Close, but No Cigar
While the Bears looked like an above average team in the first half, they were quick to fall apart after halftime. Who wasn’t pumped up after having a halftime lead?!!? Well apparently DA BEARS weren’t as they really did nothing at all in the second half. Here are a few highlights (both good and bad) of the team’s week one performance.
- Opening Defensive Takeaway: The Bears D looked spectacular with Tracy Porter’s interception on the first drive of the game. Porter out-muscled the receiver and purely wanted the ball more. This set up a scoring drive for the offense. The D played good enough for the Bears to win and has shown improvement already from last year with a really strong pass rush. The secondary still needs to grow, but overall the D is looking better.
- Jeremy Langford. Everyone, including myself, was worried that the Bears running game was going to be terribly bad with the departure of fan favorite Matt Forte. However, Langford proved he has what it takes by rushing for 57 yards and 1 rushing TD. Those numbers aren’t Forte esque, but I will gladly take that against a powerhouse defense. The Texans had a top ranked D last season and look to be a difficult team to beat this year because their D is so talented. Even with an injured Watt, they have enough pieces to be an excellent squad. Langford, with the help of some good holes provided by the O line, was able to make a few really nice runs. I think the takeaway here is that although he won’t be “Forte good”, he will be a top 10-15 RB in the league and will have a few really good games this season.
- Jay Cutler. Smokin Jay actually had a decent performance. The guy might be the toughest QB in the league. He took an absolute beating and seemed unfazed. He won’t last long though if he continues to get hit this much. It appears that Loggains is going to copy Gase’s playbook, as predicted, which means we can expect another average-above average year from Cutler. He and Alshon Jeffery seemed to be on the same page in the first half. Let’s hope that they can develop even more chemistry and give opposing teams a fright. Eddie Royal also had some key catches and looks to be the clear number 2 receiver
- Kevin White. Yes, I know it was his NFL debut. Yes, I know the Texans have an excellent D. Yes, I know it’s only week one. But…. Holy S**T!!! Here we go again, another over-hyped Bears draft pick bust. You’d think he would know the playbook from sitting on his butt all last season. In the beginning of the third quarter, White did not complete the designed route he was supposed to run which allowed for an easy Texans interception. White also had a key third down drop. OK I will not say he is a total bust, but can this joke of an organization please stop over-hyping players that end up not being what we thought they’d be? My message to you Kevin, LEARN THE DAMN PLAYS AND CATCH THE DAMN BALL! IF he continues this bad play, Cutler will stop targeting him.
- O line second half collapse. Again, they played a very tough D line, maybe the best in the league. They protected Jay really well in the first half. As noted, they created some good holes for the running game. BUT, Cutler took a few big shots. They need to protect him, or we can say hello to the brutal backup Hoyer… Can you say “Pick 6”?!?
- Return game. Royal had a good punt return, but kick returner Deonte Thompson needs to know when to take a knee in the end zone. Look, I’d rather have the drive start at the 20 yard line than you thinking “I got it” and take it to the 10-15 yard line. The offense was already having problems, so no need to give them terrible field position.
- Zach Miller. THROW THE DAMN BALL TO MILLER! He clearly wasn’t targeted enough and that is why the Bears lost. He was called on a penalty which was a TERRIBLE CALL. Worst call of the year maybe? Anyways, Cutler needs to find his big buddy Zach. (I was a little happy he didn’t score because I would’ve died shotgunning a Miller Lite as I had celebrated a little too hard from Iowa’s victory over Iowa State).
Overall: The Bears are going to be exactly how I predicted, a 9-7/10-6 team. This team has a lot of growing pains and will blow some games, but will compete in every game (so long as Cutler stays healthy). Do not count them out by any means just yet. For us White Sox fans, it’s still a bit away from Blackhawks season so let’s rally behind our Bears as long as we can, they are the only team we have right now (and whoever plays the cubs). Da Bears will win their next game against the Eagles, a bounce back game if you will. Look for a prediction later this week.