Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 9: A win is a win is a win

Bears 22, Bills 19

The final result of a football game doesn't always tell the whole story. After all, the Bills went to overtime against the Ravens and Chiefs in their last two games. They fought hard, showed grit. Sports radio callers probably had a few positive things to say after each loss.

But ultimately, football--and every other sport, for that matter--is about winning. Grit also had the Bills up 19-14 in the fourth quarter Sunday, but through nine weeks it's gotten them to an 0-8 record. No wins. Zero. And that's all that matters in the end.

On the other hand, an appropriate simile for the Bears' performance on Sunday would not be, say, that it looked like a beautiful work by Picasso, or that it was exquisite like a delicious meal at a fine steakhouse. But the Bears did just enough to win. It wasn't exactly a game you want to keep on your TiVo and re-watch later in the week, but they put up a "W" and that's the bottom line. Knowing they won by three doesn't tell you the whole story, but it does tell you all you really need to know--that the story has a happy ending.

Cutler at least had moments in which he looked like a decent quarterback. He was able to evade the pass rush a number of times, and in fact was sacked just once. He also used his feet to gain yardage, running for three different first downs after the pocket collapsed. Overall, he was a modest 17-for-30 for 188 yards and two TDs, further decreasing the Bears' rather paltry average of 202 passing yards per game. But the most important number on his line is the zero below the letters "I-N-T." He did fumble once, but at least he never gave Buffalo the ball through the air.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two picks, including one to seal the game, but carved up the Bears secondary for much of the game. He's been doing that to a lot of teams ever since he replaced Trent Edwards in Week 3. Against the Bears, he finished one yard shy of 300 on 51 pass attempts.

It's great that we can be happy about the Bears' fifth win of the season, because otherwise we could complain about the fact that they rushed for just over half the yardage Buffalo gives up on average, and the fact that they couldn't get just one tiny yard late in the fourth when it mattered most. Nope, don't have to complain about those things.

The Packers pasted the Cowboys, not surprisingly, keeping them atop the NFC North by a half-game over the Bears. Though when it comes to that game, I think everyone in America lost--the Packers have found a way to make it excusable for their fans to yell "COOOON" (their running back is named Kuhn) at the top of their lungs throughout the game. I hope you're proud of yourselves, Packers fans.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a 307-pound man missing an extra point. Narrated by Gus Johnson.

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