I can't imagine a game starting uglier for the Chicago Bears. Sacks. False starts. Cutler throws one of the worst interceptions I've ever seen. The first half of the first quarter was grotesque. But life got better in a hurry. Here are a bunch of thoughts.
- In my lifetime I can't remember a corner playing a better single game than Tim Jennings played yesterday. I predicted Jennings to have four interceptions and a Pro Bowl-caliber year. I didn't expect him to have two in the opener.
- So...Jay Cutler is apparently going to throw the ball to Brandon Marshall no matter how many defenders are near him?
- Cutler's touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery was perfection. No other way to describe it.
- I'd have to revisit the tape but on first viewing I thought J'Marcus Webb played a solid game at left tackle.
- If Adam Podlesh couldn't punt, why was he punting?
- The image of Brian Urlacher spending the bulk of the second half on the sidelines was a little disturbing. If Lovie Smith is monitoring 54's reps in Week One it does not bode well for the man's ability to get through the rigors of an entire NFL season. And Urlacher wasn't fighting it. He wasn't mad. And that might have been the most telling sign. A great career is on the homestretch.
- Let's retire the Devin Hester end around.
- I said all along the talk of Devin Hester and Kellen Davis was silly. Yesterday it was Earl Bennett thriving in the slot and Kyle Adams looking like the Bears most explosive tight end on the roster.
- The depth along the Bears defensive line is borderline frightening and we could spend a few minutes on McClellin, Wootton, Peppers...etc. But I am going to lay the gauntlet for Henry Melton. Let's see that performance for sixteen weeks. Sixteen weeks. Melton has all the talent in the world and the Bears need the push from the middle to have a successful defensive year.
- Michael Bush belongs on the Bears.
- So does Blake Costanzo.
- So does Brandon Marshall.
- So does Phil Emery.
- Can't say enough for Matt Forte - both running and catching the ball. There simply isn't a more versatile back in the league. (I still can't believe the contract Emery convinced him to sign.)
- My favorite play of the day: Kelvin Hayden's hit on Donnie Avery. Perfect technique and perfectly legal, Hayden laid the wood.
It was one of those games you over-analyze at your own peril, as the second half was essentially a runaway. The Bears got a dominant win and move on to the Packers.
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