Monday Hangover

Peanut Interception (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Giants Tackle (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)The better team did not win yesterday. The Chicago Bears fielded a better team on Sunday than the New York Giants but somehow the Giants walked away with the win.

The Bears did everything you could expect to gain the advantage. They created turnovers in the form of interceptions at key situations when the Giants were about to score and generated fumbles. The Bears offense looked like it found it’s identity with Rex reaching a quarterback epiphany and understanding how to cut through a defense and Adrian Peterson becoming an all-purpose back. I told a friend that I predicted Peterson would have 120 all purpose yards and he exceeded even my expectations by producing 149 on 67 yard rushing and 82 yards receiving. Rex couldn’t get Olsen involved as much as I would have liked, but that’s more due to the great performance put in by Desmond Clark who is quietly putting together another good season.

The Giants gave the Bears about a dozen opportunities to win the game. There is far too much blame being put on the drop by Hester, which he doesn’t deserve given the heroics he has supplied for the team in the past. The Hester drop was disappointing but I look more critically towards the play of Berrian who saw several deep throws go his way only to see them sail over his head or through his hands. If a receiver misses a pass you can blame the quarterback, but when a receiver has several opportunities to come up with a big play and just can’t get to the ball, I question the route running and ball handling skills of the receiver. I witnessed a couple passes that had an opportunity to become big plays if a receiver was willing to stretch out and make a diving catch. Apparently the Bears receivers a more worried about keeping their pants clean.

Adrian Peterson had a couple chances to break open some highlight reel plays but there always seemed to be a Giants defender ready to make a shoestring tackle. I’m not going to question the break away ability of Peterson who is as tough of a runner as you will find in the NFL. The Giants came in with a game plan to stop Peterson, who they considered to be the Bears biggest threat in this game. Afterwards, Michael Strahan openly questioned the Bears move not to use Peterson more in the 4th quarter. The Giants spent all week preparing for Peterson of all people, who they deemed to be a quality running back that could give them trouble. Really makes you think about all those weeks of Benson’s running troubles when our real threat was riding the bench.

Honorable mentions for blowing the game can be made for the complete breakdown of the Bears defense in the 4th quarter and some down right terrible calls made by the officiating crew. I have had season tickets for the Bears for many years and have watched a variety of quarterbacks come and go. You have to acknowledge when you are going against a clearly superior quarterback like the Seattle game. Matt Hasselbeck cut through the Bears defense with precision passing that I think has left a lasting effect on Rex Grossman. Last week Rex made several attempts to dump the ball down in the flats for small gains that produced big plays for the Seahawks. Yesterday we saw Rex make precision passes with high efficiency in another Hasselbeck-like effort. You wonder if Rex has finally found a mold to follow to develop his quarterback skills. Hasselbeck is a dominant quarterback for his precision pass capability. Eli Manning is none of the above.

After spending an afternoon watching Eli Manning work the Giants offense I can safely say he is an average quarterback at best. The only thing that separates Eli from by being compared and treated more like Josh McCown or Joey Harrington is his last name. You have to wonder how long he can run on his family name before it all comes crashing down. Eli will go down for bringing his team to a 4th quarter comeback and will be heralded in New York, but make no mistake about it, he is not a good quarterback. Rex is an uncontrollable force at quarterback that can light up a scoreboard with scoring, for his team or the other team depending on his play. Eli hasn’t shown that kind of capability and is more of a product for amazing talent at receiver and tight end. Rex may still develop into a great quarterback, but Eli may be hitting the end of his road.

The officiating crew made me want to puke. I’m not going to say much more out of fear for keeping my lunch down, but they should be ashamed of themselves. The NFL should sit all of them down and make them watch Sunday’s game.

Make no mistake, the Bears were the better team on the field on Sunday. Despite being sacked 6 times, Rex kept himself composed in the pocket. Adrian Peterson delivered as promised by producing yards all over the field. The rest of the offense couldn’t step up to the challenge. The defense put in 3 quarters of solid work but let the offense down in the end, something Bears fans are not used to seeing. Lovie Smith’s coaching staff made some questionable decisions down the stretch that gave the Giants opportunities. When the Bears had the ball with about 5 minutes left in the game why didn’t they make more of an effort to run the clock down??

Most of all, please stopping blaming Hester, who is the last person that deserves any blame for a lost season. I put more blame on a coaching staff that can’t seem to get younger defense players prepared to play and can’t execute a simple offensive game plan.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Bears Bears V. Giants Bernard Berrian Berrian Chicago Chicago Bears Desmond Clark Devin Hester Eli Eli Manning Greg Olsen Hester Joey Harrington Josh McCown Lovie Smith Matt Hasselbeck Michael Strahan New York Giants Rex Grossman

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