There is reason for optimism in the Kingdom of Bears Fans today. With a brand new collection of coaches installing a brand new scheme the Bears went toe-to-toe with a better foe and for a majority of the game held their own. Give Rick Morrissey, a guy I generally don’t care for, a lot of credit for this passage:
The Bears looked like a professional football team Sunday, no small thing after last season’s debacle, though they still walked away 31-23 losers. There are no moral victories in the NFL, but there are losses that don’t stink to high heaven. This was one of them.
It will be a long year, but maybe it won’t be the kidney stone many of us thought it would be.
Here are my rapid fire thoughts.
- Jay Cutler threw the crucial interception. Aaron Rodgers did not. Rodgers never does.
- On the Cutler pick, this wasn’t a typical pick. He was duped into that interception. He didn’t try to force a pass into a tight window.
- Packers had to make every single play to win this game. James Jones was heroic. Eddie Lacy pulled in one-handers. Clay Matthews chased down sure thing touchdowns. Did the Bears have anyone on their offense do anything exceptional?
- Catch the ball, Forte.
- Paging Pernell McPhee. Come in, Pernell McPhee. (Side note: I earned this will become a thing if McPhee no shows a few games. Ravens have a history of letting the right guys walk out the door.)
- With the complete absence of a pass rush it’s hard to complain about the secondary’s overall performance. Fangio didn’t get overly aggressive with blitz packages. Approach seemed vanilla but that may require a second viewing.
- Kyle Long struggled early at right tackle and will probably struggle for weeks at the position. Not to sound like a broken record but moving him the week of the opener made zero sense.
- If Bears continue starting Vlad Ducasse at right guard you can expect more drive-killing penalties. Ducasse was a laughing stock when he was on the New York Jets.
- Pat O’Donnell didn’t just launch a beautiful 56-yard punt yesterday. He launched his candidacy for the All Pro team. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much but it was a punt the Bears needed and he delivered.
- Robbie Gould isn’t done, I guess.
- Bears seemed to lack explosiveness intentionally on offense.
- Hell of a game from Will Sutton on first watch. His speed jumped off the screen.
- Player who surprised me most this summer was Jarvis Jenkins. That continued yesterday.
- Okay, Marquess Wilson. That’s a start.
- Temper enthusiasm about Bears as a power run team. They face two tough, sturdy defenses these next two weeks. Packers are soft up the middle. Cardinals and Seahawks are not.
- You know who didn’t do much noticeably wrong? Adrian Amos.
- Shea McClellin and Christian Jones were both solid in the middle. Seeing Shea’s name at the top of the tackles chart is something that may be a weekly recurrence.
- Can forgive Bears secondary having some coverage lapses but the tackling has to improve. Both Fuller and Rolle whiffed multiple times.
- John Fox can’t use the challenge on that play. It wasn’t close. Somebody upstairs has to tell him what people can see in every barroom in America.
Overall, this is a team that looked headed in the right direction. Power run game. Well-coached. Will be exciting to see where Bears go from here.