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Dynamic Forte, Explosive Hester Power Bears Past Cam’s Panthers; 34-29

Good: Offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s first drive called for nine run plays on 78 yards, resulting in three points.  Each of the nine plays stayed on the ground.  Matt Forte shredded apart the Panthers porous run defense.  205 yards on 25 rushes, was good for more than eight yards per pop.  He even executed a key fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter to help put away the game.  Where would our offense be without the Tulane alum?  Good to see Marion Barber play, and score a touchdown late.  Jay Cutler only got sacked once, and hit just four times.

Overall, it was a simple offensive game plan that worked.  The added threat of a run game now opens up things for the passing attack down the road.  Also, it preserves Cutler’s body.  Guard Lance Louis returned to action, and looked sharp opening holes for Forte.  The other guard, Chris Williams, finally looked like one, as he played exceptionally well at times.  Tight end Kellen Davis and center Roberto Garza were on the move all day long, pulling in the run department.  Back to Cutler, he looked crisp on three third down completions to Sanzenbacher and Knox (two) for first downs.

On defense, both Urlacher and Briggs were active and consistently around the ball carrier.  Cornerback D.J. Moore was “at the right place, at the right time” with a pick-six.  In the end, the “Windy City Flyer” Devin Hester made things happen.  What a player to watch!  Hester returned a record-breaking punt for six and nearly took back a kick (hesitated, took it out six-seven yards deep) to pay dirt – which three plays later, led to a touchdown by Forte. 

Bad: Guard Chris Spencer (hand) left the game early in the first quarter, but returned wearing a cast.  Steve Smith is a tough guy to tackle and defend, but the Bears forget about the fundamentals when trying to take him down.  Many of his 181 yards were after first contact.  The 53-yard reception was a total blown coverage assignment by Brandon Meriweather, who slowly but surely is making me regret the signing of the ex-Patriot safety.  We need Chris Harris to return – Meriweather is backup at best, who’s only asset (if you can call it that) is going for the knockout hit every play.

No matter what the situation was, Cam was able to elude the pass rush.  Give him credit, however, our defensive line is wearing down and is not getting the pressure it needs to get in order for the Cover-2 to work.  If we don’t blitz, then we have to rely solely upon the front four.  Against Newton, we weren’t really even close to generating sacks.  Next week in Detroit, we better get after Stafford.  Time to step up Julius, Henry, and Israel.  Also, where is Amobi Okoye?  All in all, zero sacks and zero QB hits.  With our injured and below-average secondary, our defensive line has to play better.  Speaking of the secondary, I think it’s time for Tim Jennings to take a seat for Zackary Bowman.  Give me size and strength with #35 over the undersized Jennings.  Safety Major Wright came back from injury, but looked very timid and was silent for most of the afternoon.  Personally, I would like to see Chris Conte receive more of a chance.  Something needs to be addressed, after awhile, I stopped keeping track of all the 20+ yard plays via the air by Cam and company – which compiled 543 yards of total offense.

As for our run defense, we were lucky the Panthers didn’t give Williams and Stewart (18 carries, more than seven yards per carry) more touches.  They made it look too easy.  The line of scrimmage was won by the Panthers.   Offensively, Cutler threw a pick on a high pass and forced a couple of bad passes – what else is new?  Sanzenbacher dropped a sure first-down pass, which is unusual for Dane.  In conclusion, I have only three words for tackle Frank Omiyale: grab some bench!  He is by far, hands down, without a doubt, one of the worst starting offensive tackles in the NFL.

Next: 2-2 Bears @ 4-0 Lions, Monday October 10, 7:30 CT



  1. bob

    October 3, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Omiyale is piss poor. Chris Harris is needed back asap. Expected more from D-line than this so far. Offensively we looked pretty good and it all had to do with running the rock. Game was exciting but we can’t give up 29 pts and expect to score 34 each week. We struggle against elite recievers. Peanut is our only legit cover corner. Calvin Johnson coming up. How long we got for Gabes return cuz Omiyale is super dumpy and Detroit D-line is tough.

  2. Russ Loede

    October 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    We really need Carimi and Harris back.

