Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicago Bears: Week 1

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
Location: Home
Outcome: Win
Record: 1-0 (0-0)

0-1 (0-0) Green Bay Packers
0-1 (0-1) Minnesota Vikings
1-0 (1-0) Detroit Lions

Ah, the return of football Sundays. Glorious, glorious football Sundays. So the Bears are one of 16 teams to start the season with a win. It's a good feeling. I imagine it's an even better feeling to Marc Trestman who is one of only four Bears coaches to win their first game as a new head coach. Anyway on to the game review. 

We had four out of five starters on the offensive line playing their first game in a Bears uniform. Two of those four were playing their first NFL game ever. With those two thoughts in mind, let me hit you with three other game stats: zero sacks, zero pre-snap penalties, and zero sacks! Ok, so that was only two stats, but come on! ZERO SACKS against a very good Bengals front line. Oh yeah, and our new tight end caught a touchdown pass, Brandon Marshall was Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte ran for a touchdown up the middle. On top of that, Cutler was able to spread the ball around to five different receivers. Marshall of course had the most, but he is our number one receiver. The only real bad play I remember was the interception, and when I saw a clip of it later, it was obvious that a defender got a hand on Cutler as he was throwing which probably threw off his aim. I'm trying to keep my optimism in check since it was only one game, but if it's a sign of things to come, we're in for a great season on offense.

Charles Tillman was sick as a dog and dehydrated on Sunday and still managed to come up with two interceptions. Unfortunately, that was the primary bright spot for the day on defense. Overall, tackles were sloppy, the defensive line had no teeth whatsoever, and the Bengals had two scoring drives of over 90 yards in the first half alone. Julius Peppers was never even a blip on the radar. But I will say this: they came through at the end when they really needed to. After the Bengals got a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter, they never scored again. Hopefully there's just a bit of rust to knock off, because I'm not sure how to respond to a Chicago Bears defense that is only ok.

Special Teams
He didn't get a return for a touchdown, but Hester had some good returns. The Bears started with great field position all day long. On top of that, Robbie Gould raised the bar on his previous franchise record for a long field goal by hitting a 58 yarder (with room to spare) to end the first half. Special teams has not lost a step under the new coach, Joe DeCamillis.

Overall it was a great team win. The offense and the defense both came through in the end when we needed them, but play of the game in my book goes to rookie right tackle, Jordan Mills. The Bears were trying to run out the clock with under 2 minutes remaining and had just come up short on 3rd down. Defensive lineman, Rey Maualuga, apparently didn't like being beaten by a rookie and ended up throwing Mills to the ground well after the whistle. I love Mills's post-game quote. 

“When he came up, I locked on,” Mills said. “I was not letting him go no matter what. Till that whistle blew, I was not letting him go. He kind of got a little frustrated, pushed me. I wanted to retaliate, but that would have been selfish on my part, so I kept my composure and we got the first down.”

That's a team player! He kept his cool. He didn't retaliate, and the resulting personal foul against Maualuga ended the game. It gave the Bears an automatic first down and they were able to take a knee to run out the clock for the win. BEAR DOWN!!!

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