What I read on paper, did not accurately characterize what I saw on the field of play in this pre-season opening game. Calab Hanie drove the Bears offense into the endzone for their lone TD of the game which gave us a 7-3 lead at the half. The Bears defense looked extremely impressive and protected the lead for the duration of the game.
Marion Barber ran the ball very well racking up 45 yards in 7 carries for an average of just over 6 yards per attempt. Johnny Knox had two good run-backs on special teams (one of which he nearly took coast-to-coast). On defense, newly acquired DT Amobi Okoye collected 3 solo tackles with 2 QB sacks, and our summer love affair with RB Kalil Bell continued from where we left off last year with Bell posting over 100 all purpose yards.
Overall, I came away from this game with these thoughts; the Bears definitely filled their roster this year with some very solid players. I also saw the offense (9 sacks withstanding) look much more comfortably in Mike Martz complex system. In fact, this could really be the year where Martz's offense really takes off. Some of the QB sacks could have been easily avoided if rookie QB Nathan Enderle would have got rid of the ball a lot quicker. The O-Line on the other hand did an admirable job at run-blocking throughout the game.
Yes Bear Fans, believe it or not this team may jell a lot quicker then expected. With more practice, and time on the field together, this team "will" be very competitive, and will challenge the "Cheese-Heads" for the top spot in the NFC North.