While it has been somewhat foreign this season, it feels great talking about a win. The most exciting thing about this presser is the W the Bears finally got at home. Numerous people have tweeted me that I should slow down on beating a mediocre Vikings team, but let’s be honest, a win is a win and these Bears needed it.
As a true Bears fan all I ever want to see is a complete team effort, fighting for a win. Yesterday we saw a team that blocked out the noise coming from the media, myself included, and fought for the W. #TheAirAndWaterShow was on full display on the lakefront yesterday. If you have been checking out my #PostGamePresser’s you know that I am critical of Jay Cutler and the way he plays football. Minus the 2 turnovers, Cutler was pretty solid and efficient as a passer. Cutler went 31/43 for 330 yards and 3 TDs. Some of Cutler’s best plays were when he was on the move.
Going forward coach Trestman and the Offensive Coordinator, Aaron Kromer, need to find more plays to roll Cutler out of the pocket. The supporting cast put up an Oscar nominating performance against the Vikings. Alshon Jeffery had 11 catches for 135 yards and 1 TD and Brandon Marshall snagged 7 balls for 90 yards and 2 TDs. Both wideouts took advantage and won on their one-on-one match ups. There has been criticism over the past few weeks on how Marshall and Jeffrey were having difficulties getting separation in man coverage, that wasn’t the case on Sunday.
Marshall and Jeffrey can attribute a big reason for their success to the workhorse Matt Forte! I will go to my grave saying that the passing game will not be successful until you establish an effective running game. Forte had 26 rushes for 117 yards and 6 catches for 58 yards, all you can say is he has been the lone consistent bright spot of the Bears offense.
The Bears O-Line deserves a lot of credit for keeping Cutler’s jersey clean on Sunday. Of the 43 pass attempts, the O-Line that has suffered injuries to key components and position changes, gave up ZERO sacks. When you give Cutler time in the pocket, he can make the throws. The area Cutler still needs to focus on is INT’s, 12 so far this year. He got away with 2 more on Sunday, but other teams will make him pay. If Cutler cuts down on the turnovers the Bears offense might not be in the slump it has been in all year.
Can anyone tell me why clock management is still an issue for Marc Trestman and the offense? Understanding down and distance to go, situational awareness, is basic football 101. This begs the bigger question of how does an offense have the ball for 38 minutes, amass 468 yards of offense and only put up 21 points? I know, I know, it’s a mystery to me too.
Switching to the other side of the ball the Bears defense has been under attack this season for giving up basketball type numbers to the Patriots and Packers. Mel Tucker deserves some credit for the bounce back game plan, but I’m giving most of the praise to the guys on the field. The defense looked much more aggressive. The Bears held the Vikings to a season low in total yards and a meager 13 points. The Vikings had only 8 plays longer than seven yards. The defense also needs to give a shout out to the offense for winning time of possession and manufacturing long drives. It was a solid outing by the defense, but if you ask the guys on that side of the ball, they will tell you they still need to improve as a unit.
When the season started I had high hopes for this team. I predicted the Bears going 10-6, making the playoffs and making a run for a Super Bowl appearance in Arizona. After Sunday’s win against the Vikings, all I want is the Bears to finish strong as a team. Sometimes it takes being embarrassed, a couple of times, before it sinks in and to say, “Let’s get back to the basics.” My dad always told me the old saying, “It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.” On Sunday, I saw a Bears team that looked like they were having fun again on both sides of the ball. Did they hear some boos from the crowd, damn right they did and deservedly so. In the game of football and life respect is not given, IT’S EARNED. The Bears still have a ways to go, proving not only to themselves, but also to the fans. Word on the street was there were close to 6,500 no shows at yesterday’s game. Fans are not happy with the product they have been seeing at Soldier Field and from their couches every week. Sunday was the 1st step to repairing the relationship. Next step is taking care of the Bucs and everything will soon get back to Lovie dovey. #BearDown