Here are my ten thoughts on the Chicago Bears…enjoy
• The Bears have a lot of toys on offense. It is unbelievable how the addition of Brandon Marshall has made this offense so much more dangerous. In previous years, a draft choice like Alshon Jeffrey would be expected to contribute more due to the lack of any weapons offensively, now he can work his way into the lineup. Let’s not forget the addition of Michael Bush. He takes pressure off Matt Forte. It gives the Bears a nice inside/outside running attack. As you can tell, I really love this Bears offense. Quite a change from years’ past. OK, quite honestly, quite a change from the philosophy dating back to Sid Luckman.
• My actual offensive game ball goes to J’Marcus Webb. Yes, good old Webb. Everyone’s target during the off-season, maligned offensive lineman Webb. He played an excellent game. His footwork, movements and recognition were fantastic. The other guys stepped up as well, but I point specifically to Webb because he protected Jay Cutler’s backside the whole game and allowed him the time to make some great downfield throws. If you see the highlight again of Cutler’s bomb to Jeffrey, watch Webb just collapse the Indianapolis Colts’ defender. It is a thing of beauty.
• My defensive game ball is obvious…Tim Jennings. Two interceptions are one thing (and one of those was a heck of a play), but his pass breakup in the endzone resulting in a Chris Conte interception was his best play. He dove across his body and tipped the ball away from Reggie Wayne. Nice to see him step up especially with the shin injury to Charles Tillman.
• The Bears did some interesting things with the defensive front four yesterday. On top of creating a rotation, they moved guys around in obvious passing situations. Julius Peppers played inside of Israel Idonije on the left side and inside of Shea McClellin on the right. Henry Melton lined up opposite Peppers on the inside. It presents real nice matchup problems for offenses because we know the type of player Peppers is at rushing the passer, but taking away the ability of a tight end to block Peppers right off the snap and forcing an interior lineman or even a running back to pick up Peppers frees up so many more opportunities in the pass rush. Melton isn’t exactly a poor alternative to Peppers. Look for him to create some real havoc as well.
• McClellin shows a couple of flashes on Sunday. In his first snap, he made a nice spin move and forced Andrew Luck to rush a throw. Other than that, he struggled to get close to the quarterback. He’s very athletic, but like the aforementioned Luck, he needs to catch up to the speed of the game. That being said, I think he has some nice skills.
• Robbie Gould is the best kicker in football. Considering Adam Vinatieri is considered one of the best kickers of all time, you saw Gould nailing kicks all over the field and Vinatieri miss a rather simple 37-yard field goal to close the first half. Soldier Field is a difficult place to kick with the winds and sub-par turf, and Gould makes it look easy.
• When your starting quarterback at your home stadium tells you to be quiet…just be quiet. Seriously, this makes the Bears fans look so bad.
• The Bears showed us a lot on Sunday. After Cutler’s horrific interception to start the action, the team settled down and really found their grove. I think this is a sign of Lovie Smith’s influence over this team. There was no panic from this team and they righted the ship fairly quickly. Sort of like their calm and collected head coach. I do believe players feed off of his persona. Many fans get irritated by his calm demeanor, but I think it helps his players stay focused.
• I do want to mention the suck fest known as the Bears’ tight ends. Although Evan Rodriguez actually played respectable as the HBack and threw some nice blocks. It is nice to see at least one of these guys from the clown car contribute.
• OK, I’ve saved the best for last. The Bears face their rival Green Bay Packers this Sunday at Lambeau Field. While the Bears sit at 1-0, the Packers lost to a better team in the San Francisco 49ers to open their season. Many of my friends that cheer for the Green and Mold are officially panicking. While I love the fact that they are beginning to worry, the Packers are still a dangerous football team with plenty of weapons. The Packers are a 5.5 point favorite at home, thus telling us the odds’ makers aren’t sold on the Bears being the better team this Thursday night. That being said, I think that the Bears are currently the better team. The Packers do the things they do well, but they also have gaping holes as well. For example, the Packers cannot run the football. They are also not what one would consider a strong defensive team. While the Packers will put points on the board, the Bears will score some points too. Frankly, I see the Bears winning this game by ten points or more. They’ll look to score early then run the ball down the Packers’ throats.
That’s all for now. Follow me on Twitter at ChicagoBearJew.