One of the most common lessons learned in life is that we must learn from our mistakes. The best way to go forward in life and football is to look back. We all learn from the past to build on the future. From now on, every week I will be giving you a retrospective look at every one of last season’s games until the start of the season.
On the first play of the game, Adrian Peterson took the ball down to the Bears 29 for a 51 yard gain. The Bears, playing without Urlacher, soon let number twenty-eight score a touchdown from one yard out. When the Bears got the ball, they were facing a third and four from their own 33. It should be an easy first down, and Devin Hester was wide open on the left side on a curl rout, and if he caught it, he could have scored. But Cutler threw it to Alshon Jeffery, who slipped and fell, and the Vikings caught it and took it for a touchdown. The play was then ruled dead at the 5, but Adrian Peterson took it in for the Vikings. 14-0.
In the second quarter, the Bears began driving. On a drive that started at the three, a few nice Cutler throws took them down to the Vikings 41. On second down, Cutler throw the ball across the middle to Marshall, who brought it to the 18; the great J’Marcus Webb was called for holding. Kellen Davis made won of his nineteen season catches to being the Bears to the again, but that was on 3rd and 24 and the Bears were forced to punt. On the next drive, the Bears were more fortunate, as Jay Cutler throw a deep pass to Alshon Jeffery to cut the lead in half, 14-7. That was the halftime score. Here’s the clip.
Until late in the third, the score stayed the same. The Bears had the ball at their own 39 with 3:40 in the quarter, after the defense had been shutting out the Vikings (The Minnesota offense scored twice, and once on a 5 yard drive). Cutler looked for Brandon Marshall up the middle of the field, but the ball sailed on him to Harrison Smith, who returned it 56 yards for a Vikings touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Cutler threw the ball deep to Jeffery on a 2nd and 15. Jeffery dropped it in the end zone and the Bears were forced to punt.
The Bears eventually got the ball back and drove down to the Vikings 27, thanks to some big Jeffery/Marshall plays. However, on third and six from the 23, Jay Cutler threw the ball right into the hands of receiver Devin Hester. It bounced right off his hands and hit Mark Sanchez’s favorite target, the ground. The next play, Cutler his a wide open Brandon Marshall in the hands, but he also dropped it. Two insanely aggravating plays in a row.
Cutler, on the previous drive, was toughing out an injury. He clearly couldn’t take any more aggravation or pain, so Jason Campbell lead the Bears on a too-little too-late touchdown drive. Marshall made a nice catch, but the Bears failed to recover the onside kick and lost, 21-14.
What to Learn
If Chris Conte doesn’t wimp out and get shoved to the ground by Adrian Peterson on the first play, the Bears might stop the Vikings on the first drive. If Cutler would have seen Hester on the first interception, the Bears could have had a touchdown or at least kept the Vikings away from a five yard touchdown drive. If Mike Tice doesn’t call a stupid up the middle in traffic pass to Marshall, Cutler doesn’t float it and the Vikings don’t score. If Alshon Jeffery caught the ball on a second and fifteen, the Bears have another touchdown. If Devin Hester caught the slant over the middle, he takes it in for a touchdown. Same with Brandon Marshall. This game had far too many if’s.
The Bears should have won, and advanced to 9-4, and made the playoffs. Hell, they easily could have beat Seattle last week and won this week to be 10-3, going home to take on Green Bay with a lot of momentum. But no. All because of a bunch of Professional football players making ignorant mistakes. This year, stupid mistakes must be kept at a minimum.