The First Must-Win Game of 2010

I'd imagine the columns have already been written, saved under "Fire Lovie" on the laptop computers of David Haugh, Rick Telander and Steve Rosenbloom.  They contain the phrases that have filled beat pages and blog posts since 2004: poor clock management, wasted timeouts, poor talent recognition, little accountability, offensive incoherence...etc.  I'm sure a few of the finest in Chicago sports media thought those columns might have to wait another year (or two) until they found the Monday morning eyes of commuting businessmen, circling the Loop, wondering what went wrong the previous day on the lakefront.  

Maybe not.
If the Chicago Bears lose to the Washington Redskins Sunday, favored again, at home again, in front of a hostile crowd, the building anticipation of the 2010 season may become nothing more than waiting out the inconsistent and oft-disappointing tenure of Lovie Smith.  I say "oft-disappointing" because to call the tenure entirely disappointing would be unfair to a coach with two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance.  (For entirely disappointing see: Wannstedt, Dave.)
A loss would send the Bears to 4-3 and send them into a fourteen-day hiatus from playing football.  When you lose going into a bye week, especially in Chicago, everything gets scrutinized.  A loss would mean the Bears, quite frankly, are just holding onto a buoy in the ocean, waiting for the shark known as the Minnesota Vikings to chew off their lower halves.  (The Vikings have lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes.)
A win might not be reason to book an early-February hotel room in Dallas but it would be serious reason for joy.  5-2 and a bye week before a de facto home game against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto?  That has to be 6-2.  And that means ten wins is only a .500 second half away.  When people call games "must wins" they are usually wrong.  In this case, it's 100% accurate.  The Bears must beat the Redskins Sunday.  The remainder of the 2010 campaign and the head coach's future may very well depend on it.

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  • FIRST must win game was against Detroit. This about #3.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    Have to agree about the Detroit game.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    Jeff great post. Spot on.

  • This video will load up in a SECOND.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nrvMNf-HEg

  • It seems like every game is a must win. The reason for that is, we never know how we will look next week. One week we all see promise, the following week we look like we should have the first pick of the draft. This season has been a roller coaster of emotion. We love Martz, we hate Martz. Cutler is great, we got screwed in trading for him. We score on the first drive, looking pretty decent in the process, the rest of the game we look as if we couldnt beat a decent college team. Every week is a must win because the future seems uncertain on whether we will improve or regress. Bear Down!

  • In reply to iamndmurff:

    Good points, Murph.

    I'm usually fairly optimistic but with this OL, Martz' stubborness and Cutler still being a half a bubble off, I'm getting pretty down.

    Unless we get impact plays on D (a lot of 'em), I have no confidence this 0 will score points when they have to score points. Hell, they can't even pick up a 3rd down! I've been through the dark ages with this team (late '60's into the early '80's) and I don't remember a worse performance by an OL. Scary.

    It would have taken 2 ST's scores to win that game. We got totally jobbed on Manning's score but we've been the recipients of some favorable calls (Hester's long PI call that game). It's hard to whine too much considering.

    Unless this O comes together consistently, we'll be lucky to be 8-8 at the end. If we stay the way we are, Cutler's done within a month.

    Aren't I just a little ray of fucking sunshine today?

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    when you ever so subtly swat both hands of a receivers to the left right before the ball gets there it is pass interference just as badly as when you pancake someone before the ball gets there

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    True enough but do you think Devin would have caught that ball? It wasn't just that call going our way. The Calvin Johnson fumble. Good call, bullshit rule. Every time Cutler throws a pick it seems to come back. Are they penalties? Yes. Do we usually get the benefit of the doubt? No. Don't get me wrong, I was totally pissed about the invisible penalty called on Wilson when Manning went to the house. However, we had about a million chances to win that game and we continually shot ourselves in the foot. Sad Game.

  • If the Bears trade for Mankins they might have a shot.They've been exposed real badly.I think they should try running the football if the passing game isnt working for a change.

    The Redskins always seem to find a way to win in Soldier Field ever since the Walter Payton days.

  • In reply to johnkos:

    Tading for Mankins doesn't do much sadly.

