Congratulations to the Chicago Bears for achieving a milestone in becoming the first NFL franchise to reach 700 wins on a frigid December day against an over-matched and uninspired Jacksonville Jaguars team. The game never really felt like it was in doubt (although the Bears looked a bit shaky in the 3rd quarter), yet the Bears never delivered the knockout punch that will be needed against more formidable opponents to come.
While I’m doling out praise, let me tip my cap to Matt Forte, who surpassed Gale Sayers on Sunday for most total yards from scrimmage for a rookie running back with 106 total yards on Sunday to pass the Kansas Comet’s 1374 yards set back in 1965. That’s some pretty rare air for the Bears rookie. Nice going Matt!
Another bright spot on Sunday was the play of the tight ends, as Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark combined for 60 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. It’s amazing how much better the offense seems to work when the TE’s are involved in the game. Note to Ron Turner – DO MORE OF THIS!!!
Devin Hester led all receivers with 80 yards on 5 catches, but for me, the most exciting Hester moment was a punt return late in the second quarter. Devin fielded the punt in Jags territory and showed a burst that I haven’t seen much this year. It was as if he could smell the end zone. While he did step out of bounds at the 23 yard line while trying to plant and sharply cut back to the inside, maybe it’s a sign that he’s getting his confidence back. It could also be a sign that the Jags are just that bad. All I know is that if the Bears are serious about making a playoff push, they will need the Ridiculous One to return to form.
On the defensive side of the ball, it was nice to see the D-line get some pressure on Garrard. Coach Babich must’ve read my Pre-game thoughts. Glad I could help, Bob. It was nice for Mark Anderson finally to show up this season. Besides his second half sack of Garrard, he really showed some impressive closing speed on a Garrard bootleg early in the game. Anthony Adams and Israel Idonije also showed well for the defensive line, while Peanut Tillman and Mike Brown led the secondary with 8 tackles apiece. I can’t overlook the Danieal Manning interception and fine return work that set the tone for the game.
No time to celebrate with a quick turnaround this week with a Thursday night nationally televised game for the few dozen people that have the NFL Network. More news and notes to come on Monday as we look ahead to the next opponent – the Drew Brees led New Orleans Saints.