“On offense we have had a lot of third and long situations. Third and 11-plus. It is not just third and 11. These are third and 20s, third and 23s. Far too many in that area. It comes back to controlling things we can control. The foolish penalties. Penalties overall. False starts, pre-snap, more pre-snap issues for us.”
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, News4Jax
Some, including the head writer, editor and founder of this site, argued Jay Cutler would have beaten the Colts a week ago were he playing quarterback. But more important to state is this: Brian Hoyer would have easily won the game if not for bad penalties in key moments by the Bears offense. Penalties on Long, Howard, Paulsen…etc. cost the Bears points and this club is not good enough to give away points.
Jacksonville is the fourth most penalized club in the sport and are only fourth because they’ve played one fewer game than the three teams ranked ahead of them. (For a complicated penalties chart, check this out.)
This game will come down to mistakes; which team makes more and which team makes them at the costliest moments. That’s what happens when subpar teams play. And these are two subpar teams.
Hard game to get emotional about. But there’s things to talk about so let’s talk about them.
The argument I made all offseason as to why the Bears would be more competitive in 2016, especially within the division, was because they were already competitive within the division LAST season. Yes, they went 1-5. But both Detroit games and the home Vikings game were complete coin flips. The only time a division opponent clearly outclassed them was in Minnesota, a game the Vikings needed and Bears didn’t.
Yesterday the depleted Bears weren’t just better than Detroit. They dominated them. If their special teams show up, the game is never close. Other thoughts…
On the Weekend Show:
The Detroit Lions are putting up big time offensive numbers right now. You can criticize their opponents – and there’s much to criticize there – but that’s irrelevant for Sunday. Kill the Colts, Titans and Packers all you want but all three teams have better quarterbacks than Brian Hoyer and healthier defenses than the Chicago Bears. The Lions are going to score points at Soldier Field. Breaking that match-up down makes little sense. Here’s the match-up that might swing the game.