    What guard has ever been the reason for a team going to the Super Bowl, and even if we suddenly have a good LG... how does tha make Omelette or Williams a viable NFL LT? It simply means one less guy we need to draft next year and one less pick in the draft next year so I don't know what it gets us right now.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    And what do you do with CW ..?

  • In reply to johnkos:

    Don't remind me. I was at Soldier Field when Joe Gibbs was under fire coming into the game at 0-5. My friends and I drove 3 hours (drunk as hell, as you might imagine) to the game and thought the Bears were going to smoke Wash. Instead they dismantled the Bears and that was the beginning of the Joe Gibbs era in Wash.

    That 3 hour drive home sucked until we got our of Chicago traffic. Then it was back to pounding them and laughing our asses off.

  • In reply to johnkos:

    Ginnie put the piggy bank up on a shelf Angelo can't reach. He already got his slice for the year.

  • "Hostile crowd" seriously? Did you watch the Deadskins game? Now THAT's a hostile crowd! The Bears crowd looked and sounded more like the cast of a George A Romero film. I hope someone gets on the fans because the Bears need a home field advantage and with this crowd they dont get much of one.

  • In reply to Jlehr:

    I meant hostile towards the Bears.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Well in that case you may be correct. Although you would have to go a long way to beat the Jacksonville fans last night when down by 17 or so the coach just kept calling the run. They looked pissed!

  • So, if we finish 8-8, and win the NFC north, what does that do for our head coach's future?

  • In reply to Church:

    No chance it happens that way.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    If magically we win four more games which are exactly our division games... I could see an NFC north team winning at 8-8, but its a huge stretch unless either Favre or Rogers gets taken out.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    You guys are forgetting wildcard. Do you really think the NFC is producing two ten-win WCs?

  • In reply to mottystone:

    I think Bears fans are experiencing what most teams are experiencing. I thought the Falcons were the best conference team Saturday and they were embarrassed Sunday. Are the Giants really good? Are the Eagles? Is anybody?

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    The Giants had to hang on, AT HOME against the Lions and their NUMBER 3 QB.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    People aren't giving the Lions credit. They're a team on the up unlike any other team in the NFCN.

  • In reply to mottystone:

    So the only 3-0 picks this week? You guessed it. Me.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    We get sloppy fourths.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Congrats Jeff.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    I'm making my picks this week, and then reversing them.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Are the Queens or Pack going to win 9?

  • In reply to Church:

    A.) 8-8 won't win the North.
    I am betting Minnesota, Pack and us all finish 9-7 or better. Minn need 7/11, which is tough but they can do ; Pack needs 6/10, they should easily do and we need 4/10; which we, sadly may have the hardest time with. But even if 2 of the 3 of us falter, one of us goes 10-6 or so at least.
    B.) I think if we make the playoffs, the coach's hold onto their jobs regardless of how we get there.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    I think 9-7 might take the division....and that's not really a slight on the teams in the North....the schedule is a bitch this year. NFC east has been playing tough the last couple of weeks (minus the cowboys). AFC east has 2 great teams and a tough out (miami).

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    see that. Well done wrig. good post.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    I still think the Bears will take the division. They have one of the best defenses in the NFL and when the offense is clicking they can beat just about anyone. A few of my friends are Redskins fans and they want to come over Sunday and watch the game since I have the ticket. The Bears and their fans better show up because God knows I dont want to listen to these fools talk.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Charles Grant released. Told ya he's never play a down.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    And they signed Barry Turner from the practice squad.

    woo hoo. look out Dallas, here we come!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    No question this is a must win game. Stockpiling these conference wins early is huge, which is why the Seattle loss is so devastating. I'd be very surprised if GB or the Vikes go down to the them.

    Anyway, there's a lot of talk on this site and around the web that the current situation can be remedied by Martz, if he would only return to the play-calling that won the Cowboy game. After that game everyone hailed him as a genius and the next big head coaching prospect. Do you honestly think Martz has given up this flexible play-calling and genius status, just to return to his old, air-it-out ways? Hell no. He's giving Cutler and this offense options, but for whatever reason, they aren't executing like they did in Dallas. The two losses, I think, fall on the players, especially Cutler.

