Here’s how Roger Ebert opened his review of Joe Versus the Volcano, the brilliantly odd 1990 film from John Shanley:
Gradually during the opening scenes of “Joe Versus the Volcano,” my heart began to quicken, until finally I realized a wondrous thing: I had not seen this movie before. Most movies, I have seen before. Most movies, you have seen before. Most movies are constructed out of bits and pieces of other movies, like little engines built from cinematic Erector sets. But not “Joe Versus the Volcano.”
I have never seen a football game like Sunday’s Bears/Panthers tilt. Never. Think about what took place.
- The Bears attempted 7 passes, completing 4 and only 1 to a wide receiver. And won by 2 touchdowns.
- The Bears averaged 3.1 yards per carry, with a long of 11 yards. And won by 2 touchdowns.
- The Bears ran 19 plays in the second half (sans kneel downs) for a grand total of 28 yards. And won by 2 touchdowns.
- The Bears were outgained in total yardage 293 to 153. And won by 2 touchdowns.
- The Bears had the football for 17 minutes less than the Panthers. And won by 2 touchdowns.
- The Bears got 15 less first downs than the Panthers. 15! And won by 2 touchdowns.
You could live to be a thousand years old and never see a game like this again. The iconic “They Are Who We Thought They Were” game from 2006 was not this lopsided statistically. Oddly enough, Trubisky’s four completions were matched that night by Rex Grossman’s four interceptions.
Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers was defined by one moment, one play. After Trubisky’s lunge for the end zone was deemed short, John Fox faced fourth-and-a-foot with about a minute remaining in the first half. If the Bears went and scored, they’d lead 21-3 and receive the ball to start the second half. If they went and failed, chances are the Panthers would have run the ball three times, forcing Chicago to burn their timeouts, but still giving the ball back to the Bears with enough time to score.
There was almost no reason NOT to go. John Fox did NOT hesitate. Field goal. 17-3.