The Bears advanced to 4-3 with their win over the Bucs across the pond last Sunday. It sure wasn't pretty, but I'll take the win.
Matt Forte once again proved why he deserves to be paid, and that he IS one of the league’s best.
The Bears played great defense all game, and the offense was ... typical Bears offense. As usual, the Bears couldn't close the door, and, as a result, they let the Bucs right back in the game. Those London games just feel weird. Between the back-to-back interceptions by Freeman and Cutler, to the random slew of penalties, I was having Bears @ Lions MNF flashbacks.
Here are some things to take away from the game:
Roy Williams—The guy who couldn't catch a pass with stick 'em on his gloves, caught, err ... I mean bobbled and then caught four passes on Sunday. Believe me; I didn't think that was possible either.Roy had a GREAT release off the line, beating a jam, and Cutler found him for his first touchdown as a Bear. I'd like to say this might be a sign of good things to come, but I am all out of Bears Kool-Aid. If only he could catch the ball like a real receiver, he might have the skills to be one.
Chris Conte—So far, through two games, Conte has not been a problem whatsoever. When Jerry drafted Conte, Bears nation collectively sighed. But, Jerry MIGHT just have found something here with Conte. He came up with his first interception Sunday on a rather impressive play if I do say so myself. He displays very good tackling and has not gotten beat yet ... because he’s 30 yards downfield all the time. But still.
Chris Spencer—I wrote about him last week, and he continues to impress me. Consistantly, Chris Spencer is providing big blocks when pulling, getting out in front of forte and being a major factor in the running game. He's been a real bright spot when it comes to run blocking and is a major factor in Matt Forte's production.
Urlacher—Need I say more? This guy (Gruden Voice) is still so great. He recorded his third interception of the year Sunday. That makes Urlacher three interceptions away from tying Doug Buffone's record of 24 with the Bears.
Gould is not worth as much in England—Robbie had a chance to become tied with Nate Kaeding for the most accurate kicker in NFL History on Sunday, but he missed the kick. Thanks for jinxing him, announcing crew!
Adam Podlesh—You might be sitting here thinking, "Ummm, why are you mentioning the punter?" Well, it’s been a seemingly seamless transition from the great Brad Maynard to Adam Podlesh. He's quietly had a good season, and the Bears special teams haven't missed a beat.
Mike Martz play calling—The goal-line play calling at the end of the game was atrocious and inexplicable. Matt Forte is running up and down the field all day, and you decide to pass (multiple times) on first and goal? Martz needs to be re-programmed, pronto. Every time he dials up a pass play at a bad time, someone should taze him. Get a clue, Mike. Though, I commend him for running a bootleg...
Defensive line—They constantly got pressure on Freeman and that resulted in a frustrated opposing quarterback. Freeman was far from free, man.
Stop yelling about the Cover-2—That’s what the Cover-2 is supposed to look like. While I can admit, at times I get frustrated when the defense isn’t working, it’s all about the pass rush and solid safety play. If your safeties aren't getting beat deep, and you can get pressure with just the front four, this defense can be great.
Defensive play calling—I feel Lovie and Rod did a great job mixing up the play call. For you people who hate the Cover-2, they don't even run it that much. On one series I saw the Bears come out and run Cover-1, Nickel Zone Blitz and then Cover-2 on third down. At times, Lovie would stick to his Cover-2 on third and long. He was also running that nickel blitz with DJ Moore. Very good game plan.
The Barber-ian—Finally, this man is healthy and contributing. Two touchdowns in the last two weeks, Barber finally looks ready to go. If the Bears can stay committed to the run and unleash the two headed monster that Forte and Barber can be, they've got a real shot at winning ball games.
KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THEIR THROAT—The Bears seem to always have a problem with giving teams the Fatality (with the exception of Minnesota). Seriously, the Bears were up 21-5 at one point, only allowing the Bucs to come right back into the game. This can’t happen if you want to get back to the playoffs. Stop winning ugly and don’t let bums hang around.
Same place as last year—Well, the Bears finish up 4-3 again at the bye week. Only difference is, they are coming off two must win games. Oh and that team to the north? Yeah, they are pretty much going to run away with the NFC North. The Martz intervention has already happened pre-bye week, and the running game is cranked up and rolling.
Since Lovie likes to break things in quarters, let’s go that route: So far, the Bears are 2-1 in the second quarter of the season. Coming out of the bye week, they face the Eagles. Even though they've struggled this year, this team is still dangerous. A win over the Eagles would significantly help the Bears chances at a Wild Card spot. That would be three wins over possible Wild Card contenders (Bucs, Falcons, Ealges). I don’t want to say it’s a must win … but it kind of is.
Bears are sitting fairly comfortably at the bye. But this isn't going to be an easy task. But look at it this way: the Bears have played the toughest schedule through the first seven weeks of the season and come out on top…
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