    Gabe brings an added toughness, mean streak at right tackle. Superb run blocker, who was just starting to gel before getting hurt. We actually have the makings of a solid run-blocking line.

    With Harris, he’s “the voice” of the secondary and a leader both on and off the field. He’s usually in the right place at the right time. Always around the ball, making plays.

    Calvin is a force to be reckoned with. However, the Lions are so one-dimensional on offense and their defense has given up their fair share of yards/points.

    I have a feeling our D will come out ready to kill. Plus, Matt Forte is getting the touches he needs – I’m going to say the Bears might have the edge next Monday night.

  3. Jeff

    October 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Russ I am sorry but you are wrong to think the Lions defense is bad in fact the Bears defense has given up 98 points more while the Lions defense has given up 76. So who has really given up more yards/points? Your offensive line is beyond horrible and not to mention the game is a home game for the Lions. If the Lions can stop the Bears running attack which was very good last week Cutler is in for a very long day.

    I love the direction the Lions are going in but cannot say the same about the Bears, they seem to have no direction, a over-rated quarterback and a very questionable coach and a mad scientist for a OC who wears out his welcome everywhere he goes. Good luck you will need it Monday night, I think you are in for a big surprise.

  4. Russ Loede

    October 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    “Pride cometh before the fall”…

    Anyways, the Lions defense has been vulnerable, like the Bears. In the end, I’d still take the Bears defense by a slight margin. Urlacher and Briggs make the difference.

    Part of the reason why the Bears D has been so bad stats-wise so far this season is because of the time of possession gap. They have been out on the field way too long, and have gone up against elite QB’s every week, and face a really, really good one with an elite wideout on Monday night. Needless to say, I have a “hunch” that the Bears defense will put together its best performance and use the “under-the-radar” mentality to their advantage, while the Lions heap their praises from everyone and their mother’s mothers.

    How is Jay Cutler overrated? He is rated just the way he is.

    Lions going in the right direction. I agree. Bears have no direction? It would be true after the Packers game, not running the football, but last week they got back to basics and running and now they have somewhat of a direction.

    Keep in mind, the Bears have played generally well at Ford Field. They enjoy using their speed, on both sides of the ball, on the indoor track surface.

    Lastly, don’t kick it to Hester!

  5. bob

    October 5, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Bears have played Atlanta, New Orleans, Green Bay and Carolina. GB and NO are ranked 1 and 2 in power ranks. Atlanta has two elite recievers and a top QB. Carolina has elite reciever with steve smith and 2 great TE’s and Cam Newton is blowing everyone up as a breakout star. So although our stats are bad we played much better talent than the Lions have. Our offense also had struggled in these games so time of possesion pads those stats. Granted we need to play much better but those 4 games are not quite the Lions first 4 games where they played Bucs, Chiefs, Minnesota, and Chokeboys. Chiefs and Minnesota are dumpster teams. Lions had tight game with Bucs,struggled with Minnesota who blew it in the second half. Lions needed an OT win there and they were also handed this latest game by the Cowboys after a complete meltdown. Cowboys were up big and blew it. Comparing team stats doesn’t mean much if you just look at the difference in talent in the teams we have played. Detroit is being over-hyped becuase of their quick turn around from last season and their soft schedule so far. They are a one trick pony on offense. They will even out to a 8-8ish season by the end. MNF this week and they also got us at Soldier field in a few and GB on thanksgiving. All difficult games. Bears are better than all those teams the Lions have faced and won’t lay down like the Cowboys did. Lions also lost two safeties possibly long term in that Dallas game and LB questionable with concussion. MNF showcase night, I don’t think Lions are ready to be top team, Bears will disapoint them.

  6. bob

    October 5, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Lions could easily be 2-2 if Minnesota and Dallas hadn’t choked.

    • Jeff

      October 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I love how fans so this team would have been this or that if this or that would have happened, well guess what you make your own breaks. Chicago Bears fans should know that better than anyone after the catch that wasn’t a catch last year. Since when are halftime adjustments the results of another team choking, that is just ignorant. Using that kind of logic there hasn’t been a comeback win in the history of the NFL worth anything all the losing teams just “choked” and gave the game away, stupid statement did you really say that? Really?

