Monday, September 28, 2009

Bear Down!

Week 3: Bears 25, Seahawks 19

Jerry Angelo traded for Jay Cutler for one reason: he thought his arm could turn potential L's into W's. And sure enough, for the second straight week, Cutler orchestrated a fourth quarter comeback victory.

There's a word for what Cutler and the Bears displayed against the Seahawks on Sunday: moxie. They trailed 13-0. They were on the road in one of the toughest venues in the NFL. They lost Hunter Hillenmeyer for much of the game. But they outscored Seattle 25-9 in the final three quarters to move to 2-1 on the season.

Cutler threw an interception early in the game, but found Greg Olsen, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester on separate occasions to finish with three touchdowns and a QB rating of 126.4. Four different receivers caught at least four passes as Cutler spread the wealth en route to a 21/27, 247-yard performance. And it didn't hurt that for the second straight week, the Bears saw the opposing kicker miss two makeable field goals.

Early on, it looked like the the only good thing to come out of the game would be the fact that the Bears were a day closer to playing the Lions next Sunday (congrats to Detroit on their first win since December of '07, but make no mistake: they beat a terrible team that will likely see a coaching change before Halloween, though what they really need is a change in ownership). In the first quarter, the Bears had no tackling, as they allowed Julius Jones to sprint down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown. They had no pressure, as they allowed Seneca Wallace to get comfortable in the pocket and look like a real quarterback. They had no holes for Matt Forte, as the running game once again failed to gain any traction.

Actually, the Bears never did fix that last problem. Can we now officially worry about the running game? Forte had 66 yards on 21 carries, an average of 3.1 yards. After averaging over 75 yards per game last year, Forte is averaging just 50 per game this season. More worrisome is the fact that Seattle came into yesterday's contest ranked 31st in the league in run defense, but the Bears had virtually no success on the ground ... again. Cutler and the receivers have beared down and put up a fight with a might so fearlessly through three games, but the Bears will need to introduce some balance at some point if they want to keep winning football games.

But the defense and the passing game were enough for them to chalk up a win yesterday, as Cutler hooked up with Devin Hester for the game-winning TD with under two minutes to go. It is believed to be the first tackle Hester has broken as a wide receiver, and he had a great day overall with five total catches for 76 yards. Cutler has now had three opportunities in three games to lead game-winning drives, and twice he's succeeded. No doubt Jerry Angelo is patting himself on the back, and rightfully so.

But this is all incidental. The fact is, we all knew the Seahawks were going to lose the moment they came out of the locker room wearing those hideous uniforms that remind you of your grandma's kitchen. Who was responsible for the Uniforms Gone Wild? Why would they wear those? Why oh why oh why would they wear those?

Earlier in the day, it looked like the Bears would have a chance to tie the Vikings atop the division, but Brett Favre waved his evil, magic wand and pulled off a miraculous last-second victory over the Niners. But the Bears have not only survived the first three weeks of the season--they've posted victories against two tough teams, and will now be rewarded with a home game against the Lions and a guarantee that either the Packers or Vikings will lose--they'll do battle next Monday night.

I must mention that I was in Washington, D.C. for yesterday's game, and I was able to catch the action at one of the greatest places on Earth. Beth Dennis tipped me off to the Billy Goat Tavern in downtown D.C., and it was an absolute blast for reasons including, but not limited to:

1) There were no fewer than 30 jersey-wearing, Bears-obsessed fans on hand.

2) I had a delicious cheezborger.

3) Free shots for all after any Bears score. We'd all get our shots, hoist them in the air and say "Daaaaaaa Bears," and then slug them back.

4) Bartender Mike gave me two of my beers for free. Not sure why, but I wasn't going to ask questions.

5) "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" was blasted over the speakers after every score.

Yeah, it was freakin' awesome. Thank you, Beth, and thank you, Billy Goat Tavern!

Side note: People who live in the nation's capital have no idea where anything is. Three separate people (whom I first confirmed lived in the area) did not know which way east was, and no one could tell me how to get to my destinations without the help of a fancy phone's map function. Keep in mind that each time I asked, I was within one mile of my destination. They couldn't even tell me where the street was, or which direction it might be. This, my directionally challenged friends, is why you are taxed without representation.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe it was politicians that you asked for directions. Just a thought.