It was a cold, cold evening at the ballpark but the Bears did everything they could to warm the hearts of their loyal fans in attendance. I Tweeted the following Monday afternoon:
Tonight: Marc Trestman & Bears offense need to give season statement win in front of national audience while preserving meaningful December.
That is exactly what Trestman and the offense did last night. They out-gained the Cowboys by by 150 yards (and really more). They didn’t punt the football. When they grabbed a serious lead they dialed up the run and their offensive line put the game away. Dallas’ defense is a wretched group but the Bears did what they needed to do: they dominated at home.
- I was going to write a full column on the Jay Cutler/Josh McCown scenario but I don’t have much to say that furthers the story. Nobody on earth would make the argument that McCown is a more talented player than Cutler. But Cutler isn’t out there. He isn’t playing. And sadly his inability to stay on the field is the biggest blight on his Bears tenure. If I’m Marc Trestman, I stick with the hot hand and McCown is announced my starter in Cleveland as soon as today. (We can debate Cutler’s long-term viability and worth in Chicago when that time comes. That time is not now.)
- Oh, and forget the debate! Can we not just celebrate what Josh McCown has done as Bears backup QB without putting a negative spin on it? Bears are only two years removed from a season going up in smoke due to the play of their backup QB and now they have the best in the business. McCown made every right decision last night. He can’t always make the throw associated with that decision but his understanding of this offense is exemplary.
- If someone told you right now you can have any wide receiver in football for the next five years, you’d take Calvin Johnson. But I am not taking another receiver in the game over Alshon Jeffery. Not with that size and those hands. That kid is special.
- Does anybody find it strange that it took Cutler’s injury for Earl Bennett to enter the 2013 season?
- Michael Bush doesn’t look so done, does he?
- I thought Rod Marinelli was the greatest coach that ever set foot on the earth?
- Tony Romo throwing that fourth-down pass into the ground was a head shaker. It read like a complete give-up moment for a player who can’t afford to have those in December, in a division title race. He was awful on the whole last night.
- I would credit Tim Jennings for his work on Dez Bryant but Dez was open quite a bit. Romo missed him.
- What the hell was up with Robbie Gould’s kickoffs last night?
- Matt Forte had the kind of game Monday night I envisioned for him in this offense. Lined up everywhere. 175 yards of offensive production. Touchdown. Cowboys never had an answer.
- Bears haven’t had an offensive lineman who gets the field like Kyle Long in a long time.
- Brandon Marshall’s brutal block on Sean Lee might be one of my five favorite moments of the 2013 season.
- Side note: Shame on the Parks Department for not doing a better job shoveling the stadium. It was cold enough without having to stick your feet into mounds of snow.
- Another note on Jeffery: fans in the stands now identify his location on the line of scrimmage almost every play. You hear loud whispers of things like, “He’s over there in man coverage” and “he’s in the slot”. He’s electrified the building in the way an offensive talent has not done in an awful long time.
- I would say I heard a dozen fans call him “Jefferies” too. Is this really that hard NOT to do?
- Loved the applause when Kyle Orton was announced into the game.
- Hard to do a lot of commentary on the defense without seeing the tape but two players stood out in the building. (1) James Anderson whiffed on one tackle but he looked like the fastest Bears defender by a mile last night. (2) Khaseem Greene has boat loads of talent. If he and Bostic can continue developing, the Bears LB situation is in fine hands for years to come.
- Nice game, Adam Podlesh. Great holds.
Bears did what they had to last night. They dominated a poor defense and gave themselves a meaningful December of football. And it was a great night at Soldier Field.