Oct 19, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (90) and Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) sack Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) in the first quarter of their game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
It can be hard being a fan of an NFL team. The roller coaster ride from week to week is exhausting. One game your team looks like they could take on anybody, but just a week later they could be taken apart by a team that you don’t think they should have any trouble defeating. It’s never as good or as bad as it seems, and certain problems will persist throughout a season while others can be worked through. That’s why we here at BGO have decided to bring you “Bear and Balanced: A Mostly Unbiased View of Your Chicago Bears”. I can find the silver lining to any cloud, but also find areas of concern in the most convincing victory. Each week I’ll try to bring you the facts of the game from an unbiased standpoint to help you, the fans, get a better feel for where the season is going.
Another week is in the books and I’m more confused than ever. It’s been incredibly hard to figure out what to make of this Chicago Bears team so far this season. One week they’re on fire and look like they could compete with anybody, but the next they’re losing to a team that they should be able to beat hands down. Such is the life of an NFL fan. You never really know what your team is made of until it’s all over. This was a really tough loss for the fans as well as the players, but don’t count these Bears out just yet. I get that they are steadily falling behind the Packers and even the Lions in the race for the playoffs, but you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that either of those teams is going to go the rest of the season without taking another loss. I’ll agree that these Chicago Bears aren’t playing very good football right now, but they’re close.
Even great teams have bad weeks. I’m not calling this Chicago Bears team great by ay means, but I got the feeling very early on in this game that they were just a little bit off. There were quite a few “almost” plays that would have vastly changed the outcome of this game. whether it was bad play calling, poor execution, or just a case of bad luck is a topic for debate, but there were so many plays that were inches away from being great that I have to think that there will be better games to come. The play that specifically comes to mind is the 3rd and one play that ended the first drive. Rather than go for the easy completion underneath to move the chains, Jay Cutler decided to take a shot deep to a single covered Alshon Jeffery. The pass was so close to perfect that I was actually more angry with Jeffery for not making more of an effort than I was with Cutler for making the decision. It’s easy to question the decision now, but if it had been a completion, it would have been brilliant. From what I’ve see of this team the past two years, if they were to attempt that pass in the exact same conditions ten times, it’s a completion on seven or eight of them.
The defensive line is steadily improving. After a thoroughly disappointing performance in week 1 against the Bills, this unit has only gotten better each week. The return of Jeremiah Ratliff and his subsequent 3.5 sacks this game cannot be overlooked, but I thought the pressure on Ryan Tannehill was constistent from this entire group. The fact that Tannehill did not have an incompletion until there was under a minute left in the first half is unacceptable, but I’m blaming that on the Bears’ injury riddled secondary. I’m still disappointed with the lack of production from high priced free agent acquisitions Lamar Houston and Jared Allen, but this unit is so much better than they were last year that I find it hard to care. If Allen and Houston can turn it on at some point this season, the Bears could find themselves owning one of the better defensive lines in the league.