First off, an apology for our site issues over the last 24 hours. It is inexcusable and know that immediate actions are being taken to remedy the situation. You deserve a great Comments section - not the shit being provided you now. I'll fix it.
A lot of developments from last night's game worth discussing but here are my thoughts before re-watching the game this afternoon.
- Sad to see the cart come out for Henry Melton. Melton does not have a contract in 2014 and has now gone from looking at one of the more lucrative defensive deals in the league to signing for the veteran minimum in an attempt to prove he's healthy. Here's hoping Melton has the time and drive to get back on the field by the start of next year - whether that's in Chicago or Dallas or wherever Lovie Smith lands.
- If Charles Tillman wasn't 100% last night, why put him out there at all? Calvin Johnson is on the calendar next week.
- Marc Trestman may be Willy Wonka but he is an aggressive play-caller. I think he's already gone for more fourth downs in three weeks than Lovie did in nine years.
- Cris Collinsworth was as fair to Jay Cutler as any analyst I can remember. Cutler's first-down scramble in the fourth quarter took the air out of the stadium.
- What a throw and catch by Cutler and Earl Bennett. Why did people want to trade Earl? Probably has something to do with the salary - the NFL fan's new obsession.
- What a throw and catch by Cutler and Brandon Marshall. I still marvel at a receiver's ability to adjust with the ball in the air, turn and make a catch while another man is trying to stop him.
- Matt Forte is one hell of a running back but the Bears are wisely working Michael Bush into the game plan. Forte may lead the league in touches this season but that means he'll also approach the league lead in times tackled. Bears need him in December and beyond. Can't lose him in September.
- Impressive night for all three Bears linebackers. D.J. Williams looked like the fastest man on the field at times, Lance Briggs destroyed the Steeler running game and James Anderson continued stellar work in coverage. Bears defense was cut to ribbons at times by a brilliant quarterback but the linebackers weren't to blame.
- Raise your hand if you thought Joe Anderson would return more kickoffs than Devin Hester. (Joe Anderson does not have his hand up.)
- One of the emerging stories of the 2013 season: pump fakes. It seems Bears safeties have no answer for them.
- I watched Jordan Mills and Kyle Long closely late in this game and both - at least on initial viewing - played pretty darn well in a difficult environment.
- THE PODLESH REPORT: He was pretty bad but his punt at the end of the first half, sparing the Bears some poor clock management, was excellent.
- Antonio Brown's touchdown catch was just spectacular. I could watch that play 1,000 times.
- Anthony Walters almost Marion Barbered this game. How can an NFL player be so unaware of the game circumstances?
- Is there a backup quarterback with a better relationship to the starter than McCown? Every time the Bears offense, specially Cutler, do something well McCown is rushing onto the field and chest-bumping Cutler.
There is more but I'll get to that when I look at the game a second time. One general theme was summed up brilliantly by the Reverend from his barstool: "I'm not ready to be an offensive team." Guess what? The Chicago Bears are an offensive team.