Monday, October 17, 2011

NFL Week 6: Bears-Vikings Postgame Thoughts

Last night — gloriously featured on national television — the Chicago Bears (3-3) whupped the Minnesota Vikings (1-5), winning 39-10. The game was fantastic in many ways. If you have the means to, watch the game (assuming you're a Bears fan).

Yes, the Bears were supposed to win this game. The Vikings are straight terrible right now. Still, a blowout is comforting.

And this game was delightful.

Bullet-tastic, recap-ishtic thoughts from the game:
  • At church that morning, Haters were calling me "brave" for wearing my Bears gear (something I do every Bears gameday, regardless of the team's record, the opponent, or the number of funerals I have to attend). Who's brave now?
  • The Bears changed the offensive line around a bit, swinging Lance Louis to right tackle, benching Frank Omiyale, among some other changes. I was shocked — shall I say terrified? — when I saw the lineup, but Louis did great. I still want Gabe Carimi there, of course, but Louis really held his own.
  • Offensive coordinator Mike Martz had 7 and I believe even 8 men protecting Cutler on most pass plays. The result: Just one sack.
  • It's funny; I've had many a friend complain that quarterback Jay Cutler "lacks intensity" and "looks depressed." My protestations are too numerous and vociferous for a bullet point, but I nonetheless found Cutler's quasi-F-bomb last night a most interesting retort to doubters.
  • My man, Devin Hester, caught 5 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. I think he had 1 — maybe 2 — drops on the night (he was targeted 7 times), but the drops hardly took away from his great game. Oh yeah. And he returned yet another kickoff for a touchdown. That's touchdown return number 17.
  • Rookie Stephen Paea finally got on the field (he broke the combine record for 225 lbs. bench press reps — note: my personal record was 3, I believe), but all he was able to do was bust through the Vikings' o-line to sack Donovan McNabb for a safety. Hopefully he can do better next week.
  • When Jay Cutler gets time, our receiving corps looks 150% better. Even Roy Williams had 50 yards!
  • The one sack the o-line allowed was unfortunately a sack-fumble-turnover combo — but we can take heart in the fact the sack was more the receivers' and Cutler's fault, not so much the line's fault.
  • Hester left the game late with a chest injury, but judging by the comments about it, he may have kept playing if the game were closer. It does not sound serious.
That's enough bullets. In closing, I would like to again share my surprise and applause for the o-line rearrangement. The Bears replaced both their safeties earlier in the week, and I feared the o-line was not going to change. And when it did, I was nervous.

But credit offensive line coach Mike Tice for creating a lineup that not only performed really well, but found a way to include Chris Spencer (who did quite well at right guard) without sacrificing Roberto Garza (who had been one of the few linemen to perform well throughout the season).

And hey, you know it was a really, really good game when I can write nine bullet points without once mentioning how an ailing Julius Peppers got a sack and tormented the Vikings line while missing the entire week of practice.

Go Bears!

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