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    If either the Vikes or Pack lose to Seattle, it will have to be in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Ah, I didn't realize that. However, GB and Minn.'s NFC West opponents aren't that tough at the moment.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Jeff, I suggest you prepare your obituary for the Redskins game. No way the Bears win it. I read through everyone's post's and there were a few I could tell were thinking this but couldn't bring themselves to say it. Unless Martz implements a short passing game utilizing our RB's and TE's, our favorite sons also known as the Bears will lose against the Redskins and lose badly.

    I just don't see how this line gives us a chance to muster an offensive performance that can out score the Skins. Bears 6, Skins 17. Sorry guys.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    +1000

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I think a lot of what we're blaming on Martz should fall on Cuntler. Watching the seattle lowlights and there were checkdowns he could and should have went to. The more Cutler I see, the less I like.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Do you think his brain has turned to Dook Lasanga coach?

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Every time they do a journalist bit on the Bears receivers or interview Martz - all this praise gets heaped on Knox. Knox is the most like the Greatest Show on Turf Rams receivers, he's like another Oz Hakim, etc etc.

    Yet, in looking at my DVR recording of the Bears game, it's Knox who seems to make the most errors. Breaking the wrong way, coming too far back to the ball, etc. Yes, he's got mad speed and mad speed is the need, at least for Martz, but I saw a confused Knox out there.

    Oh and Shabba looks like shit in the slot. Color me confused on why a guy whose natural talent is laying out for the deep ball and going up for the corner of the endzone jump is running crossing routes in the slot in the Seahawks game. When he was benched for his tentativeness is going across the middle and taking the hit on the quick slant.

    Why is he not at the 1WR spot? Have him spell Hester, and put Scrappy or somebody else in the slot.

    Sometimes Martz feels like he's pounding round pegs into square holes, it's gonna be his way or the highway - and whatever happens in real life doesn't matter...

  • In reply to gpldan:

    You're getting way ahead of yourself GP. It starts with Cutler and the O-line. We're still learning to walk let alone trying to fine tune the air attack. That's like asking Irish's twins to drive my car to the grocery store.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Impossible, Trac. But they could wire it to detonate no problem.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    From what I see, our best receiver is Earl Bennett. Hands down.

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    He is the most consistent without a doubt.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    He should be in the slot, and they should choose between Hester and Knox to play opposite Shabba. Preferably Knox, so Hester can be rested for returns. Swap them in and out whatever. One makes a big effort, swap in the other and let them recover.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Thank god I'm not alone. See the 'first down' catch where he catches it and then runs directly backwards and loses the first down. And Shabba is our #1. Martz himself said Shabba doesn't know the slot - yet he insists playing him there! Shabba kills on the outside, that's what we're missing int he passing game - Shabba! Has everyone's memories just disappeared?

    Our #1 and #2 receivers are arguably our worst. Fast yes, but name any other skills they bring. Blocking for Knox, maybe, he's got no strength - but he tries. Hester's hands maybe. Not enough sorry. If you don't know your playbook and can't run routes then get off my field. Thing is, who *does* know Martz' Bible? He's trying to turn football into rocket science.

  • In reply to MASOCHR:

    Yes! Call the protections ! Change the frakkin play! Or can you Jay? Are you able to? It's pathetic to say 'there are no audibles' in the Martz offense. CALL THE AUDIBLE!! You're standing at the LOS, who's going to stop you - it's your damn team. JEBUS H. !! Jimmy Mac gets more legendary to me as each year passes. There isn't a QB like him today. Manning is scared of contact.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    you are dead to me

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Lets face it, the Bears will not win the Super Bowl this year. Playoffs even seem to be a out of the question. But we're 4-2 you say? My answer is simple. That doesn't mean jack. The Bronco's were 6-0 last year and then promptly lost 8 out of the 10 games. I'm just being pragmatic. I'm perfectly willing to take the victories as they come and also carry the losses into next year without being too bothered by it Johnny. The Bears are who I thought they were after watching the Giants game. I expect 3 maybe 4 more wins at best.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I was shaking my head when it was suggested on this board that that was even possible without an offensive line or receivers.

