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Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down: Week 14, Broncos Edition

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We found a game highlight after all!
We found a game highlight after all!
  • First off, Tebow. My assessment of him is he's a very intelligent football player whose limitations sometimes get the better of him. He knows when to take the ball down and run, how to scramble until a receiver comes open, and has the power to take a hit and deliver one like a running back. If he could deliver a better pass consistently, he'd be even more dangerous. He's pretty inaccurate and needs a wide-open receiver to catch a wobbling duck. But give him credit for the fourth quarter and overtime when he started picking apart the zone defenses the Bears were employing.
  • Speaking of the zone defense the Bears were employing, I don't like how they continued to employ it to allow the field goal at the end of regulation or at all in overtime. And in the red zone for Denver's touchdown, Thomas settles in right behind Bowman's zone and the right of the safety... and seemingly no one thought an open receiver in the end zone was worth covering. It's one thing to allow yardage in a two-score game, as long as you aren't afraid to switch it up and cover more tightly in the end zone. It's another to allow a touchdown, then allow the other team into field goal range.
  • I was hoping to hit it after the jump cause it's only 12 hours since the game ended and it's already been hammered ad nauseum, but I can't avoid it, so, my personal take on the Barber game. Yes, Barber had a key fumble and a mindblowing mental fart where he stepped out of bounds. Lest we forget, he was also the sole reason the Bears were moving the ball in the game and kept the overtime drive alive with a nice diving catch for a first down. No one else on the team had more than 64 yards of personal offense (Barber had 140 on 29 touches). We can fault him for his errors, but keep in mind his solid day too.
  • The other half of the running back equation, Kahlil Bell, not bad either when he was in. Definitely not as good a runner or receiver as Forte, but he can do a few things when he's got the ball.
  • And the other hot-button topic. I'm not sure how much longer the Bears can roll with Caleb Hanie, although compared to last week, he improved drastically. No interceptions and a decent completion percentage. The problem with Hanie was some of the same mistakes - one play, he looked about as shellshocked and confused as I've ever seen a quarterback. Throw in a couple overthrows and a couple awkward catches (You can't make a receiver jump and stretch for a screen pass!). We've seen Hanie in three games this year, and here's his combined statline... 41/79 for 502 yards, 2 TD, 6 INT. That's a QB rating over 3 games of 48.6. Raise your hand if you think we've been hoodwinked, bamboozled or led astray by the fourth quarter against the Raiders or the NFCCG performance. He's just not getting the job done on offense, even though he hasn't been getting much help; it's the same tools Cutler's had to work with.
  • Anybody else worried they'll try converting Tillman to receiver after that catch and footwork to make the interception and stay in bounds?
  • One thing that bothered me was in the early stages, here's how the offense seemed to go: Pass complete for no gain, run for two yards, and it's third and 8 and the Bears are picking up a penalty. I'd almost forgotten what a third and manageable looked like.
  • I love Devin Hester. I really, really do. But I was incredibly worried when, on his one punt return he got, he ran backwards almost ten yards trying to make room. He's gotten away with it with his incredible ability, but part of me worries when his lack of technique will bite the Bears. It hurts him as a receiver and I'm sure it's going to eventually catch up with him when teams start cutting off his escape routes in coverage.
  • Von Miller and DJ Williams. Damn solid players. Both of them are excellent at finding the gap and breaking it like a pinata to reach that candy QB center.
  • Massive day by both punters and both kickers. I know "Field position game" is a euphemism for "sucky offensive play" but special teams came up huge in keeping the offenses quiet.
  • That being said, Podlesh punted eleven times. Hey offense. Stop allowing this. Please and thank you.
  • Hey, remember that one time Steltz had that interception? Well now we can remember that one time he got a sack. Somewhere, Dane is grinning like an idiot.
  • To be honest, I thought Steltz had an excellent game. He was mixing it up in the pile and always seemed to be right in the action. Izzy disappointed me a little, he seemed to have a little trouble getting off his blocks on at least one memorable occasion, though he did get good penetration at times.
  • Stephen Paea got credit for a pair of sacks himself. The Bears picked up five on the day, but sacks are easier to pick up against mobile/running quarterbacks.
  • The Bears were called for eight penalties, including a pair of roughing the quarterback calls. I don't blame the refs for making bad calls, but I thought those were minorly ticky-tack and I thought a couple holds could have been called on Denver that weren't. But those weren't game-breakers or anything - hardly ever is. Too much else happens in a game to affect the outcome that is actually in the players' control.
  • Julius Peppers. All that is man. That is all.
  • Devin Hester had one target. It was dropped. And somewhere I think another Bronco just dropped a pass.
  • Interesting number. The quarterbacks combined for 351 passing yards. Adam Podlesh punted for 526 yards. BAD. Also, Hanie and his 115 yards had a higher QB rating than Tebow. Yet Tebow will have a huge ESPN QBR. Enjoy that.
  • DJ Moore had a pass breakup. That's something in an otherwise quiet return for RPRT.
  • Three field goals were hit from 50+. The one miss was blocked from 28.
  • Denver's first quarter timeouts were worthy of Lovie Smith.
  • Both teams were awful on third down. Chicago, 2-15. Denver, 5-17. The Bears at least had 12 first downs. ... So? Denver had 13 just from passing the ball.
  • Denver had 79 plays (45 passes/QB sacks and 34 runs) and the Bears had 61 (23 passing/QB sacks and 38 runs). Hard to play offense when their offense has the ball. Fatigue had to be a factor in the later quarters - there was no push by the defensive line whatsoever later on.
  • Time of possession: CHI 31:47 / DEN 34:39

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