There’s a new ridiculous in town
Chicago’s game on Sunday down in Tennessee was over the second Bears’ CB Sherrick McManis’ blocked punt was recovered and brought into the endzone by DE Corey Wootton. The so-called Titans were TITANically bad from the onset of the contest.
Peanut’s ball-punch continues to be like something out of a video game—the Titans were probably looking for the reset button on their NES throughout the day—and Tillman had the game set to easy, with the invincibility cheats on. Four forced fumbles in one game is a new kind of ridiculous.
If they manage to win a Super Bowl this season, the Bears’ defense will go down as one of the greatest ever assembled. In my opinion, this group, through eight games, is the best thing we’ve seen in a Bears uniform defensively since the famed 1985 crew.
The approach of Lovie Smith’s crew is nothing new. But the level on which they’re executing that approach is. For years teams have been cautious about turning the football over against the Bears. Only now, teams understand the ball will most likely be taken away from them at some point, and then, it’s just trying to keep them out of the endzone.
Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli, my hat is officially off to you. It’s been incredible. Now let’s see how you match-up this week vs. a real offense.
Compliments on defense, concern on offense
Despite having scored an average of 30 points per game this season and engineering game-winning drives all in support of the Bears’ 7-1 record, there’s something still clearly not clicking for Mike Tice’s offense. Whether that starts with the offensive line, or the lack of production from just about any receiver not named Brandon Marshall is open to speculation.
The slow offensive starts are about the only thing consistent with this group right now. False starts, quite a few from your center—yes, I said the center. You know, the guy who actually snaps the ball and starts the play?—and stupid holding penalties have killed momentum over and over again.
RT Gabe Carimi is looking worse each week. He might actually prove to be Jerry Angelo's last laugh at the expense of Chicago Bears fans. Cutler has been apparently leaving his accuracy in the locker room until it’s most needed. If it continues, it will surely make me tear my hair out at some point this year.
The ending stat line against the Titans with three touchdowns to Brandon Marshall was a promising sign that maybe, just maybe, they can figure things out in the second half of the season. Or . . . maybe the Titans just suck . . .
Fortunately for the Bears, Brandon Marshall is playing as good as, if not better than, any receiver in the NFL through eight games.
Don’t mess with Texas
This week, as the Bears host the Texans at home, there's another monster coming to the midway named JJ Watt who Tice’s crew of linemen will have to block. Will the Bears’ offensive lineman be blown out by too much Wattage? (Too much? Good, I didn’t think so either.)
The Chicago crew is essentially Edison’s D/C (Direct Current), whereas the Texans are Tesla’s A/C (Alternating Current). Which, for those who have no clue what I’m talking about, Tesla ultimately won that battle; much as Watt likely will on Sunday.
Watt comes into this game with 10.5 sacks and 10 passes deflected. Those are absolutely disgusting numbers for a defensive tackle. How on earth are these guys going to block that and keep Cutler upright? Especially with Cutler holding onto the ball too long?
If the Bears’ defense can come out and stop Matt Shaub and the Texans’ offense, it just might be a real sign that this team can go all the way. Both the Bears and Texans are in a similar boat. They both got beat by Green Bay, and this game is both teams’ next big, legitimate test.
Do your job
The Bears are undefeated at home. The Texans are undefeated on the road. Could there be a better situation for a nationally televised Sunday Night Football game?
The question is will the Bears’ lackluster offense be able to sputter and fail for three quarters, only to have the defense put them in a position to win in the fourth quarter with another Cutty comeback? No, I doubt it. This is a game where the offense has to play well and set the tone from snap number one.