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/19/the-onion-thousands-match_n_768233.html

    The onion takes on most of our ex girlfriends.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    I agree, I mean how do you beat teams when your third down becomes a fourth down?

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Some insight about Martz from Warrner: http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/10/18/kurt-warner-mike-martzs-bears-offense-just-seems-like-theyr/

    Looks like we're in for a tough second quarter and rest of the year if something doesn't click with culter and the line - no shit right.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Warner basically echoed my comments I made after the game MB. Martz's system CANNOT work with no pass protection. How a thing starts is how a thing goes. We started out with bad protection, we still have bad protection, we will continue to have bad protection with this group. It seems everyone else is getting better and the Bears just seem to be getting worse. Mr. Martz, showcase the players you have using a short passing game, screens, draws, quick slants and bootlegs. Do that sir and the pass protection will get better with time, but until then please, please don't get Jay Killed.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    DaCoach-

    To your point, doesnt it utlimately fall on the QB to sniff out the Blitz if NO ONE ELSE ON THE TEAM does.

    Shit if it was my ass on the line, I'd be making sure someone is covering the edge before I ever snap the ball.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    That's what an experienced QB does DM. Cutler is still trying to comprehend the playbook and if Martz doesn't start making it easier for him, Cutler will not make it through the season.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Yup. McMahon had won a super bowl at this point in his career. And like Ditka said, defense or no, they don't get to the show and win it all without Mac.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    This loss to the Seahawks is the first game we lost due to coaching incompetence. The Giant's game, we just got physically manhandled, but this game, we lost cuz of just a handful of bad coaching decision. Example, it's like 3rd and 10, and roughly around 53yarder field goal range. Perfect time to run a draw, right? get maybe 5yds, and let Gould make a 48yarder which is a lot more makable...but what does Martz call? An all or nothing pass attempt. We ended up with nothing. Those Timeouts KILLED us, we gto a few bad calls, etc...the Seahawks basically beat us like we usually beat teams - not pretty, but mistake free, field position (except for that bonehead move to punt it to Hester), and a reliance on their D, esp in third down.

    The Washington game is going to be an even bigger nightmare for our Oline...if they were confused by Seattle's Blitz, which the announcers accurately recognized by half-time, imagine the 3-4 blitz-krieg that Washington is gonna employ after watching tape...

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Coaching played a part 85, nothing more nothing less. Cutler was way off his game. I'll give him a pass and chalk it up to all the sacks and his happy feet syndrome. I don't even think David Carr went through this much trauma when he was with Houston. Our line is bad and they don't know what they are doing. That's obvious. Try starting there.

  • In reply to ImissButkus:

    Got to feel a bit for Cutty. His eyes are dropping when that ball is snapped now. He knows he's going to get pounded.

  • In reply to KissMyButkus:

    Excellent points all round. Blitzkrieg at Soldier Field, yes.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I think to suggest that the season rides on the next few games is to ignore the landscape of the rest of the league. I can't remember the last time there haven't been a few 5-1, 6-0 teams after the first 6 weeks. The problems that we are having are no worse than the problems that most other teams are having. The most consistent team in the NFC? I have no idea....none. This season looks like it's gonna be a long one. For everyone, not just the Bears.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    +1

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    While I somewhat agree with the basic premise you put forth Wrig, there are two things to consider:

    1. Specific to us... we know what our issue is. If we could fix our oline and just make it good, not great, but good... I think we can all agree that we'd be in a totally different league than we are. Other teams seem to have more... diffused issues, like a spat of injuries (GB), or too many penalties (GB, Dallas), or they

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I think there are many ways to fix O-line problems apart from personnel changes (not to say i think that the bears show any signs of doing so, but it's possible). Play calling obviously determines how much you ask of your offensive line. Do you pull TEs back to help protect, or do you send out even more receivers so there are more opportunities for the ball to get out quicker? I know it's been broached on this blog a number of times, but the 2009 packers are an excellent example. Their line was historically bad through the first 8 games. Probably as bad as this bears team is. Down the stretch they were not only serviceable, but never gave up more than a couple sacks a game. They didn't bring anyone else in, they adjusted. Obviously having and "Oline problem" sucks because it's five positions. But it's not impossible to fix, and there are a number of ways to do it

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    I agree with your analogy about GB but Rodgers is totally in sync with his O. Cutler, not so much. I'm really concerned that Cutler is still fuzzy from the Giants game. It's on him to get the ball out on a 3-step drop when the DB's are blitzing and nobody is picking them up. He stayed with a 7-step drop each time. Either he's slow to recognize defenses or his brain isn't firing normally after all those hits. Scary either way.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    also a good point Canada

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Totally agree, but I thought Martz' inability to shelve his ego and do what we've all been screaming for him to do (dallas game creativity thing every game) is what we've been talking about. His inability to get out of his own ego's way.

