Monday, September 14, 2009

Take your pick

Packers 21, Bears 15

I expected Jay Cutler to lose a game or two for the Bears this year with his gun-slinging mentality and penchant for interceptions (after all, he did throw 18 of them last year). But I didn't expect one of those games to be the first one, and I didn't expect him to be so bad that he'd essentially guarantee a loss. I'm not even ready for Halloween, but Cutler's already celebrating Christmas with gifts to division rivals.

There's no doubt that others deserve blame too. Offensive line? Hello? You there? Cutler made bad decisions when he was flushed out of the pocket, but he was put in those situations time after time because of subpar protection.

And the receivers. They showed big play ability with two bombs down the right sideline, one by Knox and one by Hester, but they also showed their inexperience by breaking off routes when they needed to finish them and finishing them when Cutler thought they were going to break them off. Cutler and the receivers weren't just on different pages--they were in different literary movements.

But still. Exactly what species of prehistoric butterflies were those in your stomach, Jay?

The amazing thing is that the Bears were in it. They were winning with under two minutes to go! But then Nathan Vasher got blowed up on a third-and-1; if the secondary had a question mark after it heading into the game, it now has two. And then Cutler and Knox cooked up another pick, and that was that.

Kyle Orton, by the way, never threw four interceptions last year. Cutler choked in his Bears debut even worse than Orton's beard must have choked him all of last year. (Did you happen to catch the ridiculous conclusion to Orton's Broncos debut yesterday? And yes, that's announcing deity Gus Johnson on the call.)

The running game wasn't much help, either. Fifty-five yards on 25 carries for Forte; just over two yards per carry. That said, though, it seems like Ron Turner got pass happy even though so few of Cutler's passes ended happily.

The Bears did hold their own on defense, especially when you consider that Urlacher and Tinoisamoa missed most of the second half. If the defensive line had a question mark after it heading into the game, it's now an exclamation point. Someone on the line needs to have a significantly better year than they did last year, and it looks like it will be the guy who's in a contract year: Adewale Ogunleye had two sacks and helped the Bears tally four total sacks, including one that resulted in a safety.

The game went pretty much the opposite of what everyone expected. About the only thing more relentless than the surprises were the injuries. Urlacher. Tinoisamoa. Desmond Clark. Offensive lineman Frank Omiyale. Backup corner Trumaine McBride.

And the news on Urlacher isn't good: he's out for the season. Ouch. Most people, including myself, believed that Urlacher had to have a big year for the Bears to return to top form. I'm way too excited about the Bears season to give up on it already, but this one hurts. A lot.

Perhaps a trip home will help settle Cutler's nerves. I sure hope so, because when we looks to redeem himself this Sunday, he'll be looking across the line at the Super Bowl Champion Steelers' "D."

Shot of the Day

1 comment:

  1. Your one word .. ouch .. summarizes it all.