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An Additional Sentence (or Two) on Each Defensive Performance Against the Ravens

| November 19th, 2013

postBefore we completely turn our attention to the St. Louis Rams, a few additional thoughts on the Bears defense after a re-watch of the ballgame. Here’s one sentence on every guy.

ZACK BOWMAN

Bowman is not the best coverage corner around but Sunday he displayed the secondary’s best closing speed to the ball and surest tackling.

JON BOSTIC

Bostic is a sideline-to-sideline monster who can cover the deep middle but his major flaw as a young player is an inability to shed blocks.

CHRIS CONTE

Baltimore ran the ball on two of their final three plays in regulation and both of those runs were stopped due primarily to the efforts of Conte. He is starting to piece together something of a coherent safety. I’d also add that Conte had PERFECT coverage on Dallas Clark when Clark converted fourth-and-four with three minutes to go in regulation. Clark’s special catch prevented Conte from being celebrated as a hero.

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Maligned Defensive Line, Coordinator Save Bears Season

| November 19th, 2013

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It would have been easy.

After being steamrolled by the Baltimore Ravens for the better part of an hour, it would have been easy for the Chicago Bears to walk back into the locker room with their heads hanging lower than 40 time. Facing a lengthy weather delay it would have been easy for players and coaches alike to say, “We’re done. Too many injuries. Backup quarterback. This is as far as we can go.”

It may not have been right. But it would have been easy.

What followed the delay was something even the most fresh-eyed of Bears optimists could not have predicted. David Bass made the kind of play that has defined the career of Julius Peppers and knotted the ballgame up at 10. Peppers used the two-hour delay to fly to St. Augustine, dip his face in Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and return with a triumphant double-digit tackle, multi-sack performance when the Bears needed him most. Mel Tucker and Marc Trestman realized their error in sliding Corey Wootton back outside and returned him to the three-technique where he has begun to flourish in recent weeks. (Put some more bulk on this kid and he can delivery Melton-like numbers.) This defensive line, marred by injury and ineffectiveness, delivered the type of performance most of us thought them incapable of delivering.

The Pizza Hut delivery man showed up with three sausage pies from Lou Malnati’s. The Schlitz keg was pouring Guinness. Dublin Guinness. Mulligan’s Guinness. It flowed sweetest with the game on the line.

Because the game was over. I challenge any Bears fans, any self-respecting Bears fan, to show me evidence they believed the Bears could hold Flacco and the Ravens on first-and-goal as the clock on the Bears postseason hopes was slowly trickling down to a bunch of zeroes. Three opportunities to find the end zone? Against this defense? With the game on the line and Human Penalty Machine Zack Bowman on the field? How could they not score?

The game was over. Then it wasn’t. Three snaps. Three excellent pushes from the defensive front. The unit that had put the Bears back in the football game was giving them one more chance to save their season; now in overtime. McCown, Bennett and Gould took it from there.

The challenges coming should not be understated. St. Louis, Minnesota, Philadelphia – one back better than the next – will give this defense and its inability to stop the run nightmares. But for one week Bears fans should salute their maligned defensive front and their overly-maligned coordinator. For one Sunday is was not the big weapons on offense that won the Bears a football game. For one Sunday it was Peppers, Cheta, Cohen, Woot, Bass and company.

For one today the Bears reminded us of yesterday.

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Reviewing the Bears First Half, Previewing the Second

| October 23rd, 2013

halfseason

Most would consider the eighth game the halfway point of a sixteen game season. Those people are what I refer to as math-dependent. The Bears have played seven games and now must wait fifteen days before playing again as they lick their injury wounds. Hell, the team is off this entire week. If ever there was a line of demarcation signally HALFWAY, this is it.

So what follows are responses to the first half, thoughts on the second half and the normal awards, predictions and general folly that have filled this space lo these eight years. You’re not going to see everything below but you’ll see the things on my mind. I’ll leave it to you from there.

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