    Sheesh, long day terrible grammar, stick with me here...

    your other example (simily?) is not correct. GB's 2009 oline was decimated by injuries early, once everyone got healthy they took off. yes, of course some of that was experience and 'gelling', most of it was that they had the tallent that was capable, they just had to wait till the second half to get them all on the field.

    We don't have anything close to the tallent they had... not even the same universe. Yes we can get better with time, but to a point where we might juuuust be able to keep cutty alive. And even that might come too late.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    What TEs ? Olsen and Manu. Sheeesh.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    i don't want to see max protection because that means we are sticking with that 7 step drop shit instead of getting momentum going with runs and short/mid range passes to our RB's, slot receivers and tight ends. Abuse them short then they start cheating and THEN you break out the 7 step playaction bomb. holy shit man, it's not fucking rocket science. it's common sense. Martz has to realize that or else he is the dumbest fucking dude of all time. i know he is not stupid so he is just being stubborn. he will make the changes against Washington.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Just being feisty here so take it with a grain of salt. Our O-line sucks, as a matter of fact I don't know if there is anyone here that can name a team that has a worse line than the Bears. So what you're trying to say is that you really didn't try to take a bribe for the open Senate seat? Everyone does it kinda thing? You're hi pal. Bad offensive lines send QB's to the hospital. Our offense is floating in Lake Michigan my friend and I don't see any way they make it to shore this year.

  • In reply to brocklanders:

    Which doesn't bode well for a team with no depth on the roster.

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    We Shall, as inexplicable as it seems, Martz seemed to be doing exactly that - moving straight backward to the Giant game plan, away from flexibility, toward a single-minded game plan without creativity. You can't say it just was because they weren't executing - there were only 8 runs called! One of those was Chester Taylor making something out of nothing for 5 yards - something he seems able to do a lot of. We have running backs who, if you give them a bunch of cracks at it, will find or create holes. If you give them a creative playbook to get there they'll do it even better. But 8 tries?

    And how many throws to Olsen? How many to Hester? How many to our pass catching backs? Not many.

    I saw a whole bunch of 5 and 7 step drops and a whole lot of deep passes to Johnny Knox who was surrounded by 2-3 defenders - why? because we were calling nothing else.

    That wasn't execution, that was playcalling. Or maybe playcalling coupled with poor QB decisions and/or lack of audibling, as some have suggested. But I think the whole world wondered why we weren't running and doing quicker, shorter passes.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Even Singletary fired his ass.

  • In reply to WeShallReturn:

    Great Point Jeff. I have calmed down since yesterday.

    Look my biggest Issue right now with this team is the Balance of Offense we have. ITS POOR!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    +1, Mayor Blogfather.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Guess that was something you could "take for GRANTED"...?

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I like it, Al

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    WTF?

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Jesus Mayer, have some fucking personal and professional integrity: http://www.chicagobears.com/news/ChalkTalkStory.asp?story_id=7201

    And the truth brigade marches on. I know it

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    really don't like that dude....

  • In reply to FQD1911:

    The truth is that he's just paid to write propaganda FQ. He's not a real journalist, so expecting him to act like one is silly of us.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Mayer actually wrote this:

    "But in watching the tape of Sunday

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Oh, so you stop running the ball because the first four sacks were after a running play? I must have missed that lecture in logic class. And they got a first down on 8 of the next 9 drives after abandoning the run. How many points did that result in?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    We are going to beat the Redskins this week.

    The O-Line is going to get better.

    The season is not over until I say it is over.

