With apologies to my friends at Hockeenight (and if you're a Hawks fan and you aren't reading them, you're really missing out) and the Blackhawks organization, I'm going to co-opt their anthem for a day:
Didn't this game just make you fucking giddy? I'm going to thank TEC's Cardinals for laying an egg last week, because it was a glorious feeling to watch the Bears officially put the dagger in the 2010 Minnesota Vikings season. Honestly, this game wasn't even as close as the score indicated. Take away one blown coverage on Percy Harvin and one mind-numbingly stupid endzone pick by Jay Cutler and this was a hair away from a 30-6 slaughter. How'd we get there? Let's break it down:
Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher: 17 carries for 51 yards. That was the total for Adrian Peterson today. I'm not exactly sure how many of those came on the first two drives for the Vikings, but I'll bet it was the majority. Starting in the 2nd quarter Briggs and Urlacher made the necessary reads on the stretch plays that the Vikings were running and from then on out the game was more or less decided. Left to deal with the Bears defense alone, Favre wasn't going to get it done. I was listening to the Vikings radio call for the second half while I was on the road, and Paul Allen said it best: When Briggs and Urlacher are healthy, the Bears win a lot of games.
The offensive line: For the first time this year I'm going to put them into the "good" column. They only allowed Cutler to be sacked one time, and while Jay had to pull it down and run and buy himself time on multiple occasions, that's okay. Earlier this year they weren't even clearing guys out enough to give Jay room to scramble. They also allowed Forte and Taylor to rack up 102 yards rushing against a Vikings defense that, while much worse than last year, has played respectably against the run. Good job, boys.
DJ Moore: I love that guy.
Devin Hester: God I hope he's okay, because he was an absolute terror in the return game today, and he drew a lot of attention on defense that freed up Johnny Knox (5 catches, 90 yards) and Earl Bennett.
The Tight Ends: Olsen and Davis both had TD catches that were huge. Good to see that Martz knows how to make it count whenever he does use them.
Jay Cutler: Outside of one pass, he played the best game he's played all year. He made plays with his feet, avoided sacks, threw well on the run and in the pocket, had 3 TD passes and just did everything that his talent should allow him to do on a weekly basis.
Mike Martz: For two weeks, he's called brilliant games. Here's a stat for you: despite the fact that they are still dead last in the NFL in 3rd down conversion %, over the last two weeks the Bears are 18/33. That'll do.
Brett Favre: God damn, Brett. Sometimes I forget how fun it is to watch you flail away miserably and commit four turnovers. Maybe I will miss your worthless old ass whenever you head home to your tractor and your loveless marriage in Mississippi.
Paul Allen: I don't care if he calls Vikings games. The man that brought me this and this can do no wrong. Listening to the thinly-veiled contempt that this man has for Brett Favre made my afternoon.
Jay Cutler's Red Zone Interception: I'm not going to throw Jay himself in the bad category when he played a great game with all things considered, so I'll just address the interception itself: Bad interception! You naughty little across-the-body-oh-God-why-we-could-have-been-up-ten-points-this-is-just-like-the-Skins-game turnover! Don't ever come back.
That's really about it. This was easily the most complete and impressive game the Bears have played all year. I won't pretend that the Vikings don't suck, but this would have been an easy game for the Bears to piss away and one they sure as hell would have over the last three years. Thursday night in Miami they get a Dolphins team that just won their first home game all year and may be playing their 3rd String quarterback. That's a must win. We'll be SKOSCasting the game that night, so see y'all then. Go Bears.
And Fuck Brett Favre.