Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chicago Bears: Week 2

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
Location: Home
Outcome: Win
Record: 2-0 (1-0)

1-1 (0-0) Green Bay Packers
0-2 (0-2) Minnesota Vikings
1-1 (1-0) Detroit Lions

On a sloppy Sunday afternoon in September, the Bears pulled off a second win and in doing so, claimed an early hold on sole possession of 1st place in the division. It was an ugly win so I'm not pulling out the champagne glasses just yet. But factoring in the rainy weather and the overall lack of traction on the field, I'm not all that worried either. Going with that theme, every phase seemed to have that BUT going in their favor.

The offense turned the ball over 4 times. Blame seemed to be shared by all on this one. Cutler, Forte, Marshall, the line, and even the coaches all had their hands in some of the blame for the turnovers. When you turn the ball over four times, it's hard to win games.
When they needed to, the offense drove 76 yards on 10 plays to end up with a beautiful throw to Martellus Bennet in the end zone to pull ahead by 1 point with 10 seconds left in the game. Last year's offense couldn't do that.

For the second week in a row, the pass rush was nearly nonexistent. The Bears allowed Christian Ponder too much time to run around and make throws. They were pretty terrible on 3rd downs, allowing the Vikings to control the game way too much.
They held Adrian Peterson to 100 yards, no touchdowns, and caused him to fumble once. They got a pick six that erased one of our own fumbles, and in the second half, they managed to hold the Vikings to only 9 points and kept us in the game.

Special Teams
They allowed the Vikings to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
They allowed Devin Hester to be Devin Hester. He set a new career record of 249 kickoff return yards starting with a 75 yard return in response to the Vikings. This set us up to tie the game at 7 in the first 3 minutes of play. It also gave us great field position all day long.

Play of the game
With 3:15 left in the game and down by 6, the Bears got the ball back at their own 34 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Cutler threw a line drive ball towards Alshon Jeffery...only for it to be deflected by the referee who couldn't get out of the way fast enough.
The offense brushed it off, continued from 2nd and 10, and marched down the field for the win.

My overall impression after two games is simply that this is a team. No one group is pulling more weight than the others. They all shared responsibility both for allowing the game to be as close as it was and for working together to pull off a win. It's an odd thing after having a dominant defense with an incompetent offense for so many years. Up next is the first away game of the year against a struggling 0-2 Steelers team. If anything this makes them more dangerous as they will be desperate for a win.


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