Another exciting season of Bears football is underway and…well, OK, another season of Bears football is underway.
The long slog towards 7-9 began in Houston, site of this year’s Super Bowl. As members of the NFL Players Association, Bears players can purchase tickets to the Super Bowl. It’s as close as they’re going to get.
For a half, the Bears offense looked competent, it’s defense looked like it could be stout and incredibly, after one week of the season the Bears have already led as many games at the end of the first quarter (1) as they did all of last season.
In that first half, the Bears actually got an interception from a defensive back (Tracy Porter) which was very much a rarity in 2015. They protected Jay Cutler pretty well. The new interior of the line from Josh Sitton to Cody Whitehair to Kyle Long looked pretty stout.
Really, the only huge fuck up was one you could see coming. On a fourth and inches in Texans territory, the Bears decided to go for it. A simple QB sneak would easily get it done. The concern was that with an inexperienced center who would need to make the key block, that he’d leave to block before he completed the snap. It’s exactly what happened. The snap never got to Jay, and he didn’t recover the fumble in time to lunge forward for the first.
But when the Bears forced a punt late in the half and Jay hooked up with Alshon Jeffrey on a 54 yard pass, and then converted the TD with a perfect pass to honorary scrappy white receiver Eddie Royal, the Bears were up 14-10 and life was good.
And then they played the second half.
Things turned on the first possession when erstwhile rookie Kevin White broke off his route. Jay threw it where Kevin was supposed to be and it got picked off. Jay yelled at Kevin.
And Bears media (who are the worst of all the Chicago media) went nuts. Hub Arkush blathered on about how Jay shouldn’t have yelled at White in what Hub termed a “teachable moment.”
Any chance that had Jay not openly expressed his displeasure that he’d have taken shit for “not acting like he cares?” Cutler can’t win with this stuff. When Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning chew (or chewed in Peyton’s case) out a teammate they are “holding their teammates to their high standards” and football writers get off on it. But when Jay does it he’s being an ass?
On The Score pregame, Dan Pompei was bitching that it wasn’t right that Bears teammates voted Alshon to be a captain. Pompei climbed up on his tiny soapbox to pontificate about how it was wrong because Alshon wasn’t out there “sweating with the other players all offseason.” Gee, Dan. Maybe other players respected Alshon’s decision to make the “optional” team activities actually optional because he was playing on the franchise tender. Maybe his teammates think those workouts don’t really matter? Here’s a shocking thought. Maybe. Just maybe, they put stock in how a guy works, how he performs on the field and what kind of teammate he is every day in practice and in meetings?
Just maybe the fact that you don’t like it when Jay shrugs or when Alshon decides if he’s going to get hurt in a workout, it damned well is going to be one that he’s being paid for, but their teammates, the only guys who really need to have an opinion, don’t care?
But after the interception, things went to shit. The Bears could not move the football. Once Houston regained the lead, the Bears had to pass and the Texans ramped up their very impressive pass rush and just beat Jay senseless.
If JJ Watt had actually played, it would have gotten really ugly.
Oh, he did? I didn’t notice.
Speaking of pass rush, it would have been nice if the Bears had brought theirs. Brock Osweiler, just as he did last year when he beat the Bears in his first career start, had way too much time. Too much time to find his superstar receiver Deandre Hopkins, and too much time to find Notre Dame rookie Will FullerV. FullerV had a huge day, and it would have been huger had he not dropped a sure thing TD bomb in the first half.
The Bears were not helped out by some terrible officiating, especially when they stopped Osweiler on a fourth and one only to have a horrible spot give the Texans a first down. Osweiler actually lost yardage on the play, yet the spot gave Houston the first. Bears coach John Fox didn’t challenge that call, but later on he did challenge a FullerV reception for no apparent reason.
So, what did we learn? Not much that we didn’t already know. The Bears offensive line is going to remain in flux for a while. You assume that Whitehair will get comfortable at center and that will help.
They’re going to have to get more than 14 yards receiving from tight end Zach Miller if they’re going to move the football. Especially since he’ll only be healthy for about a third of the games.
Somebody needs to tell Deonte Thompson that if he can’t run the ball out past the 25 the needs to downte the footballte.
Lovie Smith used to say his Bears got off the bus running the football, which was usually just bullshit. But so far the Dowell Loggains offense consists of the Bears falling under the bus. They only attempted 19 runs, which included Jay’s ill-fated sneak and him running from the pocket.
What we really learned? It’s going to be a long year.