Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) scored a touchdown against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson (21) in the second quarter of their game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Sloppy play is still hurting the offense. The Chicago Bears put up 468 total yards of offense, 24 first downs and possessed the ball for over 38 minutes in this game. The Minnesota Vikings, by comparison, managed to net only 243 total yards, 10 first downs and possessed the ball for just over 21 minutes in what was easily the best performance I’ve seen from the defense all season. There was absolutely no reason that this game should have been decided by a mere 8 points and come down to a game winning interception in the end zone by Ryan Mundy. Why was this game so close? Turnovers and penalties. The Bears had 7 penalties for 60 yards which is far from the worst stat line I’ve ever seen, but they came at the worst possible times and stalled several promising drives. The Bears committed fewer turnovers in this one than they have recently, but Jay Cutler still threw 2 interceptions and probably should have lost a fumble. The fumble play was challenged, but upheld because no one jumped on the ball soon enough. It’s also worth noting that Cutler was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct immediately following the near-fumble because of something he said to the ref, which led to Robbie Gould’s missed field goal. Until the Chicago Bears start playing fundamentally sound football, the offense will not develop consistency.
This win might actually hurt the Chicago Bears in the long run. A win is a win and the Bears took a step in the right direction this week, but it might wind up being a bad thing when the offseason rolls around. Draft position this year will be crucial for the Bears this year, especially if they end up getting rid of Jay Cutler and/or Marc Trestman. Chicago desperately needs an influx of young talent on the roster and a top 10 draft pick could go a long way toward accomplishing that. You might be thinking it’s only one game, but the difference in draft position between a 7-9 team compared to an 8-8 one can be huge. With the Chicago Bears all but eliminated from playoff contention this season, it would be a pity if they missed out on this golden opportunity to improve for the future.
There you have it, Bears fans. Our Chicago Bears took a step in the right direction this week, albeit a small one, but they still have a long way to go before anyone in their right mind calls them a good football team. At the very least, this win should do a little something to calm down the rampant panic that has be gripping the entire fan base recently. Here’s hoping that they can right this ship and give us some cause to be optimistic about the future. Bear Down, but keep it balanced…