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Bears Offense Still The Missing Link: Stewart, Turnovers Big Difference In Heartbreaking Defeat

Some thing just stay the same, yet still find their way to disappoint. Chicago’s shaky offense (the usual) without the run game (blocking issues) arrived in the 2nd half, as they couldn’t hold onto an encouraging 17-3 lead in the 3rd quarter, falling to Carolina on the road, 20-17. The “vanilla” offensive game plan and two lost fumbles doomed a team that seemed to forget how to run the football in the 2nd half. Carolina’s 1st round draft pick out of Oregon, RB Jonathan Stewart (6-1, 235), ran through an abundance of would-be tacklers on his way to two scores, as he was clearly the team’s best and most important player on the field offensively. His size, speed, and strength reminded me of a mix between Bo Jackson and Christian Okoye.

Stewart stole the show and showed every bit of why he was regarded as the best back in this year’s deep rookie class. Rookie Matt Forte played extremely well early on but did not see many holes in the 2nd half, his offensive line just could not put together a standout performance like Carolina’s did. Forte had little room to run and could not overcome his line’s deficiencies and dirty laundry (holding penalties). Former Bear SS Chris Harris, forced a key, game-changing fumble midway in the 3rd with the score 17-6 in favor of Chicago. The ensuing drive had Stewart getting into the end zone for his first of two trips.

Midway in the 4th QB Kyle Orton missed a wide-open Marty Booker down the field with what would’ve been a sure touchdown and victory with the contest at 17-13. Chicago’s lack of field position (Devin Hester left with sore ribs), complete breakdown on the OL (less than 50 rushing yards in 2nd half), and obvious problems throwing the ball deep (no true #1, though Lloyd looked good – great hands and body control) made sure Carolina would come out on top. Defensively, John Fox’s squad turned up the heat and intensity so much, you could’ve made an argument that it was just as scorching as the temperature on the field in Charlotte.

Taking into consideration that both teams shocked the world last Sunday, I thought this game’s atmosphere and aggressiveness was surprisingly at an incredible high level for Week 2. I have to say that the Carolina’s defense made their presence felt, but Jonathan Stewart was undoubtedly the difference-maker. I expect Stewart to continue to flourish and improve on what was his official “coming out party”. With all that being said, this game just goes to show you that the Bears cannot win on a weekly basis with Orton and their current state of the OL. I was already on the Stewart bandwagon, now I have jumped on to his team’s bandwagon. Carolina is the team to beat in the NFC South and this is a game they will certainly build on and use to reach newer heights. And remember, they’re doing this without their most explosive contributor on offense – Steve Smith!

As for the Bears, it’s going to be a long season – Week 1 was a total aberration. They looked more the “pretender” than “contender”. But look up, Tampa Bay is next on the schedule – and it will be at home in Soldier Field. If they can go 2-1 into Sunday Night Week 4 against Philadelphia – that will have already exceeded my early season expectations.



  1. ANDRE Wells 134

    September 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Lack of offensive balance is and will be the death of the bears. This $2.00 offensive game plan is suspect. They whole league knows that the bears wont go deep. Its not Kyles fault they wont let him pass the ball beyond 30 yards. I dont give a damn what you idiots think, Grossman will get the ball down field with protection. If the bears had any kind of deep threat, Forta would have gained 200 yrs easy. So i dont blaim kyle i blaim the play calling. If the bears dont have confidence in his deep ball then the opposing defense will always key the run. I rather watch Grossman throw interceptions in attack mode than watch Kyle throw these 3 yd passed. They played not to loose instead of attacking to win. With this offensive line Rex Grossman and his deep threat is the way to go.

  2. Wizzle

    September 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I totally disagree. 1st, the Bears gave this game away, period.(Like the Purdue game, they played way too conservative in 2nd) Not being beat (aka giving the game away nicely packaged) doesn’t constitute “it’s going to be a long season” We have one hell of a weak schedule. “…cannot win on a weekly basis with Orton…” Huh? Of course we can, he’s just gotta work on the long ball. Mark it down, if the Bears stay healthy, play like they are CAPABLE of, (Turner takes his head out of his azz) they’ll be marching into the playoffs no problem.

