Play calling on the Bears first drive was solid. They moved the ball and scored. They have scored 41 points in the first quarter through the first four games this season.
Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush is a good player. It has taken 7 years but maybe he has found the perfect situation to suit his abilities. New Orleans (whom the Bears play this week) had great coaches and an offensive scheme that worked but there was too much pressure for Bush to be successful there; in Detroit, he has Calvin Johnson to take some of the focus off of him, which will only make him more dangerous. This was the 1st game in Bush’s career where he rushed for over 100 yards in the 1st half.
Speaking of Calvin Johnson; once again, his numbers were pedestrian 4 rec for 44 yards but he scored his 1st touchdown verses Chicago since October 10, 2011.
The Bears came into the game with an 11 takeaway to 5 (3INT, 2FB) giveaway advantage. Those numbers now stand at 14 takeaways and 9 (6INT, 3FB) giveaways. Teams had scored 16pts off of Bears turnovers; Sunday, the Lions score 17pts off of turnovers. The Bears have scored 54pts off of turnovers.
I am starting to wonder about the interior of the Defensive line. I initially thought that Paea and Collins along with spells from Wootton and Peppers would be adequate; after Sunday’s game, I am not so sure. Perhaps Reggie Bush is just really good (like I mentioned before) and this game was just an anomaly or perhaps the D-line is going to be a liability going forward.
One of these games, a team is going to recognize and stop Alshon Jeffery from having success running the end-around (Minnesota did on the 2nd attempt), the Bears will probably run a varied version of it and have just as much success. I love it. Keep running it until it doesn’t work anymore. It will give opposing defenses something extra to prepare for.
I know that Bears QB Jay Cutler said that he under threw the ball to Brandon Marshall on the INT, but did anybody else notice the Lions defender grab Marshall’s arm, pull and twist Marshall’s body? I realize that a defender has the right to go after the ball but they can’t physically impede the offensive player to go after it, or to allow their teammate to go after it.
The Bears have some talented pass catchers, but they are really good run blockers as well. On Matt Forte‘s TD run, I saw Alshon Jeffery take out 2 Lions defenders to create one seal and Brandon Marshall take out a defender to create the other seal which effectively gave Forte a nice clean path all the way to the end zone.
After giving up 11 plays of 20+ yards or more last week, the Bears only gave up 3 this week with 1 of those plays going for a TD. Conversely, the Bears had 6 plays of their own that went for 20+ yards, 1 of those went for 30+, 1 went 40+ and the Forte TD was 50+.
I am also beginning to wonder about the return game and Special Teams in general. I realize it is only 4 games but I can’t remember the last time the Bears return games were consistently being upstaged by their opponents. Devin Hester has not looked good on punt returns this year and the return teams have been okay (except for the Vikings game when they were phenomenal). Big returns by their opponents, a blocked extra point, and I don’t know what the deal was with the 2 onside kicks; were they supposed to bounce differently or something? Whatever was supposed to happen obviously didn’t and things like that need to be fixed. To put it mildly; I have been pretty underwhelmed so far. Show me something Joe DeCamillis.
In the 4th Quarter of games this season Jay Cutler is 32/46 for a 69.5% completion rate for 386 yards 5 TD and 2INT. The 2INT were thrown in the first 2 games on the 1st or 2nd pass of the quarter; his passer rating for the 4Q is 113.1. In the last 5 drop backs of the first 4 games, Cutler is 13/18 for a 72% completion rate 175 yards and 4TD (he scrambled twice for 31 yards); his passer rating for the last 5 drop backs of the first 4 games is 142.4. Yes, Jay Cutler is Mr. 4th Quarter.
In Sunday’s game Cutler was 16/23 (69.5%) 146 yards 2TD and 0INT for a passer rating of 115.5. He also converted two 2pt conversions through the air.
Through 4 games, the Bears have been outscored by their opponents 43-85 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters (30-58 in the 2nd and 13-27 in the 3rd) while outscoring their opponents 84-29 in the 1st and 4th quarters (41-17 in the 1st and 43-12 in the 4th). If they can figure out how to stop the bleeding so-to-speak in the middle 2 quarters, they will be in much better shape heading into the rest of the season.
So what stuck out to you Bears fans? Was it a great play? Was it a terrible play? How did you like the play calling? Let me know what you thought about the game.
And as always…