Monday, January 3, 2011
I hope we'll have 10 more memories to discuss about the Bears' postseason, but no matter what happens in the playoffs, I'll always have fond memories of the 2010 season. Here's my Top 10 list:
10. Forte's big year
His 4.5 yards per carry easily eclipsed the 3.9 of his rookie season, and while he fumbled twice as a receiver, he never lost a fumble when handling the ball as a running back. On top of that, his receiving average rivaled that of guys like Devin Hester and Lance Moore. He is the only Bear other than Walter Payton to rack up 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season.
9. The Bears were 6-2 on the road, their best mark away from home since 2006
Bodes well should they have to head to Atlanta for the NFC Championship game. Only the Steelers had a better road record.
8. Forte's big day against Detroit ... as a receiver
In Mike Martz's first game as offensive coordinator, Matt Forte caught seven passes out of the backfield for a team-high 151 yards and two touchdowns; he had no receiving touchdowns in 2009. It was clear right from the start that we'd be seeing a different Bears offense in 2010.
7. D.J. Moore's pick six against Washington
Israel Idonije batted it in the air, Moore snatched it and took it to the house. We'll choose to ignore the fact that DeAngelo Hall had a pick six of his own and three more interceptions in the Redskins win.
6. The defense posts a rare shutout ... on the road
Sure, it was Tyler Thigpen, and yes, Brandon Marshall didn't play the second half. But holding any NFL team scoreless for 60 minutes is quite an accomplishment; there were only five shutouts in the NFL this season.
5. The Calvin Johnson Call
It's scary to think about how different the Bears season might have been without the benefit of the crazy call that gave the Bears their first win. It was a gut-wrenching feeling when Johnson went up and hauled in a pass to give the Lions the lead with under a minute to play, which made it all the more glorious when referee Gene Steratore overturned the call--and potentially turned around the Bears' season.
4. Cutler's three pass TDs and 117 yards ... in the third quarter
In Week 16 against the Jets, Jay Cutler was 6-for-7 for 117 yards and three TDs in the third quarter alone; there were ten games this season in which Cutler didn't throw for three touchdowns. Knox grabbed two of 'em and Hester another, and the amazing quarter helped lead the Bears to a huge 38-34 victory.
3. Bears beat Detroit a second time, netting me a Vegas victory
As you know, I won $22 from Vegas after betting that the Bears would win nine or more games this season. It was a not-as-comfortable-as-it-should-have-been 24-20 victory in Detroit that officially turned my betting slip into a winner.
2. Hester's record-breaking punt return at TCF Bank Stadium
You've seen it before, but you know you want to watch it again:
1. Favre meets his end
In a season in which the Bears earned a playoff bye, they also forced Brett Favre to wave bye-bye to football for good. It was not only the best Bears moment of the year, but quite possibly their best moment since they earned a trip to the Super Bowl four years ago. Hopefully we can replace that moment with some even better ones these next few weeks.