The Drive of the Game

I was nervous yesterday.  As nervous as I've been during a Bears football game in an awful long time.  While I paced ferociously around the pool table at Josie Wood's, surrounded by twenty or so friends, Jay Cutler showed no signs of nervousness.  Knowing he was coming off the worst performance of his football-playing career, he was calm.  In front of 61,500 desperate fans, he was calm.  With receivers dropping balls on every drive, he was calm.  And yesterday was not easy.

The drive that told the story was not the one that set up the game-winning field goal.  With 11:37 left in the fourth quarter, Cutler lined up under center knowing he needed seven to even the game at fourteen all.  He knew the running game was nowhere to be found and he knew the blitz was coming.  So he began at the Bears 28.

Quick screen to Johnny Knox for seven yards.  Steve Rosenbloom thinks Knox is the Bears' Eddie Royal.  Rosie may be right but Jackass reminds me of Wes Welker. 

Nothing from Forte.

On 3rd and 3, Cutler stepped up to avoid heavy pressure from the left side and threw a dart to Devin Hester.  He had about a seven-inch window.  He fit the ball in.  First down.         On first and ten, Cutler made the most important play of the game.  From his back foot, he served a beautiful ball in the air to Jersey Greg, over the middle.  Olsen took his second big shot of the day.  This time he held onto the ball. (Note on Olsen: Great fourth quarter after a lackluster first three.)

Cutler hits Kellen Davis and G-Reg on consecutive plays for fourteen more yards.  The Bears might not have an elite pass catcher but they have a lot of guys out there catching the ball.

First and goal at the 9.  Cutler wisely throws the ball away under pressure.  I'm not sure he doesn't try to make something happen on the play if last Sunday night doesn't happen.  In that regard, Cutler's Green Bay performance may be remembered as an essential disaster.

The Double Deuce gains a deuce.

Third and goal at the 7.  Cutler takes the snap and two linebackers are coming, untouched, from the right side.  Instead of turning and looking in the other direction, Cutler stares through them and hits Jackass on a perfectly executed slant pattern.  14-14.  It is not a throw a Bears quarterback of the last twenty-five years attempts, let alone completes. 

And it punctuated a drive that announced Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears and the city of Chicago.  For the first time in my life, the Bears are capable of dropping back in the shot and throwing it every down.  They won't do that, and they shouldn't, but they can.  And that's something.

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  • Right on

  • Agreed on all fronts. Does anybody know if the Bears games can be seen for free on the internet through some avenue (damn near positive the Bears-Seahawks game won't be shown in my market)

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Give this a shot on Sunday. Doesn't always have what you need, but it might have the game.

    http://www.channelsurfing.net/

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    good lookin' bro

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    Is there something that can be done by us, the readers, to ensure Morrisey is not allowed to write any more articles? Seriously that guy is an absolute joke. When I saw his headline today, its clear he has alzheimer's and clearly doesnt remember what he has written in the past.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    #1, stop reading.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Forte is a class act and will find new ways to open up running lanes via dump off check down reads by Cutler. He will eat up some big yardage this way which will keep backers honest. This Cutler passing game is like a new toy at Christmas. Can't believe he's on Bears. Giddy feeling knowing we have a gunslinger back in the pocket. On Da Bears? Yup. Nice to see O-Pace get out front and jack-up a Pitt DB. Dude went flying. Think we'll be seeing some decent pancakes as season rolls on. Briggs played great and hits like a mule. Seneca Wallace might be starting QB this week in Sea-Town. Delicious.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    Ima do a little quoting from that Rick Telander article -

    This:

    Indeed, the 26-year-old guy from Santa Claus, Ind., made those little moves, those little reads, those little fakes that separate the gridiron genius from the merely clever and good.

    And this:

    The two fourth-quarter drives he engineered...those were the artistry of somebody with a full palette, all the brushes, years of study, and big talent.

    YESSSS!!!!! AND HE'S OURS!!!!!

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    I don't think we need to worry about Matty. The rushing yards will come, there will be games where teams have to worry more about Cutler, there will be games where we play with a decent lead, and as the season goes on the Oline will gel and we will be able to run even when they try to stop it. It is just going to take some time, 3/5 of our Oline are going to be making their 3rd NFL start together; they need some time.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    It was a great drive. Cutler was amazing under pressure yesterday. Seemed like he was slidstepping defenders all afternoon. Funny how the Bears seemed to be using short passes as an extension of the run game...and why not, if the line can't open holes, throw short passes that will be more effective.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Jeff you nailed it here:
    'The Bears might not have an elite pass catcher but they have a lot of guys out there catching the ball.'

    The benefit of this is clearly in the first two games, the opposition game planned to shut down the run, and Olsen. Now that you've seen Knox, Bennett, and Davis makes some plans, teams will have to approach us differently. The fact that Jay is spreading out the ball, will help tremendously as the season progresses, and hopefully, will open up the run a little more.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    A "Big Boy" drive in a "Big Boy" game.

    Gotta love it.

    Hopefully the best is yet to come.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Max, I think Vasher's problems are that he gets beat down the field. I almost don't mind that. The Bears allowing a constant stream of slants for five yards on 3rd and 4s is what's mind-boggling. Pressure will have no impact on plays like that because it's such an easy pitch and catch.

