Well, there's plenty that you can take away from the first half that the starters played on Saturday night (all of it hasty, reactionary, and based on a ludicrously small sample size as all good opinions are), starting with:
-HOLY SHIT CHRIS WILLIAMS IS AWFUL AND JAY CUTLER WILL GET KILLEDZ, OMGZ!
Yeaaah. All the excuses in the world (and I've got some stashed somewhere...did I mention they're trying like, a new zone blocking scheme?) can't hide the fact that Kamerion Wimbley absolutely wrecked Chris Williams' shit. Wimbley went under, around, and straight by Williams while making Cutler's life a living hell. That just can't happen. I'm really shocked at this, as at no point even in his relatively weak showing at right tackle last year, and especially not in his stellar end of season run at left tackle, did Chris ever look this overmatched. I can only hope the SOB was out drinking whiskey out of the navel of a co-ed on Friday night and just had a Rex Grossman on New Year's Eve style nonchalance toward a meaningless exhibition game in August. Otherwise, yikes.
-Urlacher suffered an injury that could simply have been a cramp and probably would have kept playing had said injury occured during the regular season, but hey, that's no reason not to overreact and describe him as fragile and unable to finish a game, right Rick Telander?
- All of those bullshit puff pieces about Matt Forte looking like a new man may not have been bullshit puff pieces.
The 89 yard run was a thing of beauty that combined a perfect play call with perfect blocking and Forte absolutely burned the defense with his speed. However, Forte averaged 5 yards per carry on his other 4 rushes as well and several times used a quick burst to get out of the backfield and turn what would have been a loss last year into a pretty good gain. He's ready to go, and here's hoping he can stay healthy and keep Chester Taylor as a third down specialist.
-Johnny Knox is still really freaking good.
That's really all there is to it.
-Martz knows how to use Devin Hester
Hester had a nice 29 yard reception (although he dropped another ball that hit him in the hands) and had two solid runs on end-arounds. Martz seems to have a much better grasp on when to run those things than Ron Turner did.
-Jay Cutler will be really good if he can stay alive
Jay is clearly pretty comfortable in this offense. He moved the ball well despite being brutalized. Although he was only 7/15 (46.7%), Hester and Olsen dropped easy passes that would have put him at 9/15 (60%). As it was, he finished with a 90.7 rating and his touchdown toss to Knox (after extending the play) was a thing of beauty. He also had a nice 11 yard scramble.
-The defensive line looked good
Yes, the Raiders have a notoriously horse shit offensive line. However, after that first drive Campbell was harassed mercilessly like he should be behind that line and was just 5/15 with an interception and a sack/fumble after starting 5/5. Less mobile quarterbacks would probably have been sacked...well, about as often as Cutler was.
-Greg Olsen will still cause my blood to boil with regularity.
Did you enjoy the juxtaposition of Greg Olsen failing to plow through a smaller defender for a first down followed shortly thereafter by a Raiders drive being extended when tight end Zack Miller (listed as the exact same size (6'5'', 255) as Greg) plowed through a bunch of smaller defenders? Yeah, me neither. Olsen also ended a drive by dropping a pass that hit him right in the middle of his hands, because G-Reg don't like 'em easy, baby. He's soft and I hate him. I'll also bitch incessantly if Martz doesn't throw to him, because I like Having and Eating when it comes to my cake.
-I'm not going to lie, I was drunk the entire second half.
And Dan LeFevour looked like total garbage.