QB shuffle is that Right Guard Lance Louis also is out of the game, and his status is still unclear.
The Wide Receivers didn't do a whole lot to help. At some point, someone needed to start cutting their downfield routes short and start coming back to give an outlet, but that never happened.
I think the Bears defense has been humbled a bit. As good as they've been the past four weeks, they let the Giants re-establish their running game in force tonight, giving up 129 yards to Bradshaw, and 62 to Jacobs.
The endaround to Hester got the one productive rushing play that it always seems to get.
Special teams for the Bears were solid. I was surprised to not see turnovers by Reynaud, as he was making some bad decisions.
Corey Graham was all over punt coverage tonight. He seemed to singlehandedly take on the responsibility of stopping Reynaud.
For the most part, they didn't punt to Hester. That was effective on their part.
The Bears had 8 penalties for 40 yards. To be perfectly honest, I'd have been ok with some holding penalties after a while.
Peppers got himself another sack! And a big pass deflection, amongst other pressure. If only the rest of the team could step up while he's being blocked.
Oh, wait, Anthony Adams did, barreling through the line to force the backfield fumble by Jacobs. Once a game isn't going to do it, though.
Speaking of fumbles, how beautiful was Bowman's strip? Bradshaw had no idea he was there, and looked to have already written the TD on the board in his mind. Bowman punched it out, and unfortunately had to recover it at the one yard line. At that point, I was pessimistic and assumed safety, but they were able to at least force Maynard to make a bad punt.
Peanut still really can't cover anyone particularly well.
A few possible picks got away from #54 tonight. Anyone of those may have killed some of the Giants momentum.
Tommie Harris was, well, tommie harris. He gets lower case because it has no impact.
Briggs seemed out of it tonight. Urlacher was solid, and Pisa was playing his A game.
It's good to see the defense is still willing to take the game on their shoulders. Hopefully they won't bail through adversity, but I think they've seen what the offense can do.
What I think is possibly the scariest stat of the whole game? 0/0 offensive red zone efficiency. No trips to the red zone usually means a fairly unproductive day.
Oh yeah, by the way, one of you called it. Here's the quote from Lovie after the loss (emphasis mine):
"When you get pressure like that, it's tough to do anything," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "If there's something positive, this only counts as one loss. We finish up this first quarter (of the season) 3-1. We'll go back to work tomorrow and try to fix some of these things."
Recap from the media:
Pompei is able to spread the blame around for the concussion.
Video: Biggs and Pompei discuss the loss.
Mitchell and Biggs break down the loss.
Morrissey about the O-Line woes.
Mulligan on the sacks.
ESPN: 5 Things We Learned (Or some of us already knew)