    I don't think the corners are great here but yesterday it was strange.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Agreed Jeff, but to me the most frustrating thing that the Bears allow is the number of 3rd and longs they still give up. It's absurd how easy it is to convert third and ten on this team. And it's always been that way in the cover two but it's been worse from the super bowl loss on.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Just an awe-inspiring game, not just the one drive, although that drive is well-documented by you Jeff. Awe that we have a QB that can do things no other QB I can remember in a Bears uni can do. In one game we saw better moves in the pocket than in the last bunch of decades combined, and that's hardly meant to be read as exaggeration. If anything this guy is BETTER than I hoped. And btw, I'm a little tired of the entire media's misrepresentation of the supposed putrid and disastrous Game 1, a game that was pure abomination at the QB spot. That is mistating the story of that game, which was Horrid First Half, Redeeming Second Half right up until the last game-ending pick. Did everyone forget that the same JayC that stunk up the joint also brought us back on top at the end of the game, only to be reversed by the Vasher/Payne screwup?

    But that's all behind us now. Cutler can turn lemons into lemonade and good wide receivers into Pro Bowlers. I can't believe the good drafting that brought us Johnny Knox (maybe to make up for Iglesias et al?) - and I can't believe that he's getting the shot he's getting right out of the box! Fantastic! Honestly, the kid's hands are right there with Mike Hass but combine that with other-worldly speed! When's the last time we had a wide receiver with hands like that? It sure wasn't Bernard Berrian!

    And Kellen Davis? Think of the possibilities of the the two tight set! If he's not better than Greg Olsen he may be as good! (lots of exclamation points here, sorry!)(can't help it!)

    A bit on the negative side - am I really supposed to not be worried about Matt Forte? He looks like a different guy from last year, in both games. Is it just because they geared up to stop the run? Did they not do that to us EVERY GAME last year? Just a little worried here.

    And I'm sorry, but I truly believe our secondary, short of Pnut, SUCKS. Danieal Manning, you're never going to be any good except on Special Teams, are you? And Payne had the worst game of his I remember, jury's still out on Afalava, all I know is Remember When We Used to Have Great Safeties? Truly wish we were back there. Thought we missed Brian but not by a fatal amount, Hunter did a pretty good job considering it's his first start at that position in a while.

    Huge game ball to ALL the coaches, Lovie changed things up and changed the game, major kudos to Ron Turner, really think we outcoached Mike Tomlin in this one! How strange to be able to say that!

    GREEN BAY LOSES, COWBOYS LOSE (I personally enjoyed that immensely), MATT HASSELBECK HAS A FRACTURED RIB,

    BRING ON THE REST OF THE SEASON!!!! This was more than one win, folks, this was HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!

    BEAR DOWN AMERICA!!!

    GOT THE FLAG FLYING PROUDLY IN SAN ANTONIO TEXAS!!!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Also, a bit of media talk - it was Morrissey last week who causticly said "Good luck with that" referring to Cutler. Of course he doesn't eat his words, and spends much of his game article on his irritation with not being able to force Lovie and others to admit that they were surprised at the turn of events. THAT IS NOT GOOD SPORTS JOURNALISM. That article was all about Rick Morrissey trying to spin the story to absolve HIM of his overbearing negativity last week. It's also evidence of a guy who's been too long in the trenches covering the same team - he needs to be somewhere else, and we need new blood.

    I had to keep reading to find an article not drenched with cynicism, an article which expressed a little of the unbridled joy all Bears fans were feeling at the conclusion of that game - and I found it finally, under Rick Telander's byline. Thank you Rick. I wish like hell you were an every day beat writer for the Bears. YOU can write, sir.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Listening to the Packer Radio Broadcast via BFL FIELD PASS as I work. The Pack is taking a physical beating. Safeties Atari Bigby and Nick Collins as well as OT Chad Clifton all knocked out of the game.

    Gotta love that Ed Hochuli Crew. 16 penalties called...IN THE FIRST HALF! Wound up with 24.

    No offense to Jeff Joniak but I still enjoy former Bears', now Packers', play-by-play man, Wayne Larivee, who still calls an excellent game and is no apologist for the home team.

    Oops! Aaron Rodgers just sacked for the 3rd time by Bengal Antoine Odom.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Er, that's NFL FIELD PASS.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    Max the only thing I would say is the Bears D has always had a bend dont break mentality when it comes to the Pass. Vasher just seemed this season as if he couldnt keep up on the long ball...

    I still think Graham should get some more tick...but Bowman and Tillman look pretty good in my opinion.

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    not sure about the internet but NFL replay is showing the game tonight 9:30 ET.

  • I agree with you Jeff on the passing game that is coming on for these Bears...

    I also have to say that we need to give a gameball to Ron Turner for calling a great second half. He knew the run wasn't working in the first half and decided to pass on what would normally be running downs for the Bears. When the second half started I was screaming at them not to run the ball and they didn't. The run wasn't working so they went to the pass. Loved it and Jay did great!

  • I bet the Pack didn't gameplan for Benson at all......

  • I would not say you are wrong.

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