Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Week 13: Bears 24, Lions 20
Short-term betting victories are fun, but a long-term victory involving your favorite team is about as good as it gets. By earning their ninth win on Sunday, the Bears went "over" the total set for them prior to the season, and that means the betting slip I've had in my wallet since August will soon begin a trek to Las Vegas via the US Postal Service, and I'll find myself $42 richer shortly thereafter (I'm only winning $22, but I'll get my original $20 back as well). For the record, Bob Geraty took the same bet. The only more enjoyable long-term bet I can think of (should it work out) is the one my sister Mandy made--on the Bears to win the Super Bowl.
While they didn't quite look like eventual Super Bowl champions against Detroit on Sunday, the Bears battled and managed to escape Motown with one mo' win (sorry). The four-point victory was a perfect illustration of why Detroit is 2-10 and the Bears are 9-3: the Bears consistently do just enough to win (that's their fifth in a row) while the Lions find ways to end up on the wrong side of the final score (that's their fifth straight loss). In the case of Sunday's game, the key plays included an unexpected throw to Brandon Manumaleuna (he exists!) and a huge personal foul against Ndamukong Suh that helped to set it up.
For the Bears, this was a "rear-view mirror" game--playing a bad team starting their third string quarterback, they just needed to get in there, get the job done, add a W and move on to the next game. Beating the Lions is like asking a girl out and having her say "yes"; the Patriots game this week is the first date. Beating the Lions is the job application; this week's game is the job interview. It was a good win and an important one, but I'm really looking forward to the Week 14 duel at Soldier Field.
My two main thoughts on this game:
1) It was disheartening how the Lions practically dominated the Bears in the trenches. The Lions had four sacks to the Bears' two; the Lions gained more yards per carry; and they just generally spent more time in the Bears' backfield than vice versa. You'd hope your front lines would look a little better against one of the NFL's worst teams.
2) I LOVE the new offensive style Mike Martz whipped up. All the quick passes and hot routes reminded me of the Greatest Show on Turf back when he was with the Rams. I can't believe I'm saying that, but it's true. Earl Bennett looked like a legitimate play-making receiver for the second straight game, and those quick slants reminded me of Isaac Bruce or Torry Holt. Seven different guys caught passes in the game, and there were so many plays where Cutler got the ball to a receiver before the Lions even knew what hit 'em. The Bears are no '99 Rams--they're just 29th in the NFL in total yards per game--but they've got some weapons and Martz seems to be exploiting them well.
While the Packers get to feast on these same Lions next week, the Bears have a huge game against what is possibly the NFL's best team. Should be fun.
Though the highlight below is technically a Lions highlight, it is surely more embarrassing for Drew Stanton than for the Bears. This is known as the "Dougie"--popularized by John Wall, murdered by Drew Stanton. Time of death: about 12:30 pm CST, 12/05/2010.