Five Thoughts on the Oakland Loss

- Without wanting to use the cliche’ that Caleb Hanie is “not ready for primetime,” let’s just say that he did some good things and some bad things. He certainly didn’t look like Matt Flynn filling in for Aaron Rodgers against the Patriots on the road in 2010, but he clearly was no Jonathan Quinn, either. His movement in the pocket was fantastic, and he rushed for 50 yards. For sure he shouldn’t have thrown the balls that resulted in interceptions, but at the same time the play call on the game-changing pick just before the half was horrendous. And I most certainly need to point out that I had no idea he possessed the arm strength to make the long throw to Johnny Knox late in the game. So my glass is half full with Hanie, and we’ll see how he does against a lesser Kansas City Chiefs team at home next week. To me it’s clear, this would have been a win had Jay Cutler been playing. But he wasn’t, and won’t be until the playoffs, if there are playoffs.

- The Bear defense stepped it up not one notch, but several notches against the Raiders. Yes, on a couple of drives they were gashed by Michael Bush, Carson Palmer and company. But they tightened in the red zone time after time, allowing six field goals to Sebastian Janikowski, then finally one touchdown. But most every time it was the offense that put them in the position of having their backs against the wall. The pass rush, led by Julius Peppers, Amobi Oyoke and Henry Melton, dominated a strong Raiders’ offensive line. This performance will need to continue if the Bears have hope of maintaining their wildcard playoff position.

- Loved the hustle by Lance Louis to go 80 yards and prevent a touchdown on the aforementioned Hanie interception. Even with the completely unjust horse collar tackle call, the play saved the Bears four points. Too bad the four points didn’t matter in the end.

- Let’s hear it for Robbie Gould. Two field goals of longer than 50 yards for a guy that was never allowed to try 50+ yarders in his first five seasons with the Bears. Gould is three quarters of the way to making all-time Bears scoring leader Kevin Butler look like a mediocre kicker.

- As of now the Bears are the top wildcard in the NFC, pending the Giants-Saints Monday night game tonight. (A Giant win knocks the Bears down to the final playoff seed). Chicago plays Kansas City and Seattle at home, and Denver, Green Bay and Minnesota on the road to finish the season. It was hoped that when Hanie took over, the Bears could be confident of beating KC, the Broncos, Seahawks and Vikings. But nothing in the NFL is guaranteed.

4 Responses to “Five Thoughts on the Oakland Loss”

  1. Roy, how would the Bears drop? The Giants have four conference losses and the Bears only have three. The Giants won’t move into first place either because they have two division losses and the Cowboys only have one.

  2. You’re right JDM-I hadn’t looked close enough; thought the Giants would be a full game up. But correct, with a win the Giants are still behind the Bears. However correct me if I’m wrong, but to me it looks like with a Giants win, Atlanta then leads the NFC South and the Saints go to the top wildcard with the Bears then as the final seed, correct? I don’t like that scenario…

  3. Actually no. The Saints have beaten ATL already at ATL which is huge. The Saints also own a 3-1 divison record compared to 1-2 with ATL. So, with the loss, Saints will still be in first. But yes, you want the Saints to win the division. That is critical. Personally, as long as the Bears finish with ten wins, they should be in good shape. The Lions are going down and down fast. ATL will be there until the end. Dallas and the Giants have to play each other twice still, and that might bode well for the Bears and ATL. I only see one team from the east coming out, and both the Giants and Cowboys are overrated and always good at laying eggs.

  4. No, still Saints leader cause they won the first game against Falcons.
    Our opp. are the Falcons and Cowboys/Giants.

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