Stayin' Alive


Sorry it’s taken me a while to get this post up; I’ve been busy thawing out.  Thanks to the generosity of the fine folks at Marconi Foods (www.marconi-foods.com), I was able to attend the coldest game in Bears history.  Not even the hottest giardiniera in Chicago could keep me from freezing my butt off. 

With as much help as the Beloved received over the weekend, for much of the game, it appeared that it would all be for naught.   A flat, lethargic effort in the first half made it seem like the Bears would send the thousands of Chicago faithful home frozen and heartbroken and give the Vikings an early Christmas present.  Thankfully, someone actually did something at halftime to spark the team.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the 2008 Chicago Bears.  Early in the season, it was a matter of not finishing games, letting three critical early-season games slip through their fingers in the second half.  Lately, it’s been the Bears waking up and closing strong after lackluster starts.  On Monday night, it took the outstretched paw of DE Alex Brown to block Mason Crosby’s 38 yard field goal attempt with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to save the game and quite possibly the season for the Bears, as the Bears survived with a 20-17 overtime victory.

The Bears came out looking like the team with nothing to play for as they were pushed around on both sides of the ball throughout the first half and trailed 14-3 heading into the locker room at halftime.  Meanwhile, the hated rivals from Green Bay seemed to convert every third down and make all the key plays in the first half. 

The turning point seemed to be early in the third quarter when the Bears got the big break they needed as Brad Maynard’s punt deflected off Packers gunner Jerrett Bush and was recovered by Jason DavisKyle Orton hooked up with Greg Olsen moments later to cut the deficit to 14-10.  The Bears defense hunkered down and held the Pack to a lone field goal in the second half and the offense and Matt Forte did enough to get the job done.

As well as the defense played in the second half, special teams has to get the game ball.  Danieal Manning carries would-be tacklers on a 71-yard kickoff returnDanieal Manning continues to shine as the kick returner, with a stellar 71 yard return, where he carried would-be tacklers some 20 yards. He also keyed a first half Alex Brown interception with a well timed corner blitz, tipping Aaron Rogers’ pass attempt.  Yes, the Bears actually blitzed effectively. 

Brad Maynard didn’t let the cold affect him with a couple of booming punts in the first half and a great pooch punt that pinned Green Bay inside the 10 yard line.  The hero, of course, will be Robbie Gould, who for the second straight week kicked an overtime field goal to nail down a victory to keep the NFC North title in question going into the final week of the season.  Check out my video of the game winner below.

On to Houston.  GO BEARS!!!  GO GIANTS!!!

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Tags: Aaron Rogers Alex Brown Brad Maynard Chicago Bears Danieal Manning Green Bay Packers Greg Olsen Houston Texans Jason Davis Jerrett Bush Kyle Orton Mason Cosby Matt Forte Minnesota Vikings New York Giants Robbie Gould