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Hey Chris Conte, Catch the Ball: Rapid Fire Recap of the Bears Division Title Game Loss

| December 30th, 2013

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You spend a week playing out the scenarios in your mind; how will Team A move the ball, how will Team B fair on third downs…etc. And then you sit in stunned silence as a fumbled football sits on the field and 20 of the 22 NFL players involved in the play pay it no mind. One guy picks it up. The quarterback and sideline tell him to run. Touchdown. We’ll call it The Boykin Fiasco. It is the play everyone will remember for years to come.

Here’s a bunch of thoughts from the afternoon.

  • NFL should be embarrassed by the way this game was officiated. What did Clete Blakeman see under the hood that the rest of us did not see on the downed punt at the one yard line? How on earth can the officials call Shea McClellin for unnecessary roughness at that point in the game? I Tweeted it yesterday and I mean it: an official had to WANT to throw that flag to throw it.
  • Ultimately the game came down to costly mistakes on the defensive side of the ball. The Boykin Fiasco. Whatever coverage that was on the Packers final play. Chris Conte flat out dropping a game ending interception.
  • Julius Peppers flying at Aaron Rodgers on that final play was such a terrible mistake. How do you lose contain there? Oh I know how. You’ve been doing it all season long. (I forgot for a moment the Bears have an awful defense.)
  • I was wrong about one thing: If Matt Flynn played yesterday, the Bears win the game easily. Rodgers used his legs quite a bit more than I expected.
  • Heck of a game, Matt Forte. Put the team on your back.

  • Same to the Bears offensive line.
  • Not a great performance by the Bears wide receivers. A few very costly drops. A terrible fumble by Alshon Jeffery. The numbers are good, the touchdowns were wonderful, but those numbers don’t reflect what was on the field. They were symbolic of Bears offense: inconsistent.
  • Three and out. Three and out. Jeffery. That was the Bears offensive production in the second quarter. Bears offense played a spectacular second half but their failings in the second quarter cost them a football game. I said all week they needed 35 to win. They needed 34. They came up short.
  • Adam Podlesh. 30 yards. Every punter can drop the ball inside the twenty. Can the Bears find one who can kick the ball a little further?
  • Thought Devin Hester had another wonderful game returning kicks. Guy is still an absolute game changer back there and the Bears shouldn’t let him walk out the door this winter.
  • A few defenders really stood out. James Anderson. Major Wright had a nice game in run support. But it’s probably not a good sign that we’re praising the performance of a defense that surrendered nearly 500 yards at home.
  • Jay Cutler played a smart, efficient football game. Hard to evaluate beyond that without seeing what he saw down the field. He certainly did enough in the second half to win the game.
  • Isaiah Frey on Jordy Nelson is not something the Bears should try in 2014.

There will be more time to dissect this game as the week progresses and we we enter the Bears off-season. Bears finished this season 9th in yards per game and 2nd in points per game. The offense is built and more time in the system will only lead to improvement. Now it is incumbent upon Phil Emery to solve the defense. If they can go from awful to mediocre in 2014, the Bears will be a contender for a title.

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