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    fucking exactly

  • In reply to hollywood1:

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    I would rather beat the Skins and lose to Hawks than the other way around. I can't stand McNabb.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    I hate losing to anyone but I can't picture our line morphing overnight.

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    Damn Germans

  • In reply to TheFifth:

    I love seeing that in the comments on Youtube when someone writes that. Some tool always chimes in with : "It was the Japanese actually ..."

  • In reply to PhantomOne:

    Johnny, are you going to sound like this on Sunday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh-d3CEkl-4

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    After reading some articles it the O-line looks worse, mainly because you've got either inexperience (Webb and Williams on the right) or a combination of new positions and mediocrity on the left. There's only so much a QB can do when assignments are blown on the OL. I think our only hope is that by some miracle the OL gels, or at least commit fewer errors.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    You guys don't actually READ Mayer, do you?!?

  • In reply to Mastodon:

    No kidding!

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    In fairness to Mayer, the Bears *couldn't* run the ball against the Seahawks. They stopped us cold everytime. I mean, they're a very clear #2 in the league (14 YPG ahead of the Bears) against the run. Trying to stubbornly run it against a brick wall would have been pointless - we don't have the line to do that. We need to play bullshit teams like Carolina to do that.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    What about the Lions? They could be better than all of us by the end of the season. They have an offensive line, a defensive line. Receivers, running backs. They used to have quarterbacks ...

  • In reply to Church:

    1. I liked this, "The Vikings have lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes"

    2. Something I keep forgetting to post, but that's been worrying me since before the seahawks game. We went into that game with basically the same record as last year. I

  • In reply to Church:

    Jeff, love your posts this year, I'm totally in line with your thoughts.

    Did a quick 3/4 read of the last thread, I think the "we suck" passion is a little overblown. My conclusion off of that loss was that was the first clear "Because of Martz" loss of the year. So Martz has a bunch to atone for here. Is he saying anything about his shit gameplan btw? I liked how he took the blame for Giants loss, has he 'splained anything here? Like how he forgot the lessons of the Giants game and the Panthers win THAT FAST??? He's such a genius that he's the only OC in history to stand as far away from his team as possible while not exploiting an aerial view? Mike, you doth genius too much.

    But I see that loss as being nearly entirely his fault plus the lack of Lance Briggs on D. We saw how important that mofo is, and likely how much he is helping Julius too when lining up behind him.

    I know Omiyale missed the pickup again and again, but I'm sure those of you who know line play might attest to the fact that he has his called blocking schemes and some of those pickups might not be his fault. The oline overall gets a little bit of a pass considering how idiotic and predictable the playcalling was. They didn't get half a chance to participate in any run blocking because virtually none were called.

    Here's where we are right now -

    1) we have regained the slot as the best and most dangerous ST in the league (love you Irish but your slam on Gould was inexplicable to me - it's not his fault his idiot coaches call for field goals that are outside his range)
    2) with Briggs back, we ARE that good on D.
    3) If MensaMartz can get it through his thick skull, we have more than capable playmakers on offense, and the tools for a great balanced offense.

    So let's see whether Martz fixes what ails us. If Briggs comes back, and with Hester/Manning ready to run everything back, we'll be winning games again - BUT IT'S UP TO MARTZ.

    That's what I see.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Phil, you stated my thoughts better than I could. That game was all on Martz and Briggs was sorely missed. I think they have the potential to be a good, but not great offense.

    In the 1st quarter, the Bears offense attempted 7 runs and 7 passes (including the PI). The last 3 quarters, they called 41 pass plays and only 5 run plays, or 8 passes to every run. That is idiotic. The offense didn't score a touchdown after the first quarter either. I don't think that is coincidence. That idiot McCarthey does the same shit in GB all the time, and they wonder why their offense stagnates in the second half.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    They're not outside most kicker's ranges. That's all. As much as we got our asses kicked, that game was winnable if you have a kicker with all the tools.

  • In reply to IrishBearsFan:

    Irish, if you think most kickers routinely hit 54 yarders in Soldier Field, you're wrong. Soldier and the Meadowlands (not sure about the new one) are the 2 toughest places to kick. I was disappointed Gould missed it but it was hardly a gimmee.

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