      As far as competition goes you can hardly call Cam Newton an “elite” quarterback, really elite? He has thrown for a ton of yards yes but also a lot of interceptions and the most important stat for an elite quarterback wins, oh yes I forgot he has one. Kansas City is trash no doubt but do you think you would have beat them so handily? Can Jay Cutler even lead you to that many points? Doubtful. Minnesota will not be a good team either this year so yes those two are dogs. Dallas and Tampa are not. Tampa is a better team than the Bears whether or not you want to believe that doesn’t matter it is true.

      As far as our safeties go one did practice today so i guess that isn’t long term injury, darn huh? In any event the one thing we have been able to do over the past couple of years is build depth so we are fine there even if we lose a starter.

      I am not saying we are perfect and I am not saying you are garbage but lets be reasonable here right now the Lions are the better team and this game will be played in a very crazy atmosphere, even if the teams were considered even the advantage would go to the Lions. I am sure the game in Chicago will be just as much a challenge for the Lions as this one is for the Bears. It is HARD to win on the road in the NFL, most teams try to split the road games and are happy going 4-4 on the road and take care of business at home.

      Good luck to you guys it should be a very entertaining game to say the least, and I hope to god we do not kick to Hester why take the chance he is a very special player. I see a final score of 30-17 Lions win.

  7. bob

    October 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Just saying the talent level we have played is very obviously different so far. The Cowboys did in fact choke. I would call it a lack of adjustments on their part rather than Detroit turn around. They were throwing the ball with a 20 pt lead? Then 2 picks? Cowboys obviously fell apart if you watched the game but they do so frequently so…? Minnesota game maybe not as much of a choke but they still should have probably put that game away and Detroit did stuggle against a dumpy team, even if it was at the dome. GB, New Orleans, Atlanta all tough elite teams. Panthers not great team but you have to admit they are on fire offensively. They also blew up GB in a close game. I believe Cam threw for over 420 in that one against the super bowl champs so..? He not elite but he is blowing everyone up, admit it.

    I admit I think Detroit looks better. Calvin Johnson and Stafford are studs. Jahvid Best, Pettigrew nice compliments, too bad about Leshoure. D-line looks good, probably underachieving so far just like the Bears line. Both teams O-lines are unimpressive. Bears hard to figure out right now, Atlanta we dominant both sides of ball, NO struggled no run, GB struggled no run, Panthers run explosion? I don’t know whats going on offensively. Hopefully we stick with a heavy mix of run, as stats show we win much more consistantly when we carry the ball. Defensively we have struggled but also have been playing top notch offenses, so also hard to figure out. We have had a couple TO for TD’s and look to be just a fraction off on some plays. Lions have done just enough to win against teams that are toward the bottom of the barrel, which is good and what you want but I still would say this 4-0 start is partially due to a soft early schedule and record will even out later in the season as all teams start playing better, schedule gets tougher and injuries set in, etc. I have watched their games and lots good but also lots that not impressed with just like the Bears. It should definetly be an interesting and exciting game. MNF always tough for either team as it is super hyped. Cant wait!

  8. Jeff

    October 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I agree to disagree about the Dallas game, still think the players have to make the plays and the coaches make the adjustments. I definitely agree with you about the Lions defensive line. Right now I don’t get it, I thought they would be causing havoc all over the place but they aren’t really at all. I know they are not blitzing at all but still the line was much more dominant last year. Bears seem to be the in same boat a little there it is confusing for both teams and funny but it doesn’t get a lot of pub at least here is doesn’t but it bothers me a lot.

    You competition has been better not doubting that it just bothers me when people say Tamps isn’t any good, they have issues but they also have talent. If I was the coach of the Bears i would run, run, run until we stopped it. If I was the coach of the Lions I would pick you apart with short passes all day then go skyward with Calvin. I am sure both coaching staff will have a few surprises for each side. If you go down and have a 2-3 record will things start to fall apart there and fans demand changes or will it continue to stay the course? Just asking I don’t know what the fan base thinks of your GM and staff, I thought there was frustration.

    Anyways the game should be fun I hope they let them play and not call the stupid ticky tack penalties and the game makes both teams look good. I think the north is the best division with the exception of Minnesota. Tough teams that seem to play the game the right way…is it Monday yet???

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