Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Record: 8-6 (2-3)
10-4 (5-0) Green Bay Packers
8-6 (3-2) Minnesota Vikings
4-10 (0-5) Detroit Lions
If you remember from last week (Thursday), I mentioned that I was traveling to a friend's house to watch the game. It was a fun time. There was a good balance of Bears and Packers fans. Regardless of the outcome of the game, I knew I'd have a fun time which is why I took the 6 hour round trip to do it. I especially enjoyed the host and his mom shouting "Booyeah" back and forth at each other when their team did something well. Thanks Dan and Toni for hosting!
That said, this game was fun to watch up until the last 25 minutes or so. Before that, it was a good competitive game. The score at the end of the first quarter was 0-0. Both teams were having mixed luck with moving the football. The Bears were more motivated and actually showed up from the start. It was probably their best showing as a complete team in a good long while. And in the middle of the 3rd quarter, it was still a one score game.That's what you want from a rivalry game like this. Good competitive play.
And then the refs decided that Alshon Jeffery had cussed them out and spit on their mother's grave. On several crucial downs near the end of the game, they called him for 3 separate offensive pass interference penalties. That's a penalty that almost never gets called and one guy got 3 of them. Most of the Packer fans in the room agreed that at the very least they were sketchy calls. The final kick in the groin was when Jeffery was the target again and his defender committed an obvious defensive pass interference penalty (the kind that is called all the time) and the refs decided to look the other way.
Now I'm not going to say that the refs cost the Bears the game as they were behind in points before this happened. You can play the what if game from here to eternity, but what the refs DID do was drastically change the dynamic of the 4th quarter. (The first penalty cost us a touchdown and turned what would have been a 7 point game into an 11 point game) The further penalties cost the Bears the any attempt at coming back. Again, I'm not going to say that they cost us the game because there is no guarantee that the Bears would have scored, but now we'll never know. The refs decided that the Packers had done enough to earn the win before the game was over and that was that.
You can call me a sore loser all you want, but I'm a football fan. I enjoy good games of football. I don't like watching referees make blatantly wrong calls and changing the course of a game. I didn't like it when it happened in the Packers-Seahawks game with the replacement refs, I don't like it this week. I especially don't like it when it happens multiple times to a rookie player who's trying to do his job and step up to salvage his rookie season when 2 freak injuries caused him to miss almost 50% of his games up 'till now. What a nice warm welcome to the NFL.
Congrats to the Packers on clinching the division. Unless they paid off the refs at the end, which I seriously doubt, I don't hold a grudge against them. They played a good solid game.