NFL Thoughts Week Four

- The Bears should have won the game against the Panthers handily, but didn’t.  Yet one could also easily say that the Bears should have lost the game.  If nothing else, now is the time when the Bears as a team will need to put up or shut up.  We’ve been hearing from the players for years that the fans and media don’t give the Bears enough credit…it’s them vs. us…they’re really better than anyone thinks but they just don’t get the credit.  We’re going to find out next Monday night as the 4-0 Lions host the Bears in their first Monday night game since 2001.  That team will be fired up.

- Chicago has owed their limited success over the last decade to being able to feast on the Lions twice a season.  Since 2001, by my count the Bears are 13-7 against Detroit.  In those 11 seasons, the Bears swept six times and haven’t lost to the Lions since 2007.  Looks like the good times for the Bears with the Lions may be over.

- Speaking of the Lions, I was explaining my feelings about them to a friend yesterday.  I can’t help but being a little happy for Lions fans, but at the same time I can never wish well on another team from my team’s division.  But after following their team over 11 years of futility, and a pretty horrible history all around since the 1950′s, their true fans deserve this, don’t they?  And of course given the choice I’d sure like to see Detroit take care of Green Bay if it comes down to one of those two teams.

- Hoped Bears fans enjoyed Matt Forte’s 205-yard rushing performance yesterday.  I’ve been a Bears fan for 32 seasons and it’s the first 200 yard game by a Bear that I’ve witnessed.  (The last being Walter Payton’s 205 yard performance at Green Bay in 1977, two years before I was watching).  Interesting that three of the four 200 yard games by the Bears have been for 205 yards (the other being Gale Sayers’ game against Green Bay in 1968).

- I’ve been meaning to say something about 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh for some time.  Had the Bears flopped in 2010, I was hoping Harbaugh would have been a candidate to come back to Chicago.  But with the success Harbaugh is having resurrecting the 49ers, we can forget about him leaving San Francisco for a lot of years.  While Harbaugh was the undisputed starter of the Bears from 1990-1993, I wasn’t a big fan.  I thought his arm was pretty weak and he usually came up short (other than the games he did pull gutsy come-from-behind wins, earning him the nickname “Captain Comeback”).  But by the mid-1990′s following his success in Indianapolis, I really missed his heart and leadership.  Can you imagine what Harbaugh might do with Jay Cutler if he coached him?  Maybe instill a little of Harbaugh’s passion in Mr. Sour Face?  Then again, maybe Cutler wouldn’t stand for it.

The wheels almost came off this week.  Of course I hope the Bears will go in, shock the Lions and show everyone they’re still relevant in the 2011 season.  And the wheels won’t necessarily come off the season if the Bears do lose at Detroit.  But you’d have to think the playoffs would be a longshot should the Bears start 2-3 with Detroit and Green Bay at 5-0.

4 Responses to “NFL Thoughts Week Four”

  1. The Bears could still be a wild card in the NFC North even losing to Detroit. The problem will be they will need to make a run at some point and if they are 2-3 they really can only afford to lose 3 more games the entire season and they will still have to play Green Bay and Detroit again.

    The Bears have only made the playoffs once in their history after a 1-2 start. That was 2005, when they started 1-3. The way the defense is playing, I just can’t see the Bears maintaining. They are playing much like their 2007 and 2008 counter parts. The Bears are missing Chris Harris immensely. Sounds like he will miss Monday night’s game too.

    And yeah, I honestly don’t see how the Bears beat the Lions. The Lions have played like crap in the 1st half the past two weeks, but have amazing second halves. I don’t see the Bears having the ability to have an amazing first half. I also fail to see how the Bears cover Calvin Johnson. Tillman will have to, but all too often we blow coverage, especially with Meriweather and Major Wright as our safeties. Meriweather certainly has been a disappointment. Either way it won’t be pretty, we have thee Vikings, Bucs, Eagles as the next 3 games, games which I think are all winnable, especially with the Eagles looking like garbage.

  2. Good to get a win even if it was expected and a can’t lose game. While nice to see the run game break out and Hester have a field day, game again highlighted more than a few obvious issues, many of which have been evident for quite some time.

    · Urlacher’s right when he says winning is all the matters, as he downplayed the obvious implications of D being shredded for 543 yds. But, you’re not going to win any other games giving up that kind of yardage to anyone else besides the rebuilding Panthers. Newton was perfectly comfortable in the pocket, with minimal pressure, no sacks, and easily moved the chains for 24 first downs.

    · Secondary was shredded, repeatedly gave up the big play and failed to contain Smith, even though they knew going in he was the most dangerous and likely target.

    · Poor use of timeouts and general confusion with play calling has been an ongoing issue for a long time, as anyone watching Lovie’s game day shenanigans is well aware. Not having any timeouts at the end did not come back to burn them but easily could have.

    · Call on 3rd and 1 late on the rollout, screen back to Forte on the other side looked again like Martz trying to outsmart everyone and reminded me of the end around play call with Bennett to end hopes in the playoff game. Yes, they got the first down after going for it the next play, but converting those kinds of short yardage situations has always been a problem.

  3. This game really reminded me of the playoff game after the ’05 season where Steve Smith torched us all day. The big difference, of course, is that on Sunday we got bailed out with a Hester return TD and a defensive TD. A win is still a win, but I was a bit underwhelmed after watching the game. If we need 2 non-offensive TDs to beat the Panthers at home by 5 then we might be in trouble.

  4. Honostly, I was not surprised of the outcome. I had picked the Bears to not cover the 6.5 spread. Carolina does have enough talent to compete. They just don’t know how to win games yet (similar to DET last year until the last four games. BUF was in the same boat, too). For those saying the Bears can’t win if they continue to give up over 500 yards, they are correct. Just like DET can’t keep winning games if they keep falling behind by 20+. With a lesser OL than Carolina, I expect the Dline to actually do something Sunday. If Chris Harris doesn’t play, then I will be concerned. It’s obvious the secondary misses him badly.

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