The guys had me freaking out. This looked like one of THOSE games – you know, a game where the other team does everything they can to give it away to us and we still can’t seem to pull it together to take it. Cutler consistently overthrew every single Bear on the field. Man, is he antsy these days. They couldn’t get in the end zone to save their lives. OK, that’s partially credit to the effort put up by our seriously depleted defense (Trot’s really our best option at MLB? Really? He’s like 327 in football years! Although he did manage to chase Devin Hester out of bounds…), but still. They didn’t give the ball to Matt Forte nearly as much as I would’ve, which to me indicates problems with their run blocking. Hell, Devin Hester even got pantsed.
I love the way Tommy described the game:
Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Did it occur to anyone Sunday night
that we were living that movie out? We’re trapped in a loop playing the
Bears in close games until we finally get it right and then we can move
on. In 2007 we can from behind, but couldn’t protect a lead.
Last year we couldn’t punch the ball in and lost 24-20.
We finally won in prime time, we finally won in Chicago, and Big5 led us to a win in the 4th quarter of a close game. Does that mean we finally get to win a Super Bowl?
A few weeks ago, Donovan was quoted as saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that while he loves working with all the young guys on offense (377 total yards? I’d love it, too), but he doesn’t always know where they’re going to be. Nowhere was that more evident than on DMac’s scramble in the first quarter. He’s running around trying to direct the guys down the field, and I’m pretty sure I heard Brent Celek yell to Peanut: “He wants you to steal second!”
We had a few white-knuckle turnovers, but I can’t really blame our guys too much – Charles Tillman is a BEAST. And both Peanut and Maclin otherwise had great games, as did Macho Harris on kick returns. No juking for him – he finds whatever lane there is and HITS IT. I see some return TDs in his future.
IgglesBlog has a new favorite play, and I agree: Peanut runs straight at the deep safety, who realizes about a 1/2 second too late that it’s happening, by which point Peanut’s already gone. I agree. Let’s do that more.
They also pointed out that, while blow outs are more fun and far less stressful to watch, that’s not what our young players need right now. To go deep into the playoffs, you need to learn how to gut out close wins against teams that are as good – or maybe even better -than you. Our vets – DMac, lots of the guys on D, Akers – have been there. But too many of our skill players haven’t. Seeing that they can pull out a close win in the last minutes of a game is hopefully a real character builder for them that will serve them well in January.
Get the rest of the recaps at Snarkin’ the NFL.