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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bears 23, Ram 6: Oh Look, Bear Footbaw

Well, the Bears did exactly what they needed to do today: win big at home against the hapless Rams. Damned if it didn't feel like the rejuvenating blowout win we wanted to make ourselves feel good after last week. The defense, as we're learning so far this year, is very, very good. If you take away points from a pick six and that fake FG in Green Bay, the Bears have allowed just 12 PPG on defense in three games this year. They've racked up 14 sacks in those three games, and they've picked off 6 passes, including their first interception for a TD today.

The offense, however, remains mired in the most perplexing rut we've seen in a while. The pass protection was shaky again in the first half today before the team just stopped trying to do much of anything other than avoid turnovers in the second half. Cutler missed throws when he was rushed, but also threw some passes that made no sense. The receivers made some big plays and yet had at least four or five drops, again.Mike Tice still can't seem to make up his mind on whether he wants to pass to set up the run (bad idea with that line against blitzing defenses) or run to set up the pass (that's the ticket, Mike). There are a lot of issues to work out, and they're going to need to find answers to at least some of them before they go into Dallas and face off against DeMarcus Ware next Monday.

I'm not going to piss in your cornflakes on a Bears victory day, however. The team looked dominant on defense and, even if the offense has to buckle in and dink and dunk their way to victory until they sort out the offensive line, well, they've won plenty of games that way before. The Bears won, so let us rejoice.


-The Front Four: It's hard to single out any individual performance from this group. Everyone got in on it, from Peppers to Melton to Okoye to Idonije to McClellin. They just bring the heat on every down, regardless of the personnel. They got 5 sacks today out of this group (one from Nick Roach), and it was clear Sam Bradford never had a chance. Keep it up, guys. Make all of the opposing QB's feel Jay Cutler's pain.

-Tim Jennings: The few times that Bradford actually had time to throw were no issue, since Jennings and the rest blanketed the Rams receivers all day. Jennings threw in another interception, giving him a career-high 4 already, and he should start making reservations in Honolulu.

-Major Wright: He takes a lot of shit, much of it justified, but, like Mike Brown, Wright does seem to make big plays whenever he stays healthy. His pick six today was a thing of beauty, and it's worth noting that he and Conte have yet to be beat deep this year.

-Robbie Gould: 3 field goals made, and he's now 7 for his last 7 from 50+.


-Jay Cutler: he wasn't anywhere near as bad as his QB rating makes it appear. He was hurt by multiple drops, one of which caused his only INT, but he's still struggling. His accuracy was off on several throws, and he's not quite adjusting to the pressure like has in the past. I did appreciate his 21 yard run, though. He needs to show teams he can do that if they pressure him.

-The Wide Receivers: Drops, drops, everywhere for the second straight game. Guh. Not all of them were perfectly thrown balls, but if you're an NFL receiver and it hits you in both hands, you have to make those grabs. Still out of sync.

-J'Marcus Webb: I'm done with this. Just done. He allowed one sack, and then killed a drive when Robert Quinn mauled him off of the edge and hit Jay, forcing a bad throw. He did very little the rest of the game after Tice quit taking chances, but they really need to work out anything else before they get to watch Webb get destroyed by Ware. No more excuses. I don't care if he lacks passion and is actually super talented. The result is single-handedly killing the offense of what could be a Superbowl team if it could pass block. Fuck him.

Mike Tice: Seriously? Why start off with the exact same game plan that had killed you two weeks before? How does Michael Bush end up blocking Chris Long 1 on 1? How does it take him until the 4th quarter of the third game of the season to figure out that you can throw short passes, like curls and stuff, and it's not illegal? Gah. Figure out what your team does well, Mike. Figure it out soon, and run it.


Dick Stockton: Harry Melton. Ashlon Jeffreys. Two of the mysterious Bears on Dick's roster.

That's it for now. The Bears did what needed to be done, and that defense is truly elite. We'll see if they can straighten out the other side of the ball in time for Dallas. I sure as hell hope so. Go Bears.


Anansi said...

To be honest, Tice is already on my shit list. The guy faces Freeney, Mathis, Matthews, Long, and Quinn in 3 games and in all 3 games, he refuses to rely on Forte and Bush. This kind of insanity should've ended last year.

Fro Dog said...

I was talking about this at the game with a friend of mine and he gave me a less than acceptable answer so I will ask another you the same thing. Garza and Spencer have not played at their "natural" positions since Kruetz left. Why not put Spencer back at center, shift Garza over and then, put Rachal at tackle, therefore benching Webb? If it's that bad, then try Williams again. I just feel like they aren't throwing their best five out there.

Fro Dog said...

ask you*

Also, Tice's play-calling has been less than decent so far. A balanced offense can do good things if ran properly.

Erik said...

It really comes down to a case of being who we are or being who we want to be. I know we have a QB who can throw the ball 1,000 yards and a receiver who can catch balls one-handed in double coverage eight feet above the ground. But that doesn't mean we should. We don't have the pass protection for it. When he started calling those short plays later in the game, the passing game clicked to a great degree. They were moving the chains more or less at will once they stopped trying to force it. I thought Tice knew that, and that's why we let him have Martz's job. You can want to be a deep-ball team all you want, but if your personnel make you a run-heavy play-action team who moves the ball 8 yards at a time, then that's what you have to be.

Code Red said...

Fro, center is less taxing than guard. I don't know that Roberto could be an effective guard anymore. Spencer was meant to be a backup, and he surprised them by playing guard as well as he did last year.

Rachal is a good guard and a great run blocker. Moving him to tackle would probably be a bad idea, because guards are usually less athletic than tackles.

The only answer is to hope either Chris Williams or the new guy they signed, Jonathan Scott, can be better than Webb. Either way they need to figure something out that doesn't involve Webb, because I've lost any faith he'll ever figure it out.

Erik said...

I love reading in a bunch of ESPN stories that it wasn't so bad for St. Louis because they were only down 13-6 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Which is to say, they were only losing by one touchdown UNTIL THEY LOST BY MUCH MORE THAN ONE TOUCHDOWN. I fear stat-junkieing has done us a disservice by allowing "number of passes completed in this exact situation" and "number of games won while ambient barometric pressure is below 33 mmHg" to get us thinking that you can count on anything more or less than the actual result of the game to give you an accurate accounting of what happened on the field.

Code Red said...

Yeah, Erik, the Rams never even remotely threatened in that game. That game was about us hoping the Bears would work out all of their kinks, and being somewhat disappointed they did not. No one ever actually felt any real fear of them losing, did they?

Erik said...

I don't think so. It wasn't the win I hoped for (a 40-6) blowout through the air), and I was flustered by their inability to reach the next level, but I never doubted they were going to win pretty much as soon as the offense came out and got a TD without too much effort.