Bears-Lions postgame thoughts
November 2nd, 2008 - 4:35 pm
What could have been an ugly Sunday turned out to be a good day. The Bears fought back from a 10-point deficit at halftime to beat the Lions, 27-23.
But don’t be satisfied with today’s result, either. There’s nothing to be joyous about on a day in which one of the worst teams in the league gashed this defense all day long. And there’s nothing to be happy about when your starting quarterback leaves the game with an injury and doesn’t return.
I’m going to start with the bad and end with the good, because I like to finish on a good note.
How the Bears let the Lions come in and push them around for roughly 2 1/2 quarters is beyond me. I knew this game would be closer than the first meeting against Detroit, but I didn’t think the Lions would ever hold the lead — at least not more than a possible 3-0 or 7-0 lead to open the game.
I’ve got serious concerns about this defense. This is an offense against whom the Bears should have gotten their pass rush back in form. But still, no legitimate sacks. The first play of the game was a sack, but it was a “gimme” because Dan Orlovsky slipped and fell.
Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher, both returning from injury, were beaten for two separate touchdowns. Mike Brown, inevitably, suffered an injury and missed the entire second half. It appeared the defense just sat back and waited to be picked apart. Something isn’t right with this unit, and it has to be figured out before the NFL’s top team — the Tennessee Titans — come into town next week.
On offense, even with Orton in the game, they couldn’t move the ball after the first portion of the first quarter. Orton then went down at the end of the first half and never returned. Rex Grossman came into the game, and despite one interception — which was tipped at the line of scrimmage and the ball actually touched the ground and shouldn’t have counted — Grossman was 9-of-19 for 58 yards and a touchdown, plus the go-ahead rushing touchdown.
But Grossman looked awfully rusty, misfiring on several of his passes, and, of course, was booed mercilessly. Well, Bears fans, if Orton misses an extended period of time, you have to make a decision. You’re either with Grossman and will support him, or you’re against the Bears. There are no other options.
On special teams, Devin Hester coughed up the ball which the Lions took advantage of and scored shortly after, but the special teams played decent as a whole. One of these days, Hester might remember how to just take the ball and get up the field instead of dancing around and choosing where to run.
A terrible game, no doubt, but a win nonetheless.
As for the good, Matt Forte and the running game finally got back on track. Forte had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 126 yards on 22 carries. Rashied Davis had a big game with 64 yards on 5 receptions and one touchdown reception from Grossman.
On defense Craig Steltz filled in for the injured Mike Brown and he came up big with an interception at the goal line. He also wasn’t beat for any costly plays.
Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot to rave about. This is a game where the Bears need to forget about immediately and focus on the undefeated Titans coming up next week. I honestly think they can beat them, but only if they play like they did against teams like Indianapolis and Philadelphia. If they look anything like what they did today, forget about it.
Other good news to come out of Sunday was the Packers’ loss to the Titans. Literally, about 10-15 seconds after Orlovsky’s desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete, Tennessee’s Rob Bironas hit a game-winning field goal in overtime to beat the Packers. The Bears are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.