Six Random Thoughts on the Chicago Bears Victory over the Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears Win 13-7
There is no such thing as a bad win in the NFL. Tonight the Chicago Bears improved to 5-1 and held onto their first place lead in the NFC North with a 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. While the score wasn't pretty, the Bears found a way to win this contest. Coming off over two weeks of not playing due to the bye week and scheduled Monday Night Football contest, the Bears found a way to get it done.
As you see in the photo above, the Bears had a major scare when quarterback Jay Cutler (16 of 31, 150 yards TD) was sacked by Ndamukong Suh in the second quarter. Cutler was seen grabbing his helmet and left the game for one play before returning to action. Right before halftime, he went into the locker room with what the team called a rib injury. He returned and played the second half. It was obvious that several of his throws weren't as crisp, but he is a warrior. Many of us feared the worst when it first happened.
The Bears defense continued to dominate the NFL with four turnovers tonight. Three came in the redzone for the Lions (two forced fumbles and an interception). Quarterback Matthew Stafford (28-46, 246 yards TD, INT) never looked comfortable and Calvin "Megatron" Johnson (3 catches 36 yards) was a non-factor. Considering the importance of this game for the Lions who fell to 2-4, one would have thought that their two best offensive players would have found a way to get more done.
Offensively, the Bears got key first downs and scored a touchdown on their opening drive on a seven-yard TD toss from Cutler to Brandon Marshall (6 catches 81 yards TD). That was the offensive highlight for the Bears. They struggled against a pretty impressive effort by the Lions defense and never found a rhythm. The Lions also blocked a Robbie Gould 47-yard attempt in the second quarter. While the Lions offense struggled, the defense played a solid effort.
Here are five other observations of Monday Night's contest. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew and Hashtag #RML.
Chicago Bears Defense
The Bears defense is the best in the NFL. Led by veteran tough-guy and warrior Brian Urlacher, this unit is the best in football. Pictured about with NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate Lance Briggs, the Bears unit is a tackling, sacking and turnover creating machine. They're fun to watch. It should be noted that Charles Tillman did a masterful job on Megatron all night including a huge pass breakup in the end zone. The defensive line was also strong today making Stafford uncomfortable and throwing off his timing. It was an all-around great effort by a group that continues to impress.
Chicago Bears Running Attack
I love when the Bears run the football. Matt Forte (22 carries 96 yards) is a great runner, but my guy is Michael Bush (6 carries 36 yards). He just runs over tacklers and when you least expect it, will jump over defenders (as you can see above). I wish the Bears would commit more to the run. As the season wears on, we should expect to see more of this Dynamic Duo. But a commitment to the run will make everything else click on offense. And the Bears still have some work to do.
Last year's first-round draft choice out of Wisconsin has taken over the J'Marcus Webb doghouse role with fans. Considering how much was expected out of Gabe Carimi last season and the early flashes he showed in training camp before injuring his knee early in 2011, Carimi is struggling. On top of his numerous false starts, he is getting caught for holds and missing key blocks. He is still a young player, but he has to show more. The coaching staff loves him, so that might be his only lifeline. But he has to get better. The offensive line is starting to come together, so the team needs Carimi to join the party.
Devin Hester is one of the most exciting players in football. However, this season the excitement is coming on offense (3 catches 36 yards). He isn't getting comfortable in the return game. He was even benched tonight for several return gaffs (no fumbles but poor decisions on fielding punts and fair catches). We all have seen what Hester is capable of doing, and that is what is most frustrating. Just remember when we least expect it, Hester will take on to the house. And then we'll all be happy again.
Bring on the Carolina Panthers
Many people had high hopes for the Carolina Panthers this season. With Cam Newton coming into his own as a quarterback and some pieces beginning to fall around him, the Panthers were picked by some to contesnt this season. However, it has been a disaster for the Panthers. GM Marty Hurney was fired on Monday and former Bear coach and player Ron Rivera may be next. It is a shame because Rivera is a class guy and someone that has waited a long time for his chance.
This is a nice break for the Bears that will be entering a tough stretch of games in November. After the Panthers, the Bears travel to the Tennessee Titans before playing the Houston Texans at home, the San Francisco 49ers on the road, and returning to host the surprising Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Getting a win this coming Sunday is huge. And I think the Bears will get it done.