  3. Ken

    September 15, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Drinking before you post a comment is not a good idea. “Its not Kyles fault they wont let him pass the ball beyond 30 yards.” 1 for 10 in passes thrown over 15 yards. This is the same old Kyle. Nothing new here, move on.

  4. Russ Loede

    September 15, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I wonder if the Windy City Flyer would have made the catch if he was in Booker’s place on the overthrow?

    We should pass the ball more to Forte – seems like he’s always open.

    I would like to see more play-action – usually its successful on both 3rd & short and 4th & short.

  5. ANDRE Wells 134

    September 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Russ: you got my vote i think you are right, we got to keep em guessing

    Ken: dude dont get it twisted, i think that he is a good guy but he damn sure cant throw the deep ball like Rex Grossman. If Rex had this offensive line and Forte as the running back the bears would be 2 and 0. Rex grossman was in the top 5 in nfl in touchdown passes. All the media did was complain about interceptions. Well hell man you would have happy feet to if your offensive line got both of your legs broken. The bears will only invest in defense, if Rex been running the show we would have a double threat, all defenses have to do now is play the run, all of the nickel backs know the bears wont let the man throw deep passes. I am not sure if he can even throw a deep pass, what i do know is even in practice its the same ole shit.

  6. Harold Bryant

    September 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Come on let’s be real, the NFL is a QB’s league. If you have one with talent, you can possibly go to the playoffs and even the SB. However, if you have the talent that we have on our beloved Bears at QB position you will no doubt finish in the middle of the pack or close to the bottom. That’s just the way it is. We don’t have a bad team. We just don’t have a QB with NFL talent. Our QBs are backups not starters. Too bad.

  7. Pete the Panther Fan

    September 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Dear Mr. Briggs:

    Thank you for turning the game around for us late in the game by providing your cheap shot tactics to Jake Delhomme..That was brilliant – pay the fine like a man and take this as a lesson learned that cheap shots will not be tolerated…..Also, tell your thug teammate Mike Brown, the punk Safety that came over and started taunting us after the play to go back and look at the final, I know since Mike is a Nebraska Cornhusker and a Thug his level of comprehension of the basics of reading and writing will be somewhat mitigated (that means lessened, diminished, etc.) but I am going to attempt to impart a phrase on Mike that he should take to heart as he grows older and hopefully begins to wisen as he rolls out of football into whatever he chooses to do with the rest of his life – the phrase: “He who laughs last, laughs best.”..Think about it Mike (and Lance)..think about it all..Think long and hard about it. We all hope you enjoyed your flight home last night. Bet it was quiet on the plane…Was fun spotting you guys a 17 to 3 lead and then watching you blow it by employing stupidity! We respect Lovie and think the Bears are a class organization – but you two guys sure didn’t help your cause. And for that, we thank you.


    From: Panther Nation

  8. ANDRE Wells 134

    September 15, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    i am saying the same thing dude, i dont know if Kyle can do the deep ball but we know Rex can he was numbe 2 or 3 in touchdown passes that superbowl year, look it up. We need to keep defenses guessing, the bears game plan was primative. They were playing not to lose instead of being aggresive and trying to win. A real deep threat will open up the running game. Those flacid 2 to 10 yd passes can be easily defended, the short passes allows the DB’s to play up to support the run. Its not rocket science. I dont know what the offensive coordinator is smoking either.

  9. Russ Loede

    September 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Harold Bryant’s simple point hit it right on the head.

    The NFL is a QB’s league.

    Enough said.

    Hopefully Orton progresses and his deep ball improves throughout the season. He needs to make an adjustment quick, relatively soon. Orton has to put more touch on his passes, he has the fastball(ZIP), yet not the change-up(TOUCH).

    I think he is going to connect on a deep pass early on PA this Sunday against Tampa. If he does not make an adjustment and go long to attack the Bucs secondary, it will be a long year watching him just go dink ‘n dunk style. This is the time to get it together.

