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Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down: Cowboys Edition

ARLINGTON TX - SEPTEMBER 19:  A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader performs during a game against the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium on September 19 2010 in Arlington Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON TX - SEPTEMBER 19: A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader performs during a game against the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium on September 19 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Bears have won four straight games, and have started the season 2-0 for the first time since that magical year of 2006.  The first victory of this season came against the Detroit Lions, and many fans were thinking out loud about how we would never have won that game against a quality opponent.

To go into Dallas and beat the Cowboys in their home opener should quell a lot of the criticism.  It was a hard-fought battle, but the Chicago Bears played nearly mistake-free football, and raised a lot of eyebrows in the NFC with the victory.  Are the Bears really legit this season?  We'll see.

A few things that I wrote down during yesterday's contest:

- Johnny Knox's 42-yard opening kickoff return was beautiful.  Nice way to open the game on the road.

- Brandon Manumaleuna is a big boy, and needs to keep developing into a FB.  We'll need him on the goal line.

- Jay Cutler was sacked on the second play of the game.  The Bears then called a timeout.  Why?

- 3rd and 13, Cutler throws a 6-yard completion before getting hammered by Demarcus Ware.  Way too short of a completion.

- Tommie Harris was drawing double teams early, and seemed to be freeing up space for Anthony Adams and Matt Toeina.  Not sure why the criticism towards Tommie in the game threads last night.  If he is getting doubled all game, then he is being effective by default.

- The defense showed up early in this game as well, with Lance Briggs making a huge tackle for a loss, and Charles Tillman/D.J.Moore teaming up for the games first INT.

- Bears opened up second series in the Wildcat formation, but shifted out of it pre-snap.  Hmmm.

- Chris Williams getting hurt early did not do any favors for Cutler.  Omiyale did okay at times at LT, but Shaffer does not need to be on the field for extended periods of time.

- Jay Cutler slid head-first on his early scramble in the 1st Quarter.

- Corey Graham had a great ST tackle on kickoff coverage.

- Matt Toeina was playing very aggressively in the middle next to Tommie.  Anthony Adams was also flying around making plays.  Between those two guys, we've got a pretty good rotation.

- Towards the end of the first quarter, we started seeing more 1-step drop and super-fast passes from Cutler (quick toss to Hester, and the TD pass to Olsen with an empty backfield).  If you can't hold your ground on the OL, then you have to just neutralize the pass rush by running plays that get the ball out of Cutler's hands instantly.  Nice playcalling.

- With Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs getting all of the attention, Pisa Tinoisamoa was also getting involved in the fray.  If he can stay healthy, he is going to really be a bright spot on the defense.

- Danieal Manning played more aggressivley than I have ever seen him play.  He was all over the field, and was lowering the boom on some ball carriers. 

- Speaking of lowering the boom, how in the hell did Roy WIlliams hold on to the ball when Chris Harris drove over him?

- When Tony Romo has time to throw, the guy is good.

- It's nice to see the CBs not giving the WRs a cushion on 3rd down and short.

- When Cutler has time to throw, he has shown for two straight games the ability to be deadly accurate.

- I've been saying this for two years now (go back at last years Scribbles posts): Charles Tillman is not good at pass coverage, and falls down way too much.  Three times last night he fell down in coverage, and twice he was completely unaware of where the WR was.  But, he causes fumbles, so people overlook the other stuf.

- Forte + pass blocking = ___?___

- D.J. Moore benefited from being in the right place at the right time last night.  As stated last week, he is okay in pass coverage, but for the second straight game, he is a liability in the run defense. 

- Wondering where Devin Aromashodu was last night?  Sean Jensen wondered if he was still recovering from the beating he took in week 1, but Brad Biggs guessed that he may have been demoted due to the dropped passes last week.  Either way, I'd bet we see him plenty next week against the Packers.

- What's with all of these touchbacks on kickoffs?  What a nice surprise.

- Matt Forte is good at football.

- Israel Idonije was disrupting a few plays in the thrid quarter, and helped Tinoisamoa clean up a couple of times.  It was funny to see Izzy straight juked by Romo in the 4th though. 

- I made multiple notes about Matt Toeina in the third quarter being aggressive in the middle. 

- Our defense was swarming to the ball to start the 4th quarter.  Looked good.

- Our short-yardage offense still does not look good.

- Brian Iwuh looks really good in pursuit on punt coverage.

- Two games into the season, and opponents are already missing FGs against the Bears.  We seem to have a knack for that.

- At the exact moment that the Bears scored in the 4th quarter, the Dolphins held the Vikings on a 4th down play.  The universe was all aligned and stuff at that very moment.

- A final thought about the trenches: The OL is still not looking good, but Mike Martz is doing a great job with playcalling to help himself out.  Like last week, a lot of traps, misdirections, crosses, 1 yard drops, etc.  While that is working early in the season, we have to have an OL if we are going to compete in the playoffs this year.  As far as the DL goes, the pass rush didn't show up often enough yesterday.  We saw flashes, and a few good plays, but we were more neutralized than anything.

Bonus links:

John "Moon" Mullin's report card.

David Haugh's thoughts on the game.

Steve Rosenbloom's commentary on the game.

Rick Morrissey's recap of the game.


Now that you all have had time to digest, what are your thoughts?