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Bears Mon Oct 18 2010

Footballic Ramblings: The Revenge of Bad Football

Footballic_Ramblings2.jpg Two weeks removed from the classic children's book "Jay Cutler and the Very Painful, Concussion-Inducing First Half from Hell" and Cutler is reaching for the Tylenol again. Six sacks and no pass protection for the Petulant One whom -in spite of the revolving door o-line- came thru for a very okay passing game. The only problem was the lack of touchdowns. Cutler and the receivers weren't spectacular by any means, but the complete abandonment of the running game, the defense breaking down and Robbie Gould and Brad Maynard both having uncharacteristically bad days are the real culprits this week. Let's discuss, shall we.

With Mike Martz taking over as offensive coordinator everyone in Chicagoland knew what to expect: passing, passing, passing. Blustery and glib comments to the media as well, but mostly passing, passing, passing. With Martz and Cutler teamed up, this season the Bears have been pretty much an aerial team -save for the brutal Todd Collins cameos in the second half of the Giants game and the Carolina game last week. So it should be no small concern to the Bears backers that in yesterday's game the Bears offense looked so anemic. Cutler's final line looks okay: 290 yards, 0 interceptions and, gallingly, 0 touchdowns. But he completed a hair under 50% of his passes and against a very weak Seattle secondary threw no touchdowns which is downright scary.

More scary? The fact that the offense didn't even sniff the endzone in the second half of the game. Seattle's (again very average defense and horrible pass defense) defense made adjustments that completely shutdown Martz's very one-dimensional, pass first offense. In the second half Cutler and Co. crossed the 50 exactly twice -and I'm counting a horrible Seattle punt that landed on their side of the fifty-yard-line as one of those instances; do you realize how horribly inept that is? Why did it happen? Did Martz think feeding Matt Forte and Chester Taylor a combined 12 carries was even going to fool Seattle's defense into not countering the passing with plenty of nickel packages? Guh. Had Martz wanted to still stick to his (passing) guns, why not set up more effective screen passes to Forte or Taylor or Greg Olsen? Bears fans, if your skulls are sore from pounding your head against a wall, I feel you. This was a horribly managed offensive effort.

Now let's discuss the defense. After weeks of dominant defense, yes, really, the Bears defense has been downright great at times this season. Wow. Did the dam break this week. Matt Hasselbeck turned back the clock to 2003 and oh-so-efficiently torched the Bears secondary to a charred pile of ashes. Most burned? Was the heretofore steady Charles Tillman who was burned all day by Mike Williams. Williams finished up the afternoon with career highs in receptions (10 on 15 targets) and yards (123). Most impressive for Seattle (depressing for Chicago) was the 92-yard, 11 play drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters whilst chewing up nearly six minutes of game time.

Backed to their own eight on a Maynard punt, Seattle methodically steamrolled the Bears for 92 yards, fueled by a steady combo of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett runs and ably backed up by well timed pass plays to keep the Bears defense constantly on their toes. This was the drive football fans like to see and must have had Bears fans cringing as they pleaded for a stop to the maddening and consistent drive of Seattle.

Even with the loss the Bears (thanks to Green Bay's own ineptitude in a home loss to Miami) sit in first in the NFC North for another week. The Washington Politically Incorrects come to town next weekend and we'll see if the defense can stop native son Donovan McNabb from burning the Bears again (or if Mike Martz can call more than a dozen running plays.)

 
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