Although it didn’t look flashy or really all that impressive while it was happening, the Bears opening drive was exactly what the team needed to open up the game; a long drive to settle the nerves and points. That one drive took almost half of the quarter; 6 minutes and 58 seconds!
Speaking of things that didn’t look impressive: the stat line in general on offense. 258 yards on offense is not typically going to get the job done, but when your defense take the ball away 5 times, and most of them were in your opponent’s territory and scores twice on its own; the offense doesn’t need to do too much.
Going into the game Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was 15-1 as a starting QB at home vs the NFC; now, he is 15-2.
Either Roethlisberger is really good at pump fakes or our safeties are really bad at biting on them (I’m looking at you Chris Conte). To be fair, Conte was asked to play a lot of single-high and was left on an island a lot, but those fakes were killer.
Some of QB Jay Cutler‘s best throws were out of bounds; what I mean by that is he didn’t try to force anything; he took care of the football. A good QB protects the football and doesn’t make costly mistakes.
In three games last year the Bears had given up 11 sacks and recorded 14; through three games this year, the Bears have given up 3 sacks and recorded 5. While I would like the D to get after the opposing team’s QB more, I am very satisfied that the offensive line, play callers and QB are taking care of the QB. A healthy and happy Cutler gives the Bears a much better chance at making the playoffs.
In three games last year the Bears had given up 6 turnovers (all interceptions) and created 9 turnovers (3 fumbles and 6 interceptions) with 1 of those TO going for a touchdown; this year they have given up 5 turnovers (2 fumbles and 3 interceptions) and created 11 turnovers (6 fumble and 5 interceptions) with 3 of the TO going for touchdowns. Give the Bears D more opportunities to score and they will take advantage.
Life and football is a game of inches.
I know Julius Peppers didn’t show up on the stat sheet with a huge break out game, and I know that “close” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but Peppers was really close to hitting the QB a lot during the game. I counted at least 5 different times where if he gets to Roethlisberger a split second faster; he blows up the play. Like I said; I know “close” doesn’t mean much in terms of stats but I liked what I saw from Peppers for the first time this year.
That roughing the kicker call was brutal; Bears Safety Anthony Walters needs to be smarter than that. It was a young guy trying to make a play and he just didn’t take the correct angle. Fortunately it didn’t cost the Bears the game; it should be a good teaching moment.
Was it just me, or did anyone else cringe when NBC put up the stat about Bears Punter Adam Podlesh being the only player with more than 350 punts to never have one blocked or returned? I wanted to reach through my TV and slap someone from the broadcast team.
The amount of yards the Bears D gave up is worrisome, but the amount of takeaways they are getting , and the amount of scoring they are doing is breathtaking. The D has given up 11 plays over 20 yards, 3 of those were over 30 and 1 was over 40; that was just this game. They are also on pace to score 16 TD on Defense for the season. You live by the blitz and you die by the blitz I suppose.
For as little as he has been used; Earl Bennett cam make plays. Cutler trusts him and he is reliable; by all accounts, he is one of the most unselfish guys on the team. As long as he continues to be productive I want him on the team.
In Jay Cutler’s last 5 drop backs in the first 3 games, he is 12/14 for 208 yards 3 TD and 0 INT with 1 scramble for 13 yards and a perfect QB rating of 158.3
So what did you see Bears fans? What got you excited? What made you cringe? Let me know what you thought of the game.