Monday, November 28, 2011
Raiders 25, Bears 20- Panic Mode
I would be the woman in the chair.
Things aren't good right now, folks. I'm not one to overreact. There's a number of reasons to take some cautious optimism from this game (401 yards of offense, somehow, as well as 6.4 yards per rush and 172 yards rushing, they lost by one score to a good team on the road, etc.). But I'm just not feeling it at the moment. I'm worried.
We know a lot of things about Caleb Hanie at this point. He can do some fun things when he's improvising, like his TDs to Earl Bennett in the title game and the bomb to Johnny Knox. He's athletic, since he managed 50 yards rushing on just five carries, but I can't get over the fact that he appears to be incredibly dumb. I don't know how you throw an interception to BJ Raji. I don't know how you even begin to throw that first interception that he threw to a guy standing directly in front of him just a few feet away. I just don't know how this apparently recklessness that Hanie has will work itself out quickly.
Don't get me wrong. This wasn't Todd Collins, or Craig Krenzel or any of the embarrassingly awful schmucks they've thrown out there before. If Caleb was a rookie making his first start on a team that was going nowhere I'd consider him promising, but I'm not sure he's not going to continue doing stupid shit on a team that really can't afford it right now. At this point, Hanie's a wildcard that could keep this team from beating anyone of the teams that I'd have considered nothing more than cannon fodder for this team with Cutler at the helm. Hell, I'm scared of Tebow's Broncos at the moment. Do you have any fucking idea how much I hate to even say that?
You can say the Raiders are the best team the Bears have left before Green Bay, when, hopefully, Jay may be back. But they didn't do anything yesterday that any of the other teams in the AFC West couldn't do. They were terrible and couldn't run the ball. Caleb put them in position for nearly all of their scores, and it sucked, and it could potentially happen against any of the other teams the Bears Should beat the rest of the way.
Oh well. I'm sure this is just me panicking, and every time I seem to get near the edge this team does something good to get me to back up, so let's hope Caleb Hanie just had one horribly stupid half of football and has it out of his system.
Johnny Knox- I'm still mad at him for slipping on that slant and inadvertently causing this whole mess, but Jesus, Johnny is playing some good football, with a 145 yards and a TD to follow his 97 yard effort last week. He's coming along. If his head is finally catching up with his talent, look out.
Forte/Barber: I like the move to give Barber more carries. Teams are going to stack the box and dare Caleb Hanie to beat them. Unfortunately, Matt Forte's edge runs and bounces to the outside tend to wind up in 3 yard losses against those kinds of fronts. The answer, as we saw, was to have Marion Barber run right into the teeth of the defense and drag them for four to six yards a pop. Together the Thunder/Lightning combo managed 22 rushes for 122 yards (5.5 YPC). Hopefully this will bode well in the games to come, since they're going to need it.
The Defensive Line: They had their best performance all year, with 4 sacks and consistent pressure, and they held Michael Bush to 2.9 yards per rush. They were a big part of limiting the Raiders to those six field goals that miraculously kept them in the game after Caleb's mistakes put them in some bad positions.
Sebastian Janikowski: The silver lining in all of this is that I own Janikowski on my fantasy team.
Caleb Hanie: Well, yeah.
Tim Jennings: He played well for most of the game, but he dropped two interceptions that would have taken Oakland points off of the board and he got beat on the pass that set up Oakland's clinching TD.
Jay Cutler standing on the sideline: Oh, how it hurt my eyes.