    I wonder if Lloyd is the money guy, the go-to #1 receiver now? Maybe we give the rookie wideout outta Vandy (Earl Bennett) an opportunity to play and steal Booker’s time. It’s worth a shot and I would like to see him share duties with Booker & Davis. Davis has been a bit of a disappointment so far. We drafted Bennett in the 3rd round for a reason. He put up big #s and broke records in the SEC.

  10. Russ Loede

    September 15, 2008 at 4:34 pm


    That hit on your crybaby whiner of a QB Jake Delhomme was neither late nor cheap. If it was, Lance Briggs would’ve been flagged for it. Your QB just didn’t slide early enough. Thus, Briggs making him pay the price.

    Why are you calling out Mike Brown? Saying he’s a thug and a punk? He’s a class act, a humble individual, and a very good football player. When healthy he’s one of the best safeties in the NFL. He is the Heart & Soul of our Defense. Why are you questioning his smarts? That’s just uncalled for and tasteless. Where’s your integrity?

    As for the so-called “cheap shot” turning around the complexion of the game – you are completely WRONG!

    That hit by the All-Pro LB Briggs did not change the game like you and all your Panther fans and Panther players thought it did.

    I believe Jonathan Stewart’s coming out party, Greg Olsen’s fumble in the 3rd, and Orton’s inability to hook up with Booker deep in the 4th on what would’ve been a TD to win the game had more of an influence on the outcome of this battle.

    Also, our OL being dominated and clearly outplayed by your DL, the lack of touches for Forte in the 2nd half, and the numerous holding calls and field position edge were bigger factors than the hit. Carolina won the game because of Chicago’s miscues & mistakes. I say Da Bears lost it more – than the Panthers won it.

    Anyways, great game! I expect Carolina to win the NFC South. You guys have a great, aggressive defense with Beason & Co, and Stewart will win ROY honors if he gets the PT he deserves and has earned. He is going to be a Star and he was a joy to watch.

    Remember it’s only Week 2. We’ll see where both of these teams go from here and how this game affects and impacts their respective seasons. Steve Smith coming back will give you the running game an even bigger boost/advantage. His return should lift the team to an even higher level. 11-5 may not be out of the question? Too early to tell though.

  11. Whizzle

    September 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Ok, ok, everybody listen to yourselves. Rex Grossman? Are u freakin kidding me, the guy sucks (besides his big arm) he has nothing, the guy is obviously very immature. Listen to him talk, seriously. “Well, I hope to do better, I’m hoping to get the starting job, We’ll see how it goes” WTF? Do you think Peyton, Tom, Romo, etc…Hope to win? Does Payton hope or wish he’s going to throw for 350 yards? Hell No! He KNOWS he will! “Sorry team, I let u down cuz I was unprepared due to thinking about a party” HUH? Wait a second, ur getting paid millions to win games but you admit to the media that you were thinking about a party, WoW! Mind-Freakin-Blowing!He’s had his chance, he and Lovie are the reason we lost the Super-Bowl. Let’s see, lovie relied on magic and fairy dust to win the SB. Grossman begins to really suck but instead of doing what every other coach in the league would do, he keeps Grossman because “He’s our guy because we continue to win” Great call loveless. ANYWAYS, everything can be summed up in this. Let’s forget the many, many shortcomings and focus on the biggest one. He doesn’t have any nerves, none! So, lets use Andre’s wonderful and oh so insightful game-plan. We got Wrecks at center, the DB’s are backing up. Forte gains 30 yds on his 1st run, yay! wonderful. Next play, no one is open Wrecks jogs up the middle for some yardage and WHAMMO Mr linebacker rams his shoulder pad into his helmet (Briggs). Game Over, Wrecks becomes a junior high qb looking over his shoulder, fumbling the ball away like a school girl. Other players and coaches are saying the same type stuff “he’s weak minded, etc..”
    Orton has poise, he looks comfortable in the pocket, he doesn’t have a great arm but his poise and un-gunslinger-like attitude are what this team needs. BTW,his teammates didn’t name him captain cuz he’s cute. Is he the future? Doubt it (unless Peyton trades his line for ours) BUT mark it down, he’ll lead us to 11-5 and into the playoffs.

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