This picture shows Brandon Marshall, the only part of yesterday's game that I would consider applying the word "great" to.
It was a sloppy, shoddy performance by the Bears first teamers, for the most part. Cutler appeared to be off all night long, with his throws high, and he seemed a little jumpy in the backfield. The line wasn't doing him any favors, but between the line and his legs, he didn't get sacked tonight.
The normally sure-handed Earl Bennett dropped a TD pass, and the running game struggled to find its footing. Flashes of a pass rush existed, but there's a soft area in the middle of the field where Brian Urlacher should've been.
Hit the jump to see some stream-of-consciousness thoughts during the game, which admittedly get a little light towards the end of the game. The Bears have to get to 75 by Monday at 3pm CT--Say goodbye to your favorite gritty 5th string wide receivers.
-That 2nd down play with Marshall on the first drive was weird, but I like it. But not with that player. Where's the speed guy on that one?
-Smart move by Cutler--slide and live to play. Going for the yard would've gotten him creamed. -Bennett is going to be a very nice third wide receiver. Much like every other season.
-Matt Forte really hasn't gotten going at all in the preseason, what with not playing the first game at all. Was he worth the cash?
-Cutler starts slow, even with decent pass protection on the second offensive drive. It's almost like he's not used to it--overthrows, but at least they're not into the waiting arms of the safety like they were a couple years ago.
-Decent penetration on a play by the line (say what?) leads to Craig Steltz backfield tackle. He's at a concert during the game, but Dane feels a disturbance in the force. Then of course they get totally faked out by a counter toss.
-Fantasy alert--based on this second Giants drive, you should either not draft the Bears defense, or you should draft this Wilson guy.
-Bad zones and gap management by the Bears on the Giants second drive. After letting Wilson pinball around a couple times, he's allowed to stand wide open in a mid-zone. There's the Urlacher effect.
-DJ Moore on the nickel blitz doesn't work if he gets to the line, stands up, walks back a step, and then tries. It's predicated on timing. -Bears getting some decent penetration, but nothing earth shattering. -Booker looks good in returns--could be the thing that helps him stick on this roster.
-On the very successful endaround with Hester in the first quarter, I just watched J'Marcus Webb stand up and run towards where Garza was standing, which left Osi completely unengaged. Luckily Hester is very fast, which means Osi didn't have a chance, but still. If Umenyiora doesn't immediately buy the run and goes up field, he's going to drill Hester for an 8 yard loss.
-And J'Marcus Webb can't handle Osi Umenyiora. I've seen enough of him.
-So far, the Brandon Marshall trade is the best thing Phil Emery has ever done in his life.
-Nearly a hell of a play by AJ17 (by the way, this is the nickname I plan to make stick). Broken up at the goalline, but a heck of an effort by the rookie.
-The Marshall touchdown play is absolutely fantastic, and that's something they're going to go to in the 20-30 yard range often. If they see that safety playing closer to the line of scrimmage, Cutler is going to immediately want to go one-on-one with Marshall. It also helps when the corner gives up on the route after about 5 yards.
-Julius Peppers tackle at the goalline is everything we wanted from Julius Peppers when he was signed. Speed power, and the sense of exactly where a play is heading.
-I realize I'm not the only guy who is going to say this, but the replacement refs are bad. Where does an untimed play come from at the end of the first quarter? Update: Apparently that's in the rulebook, but the coach has to request it. Also, it is dumb.
-I have a hard time believing David Wilson is this untackleable. The last time I saw a guy this untackleable was Ricky Williams in Madden 2002.
-Get used to false starts--savvy defensive lineman are going to start causing them like crazy.
-Ryan Quigley can really kick. -Around 11 minutes left in the first quarter, the Bears start getting some really decent pressure. Well, I mean, Peppers does, but I think we all know that's what I meant.
-Nick Roach is not Brian Urlacher, and is barely a suitable replacement. The soft middle has been open all night, and he's getting beat up in the run game.
-Now, I'm not a defensive coordinator, nor am I a defensive expert. But if you're a team that gets consistently gashed by the slant, maybe you teach your veteran Pro Bowl cornerback to not get sold on an out move when the team is within the 10 yard line.
-I don't like the PA rollout to the crosser underneath. I think it's a play that's designed to appeal too much to Cutler's desire to rip the ball into any slot he can find.
-Tillman gets beat up tonight. Pass interference calls, guys he can't cover, no safety help. Looking like an older corner who can't cover.
-This game got real ugly in the 2nd quarter. Cutler is off. The defense is off. Special teams is off. This team needs o settle down. They're way too amped up for this game, and the jitters are showing bad.
-A little bit of running game to start the 3rd quarter, with Forte getting a 24-yarder. The Bears offensive #1s are starting to see Giants #2s, though, so that's something that should almost be a given.
-Third quarter, Blake Costanzo is picking it up on defense a little bit.
-Am I taking crazy pills? Why is Bennett running backwards on punt returns? Is he watching 2009 Hester tape? -The overthrows continue to Jason Campbell.
-The Bears defense is already not great. They cannot afford to get deep into injuries on that side of the ball.
-John McCargo, whose name I don't believe I've ever mentioned in any way, gets nice penetration on a run play. He will not be on this team after Monday, most likely.
-4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, and I just watched a Bear run into the punt returner near the sideline. Preseason football at it's finest.
-James Brown might have to make the roster, because there's enough project there that he could get stolen off of a practice squad by someone super thin at tackle. Like the Bears. Oh wait.
-Seriously--the replacement refs suck.