The Bears hung on to beat the Detroit Lions 19-14 in the 2010 home opener and currently sit tied with the Packers atop the NFC North. That’s the good news. The bad news is that was the most “hanging on” they did on Sunday. Four costly turnovers kept the Lions alive and but for a quirky rule that negated a certain Calvin Johnson touchdown late in the fourth quarter had them in position to win the game. The Bears survived an idiotic coaching decision to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 1 trailing by a point late in the fourth quarter.
That’s not to say that the Lions outplayed the Bears because the stat sheet totally favors the Beloved. The Bears had nearly twice as many First Downs (23-13), Jay Cutler lit up the stats sheet with 372 yards passing and two TD’s, both to the Marshall Forte. The Bears defense held the Lions to a meager 20 yards rushing and kept the Lions’ third down conversions down under 30%. Julius Peppers contributed a sack and a forced fumble and Brian Urlacher not only finished the game (something he couldn’t manage to do last season) but he was all over the field.
Thanks to the fine folks at Marconi Foods, I was able to attend the game so I didn’t get the usual in-depth perspective that I would in front of the tube. Here are a few notes from the game:
- I am growing increasingly convinced that Jay Cutler won’t make it through the season unscathed. He was sacked four times, but he took repeated shots after getting rid of the ball and had to scramble a bunch of times.
- All of that stems from an offensive line that would have a tough time pushing the other team out of the way if they were on roller skates. With 4 chances from the 1 yard line, late in the game, the line couldn’t gain a measly yard. Just miserable.
- Piggy-backing off of that thought, how many millions did we pay Brandon Manumaleuna? If you can’t bring your 300 lb tight end in on short yardage and gain 1 freaking yard, you’ve wasted a ton of money.
- Last point on the goal line play – HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY JUSTIFY NOT KICKING THE GO-AHEAD FIELD GOAL? I’ll hang up and listen for my non-answer Lovie.
- While the offense moved the ball well, they sucked in the RED ZONE. That is due to the lack of a closer. I’m not talking about a Carlos Marmol or Bobby Jenks type of closer; I’m talking about a go-to guy that Jay can rely on when it matters most. I think that guy is Devin Aromashodu or maybe, maybe Greg Olsen.
- Speaking of go-to guys, is it just me or was Matt Forte nothing short of spectacular? He showed more burst on that 89-yard screen pass than he showed all of last season, maybe ever. He’s going to make me regret not drafting him in my fantasy league. I’m gonna start calling him Marshall Forte until further notice.
- On the other side of the ball, the defense outperformed my expectations. But when your expectations or as low as mine were, that’s not saying much.
- Brian Urlacher played like a guy who missed playing football. And how about a rare sack from ‘Lach? Nice to see him doing something other than backpeddling 20 yards back on a passing play.
- Lance Briggs’ timing on blowing up the play that set the offense up with 1st and goal from the 1 was spectacular. More of that please.
- How long until the coaching staff pulls Devin Hester off punt returns. With the field position game the Bears put on the Lions for much of the second half, the old Hester would have brought at least one to the house. I miss that guy.
It may have been ugly, but a win is a win.