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Chitown Bear Report

Covering Da Bears of Da Windy City

Packers Send Bears Home on Christmas by Score of 35-21

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It wasn't the best Christmas gift I've ever received but, I can't say I wasn't fully expecting it. The Bears kept it close early on with Josh McCown at the helm of the Bears offense. McCown was able to keep the score respectable for the most part, while Kahlil Bell did his best to keep the chains moving. Surprising enough the Bears, despite being down most of the game, at one point had almost triple the total amount of yards the Packers had. The Bears had all of the momentum as they marched all over the Packers until McCown threw an interception right into the chest of Clay Mathews. 

From that point on Aaron Rodgers took over and went on to pick apart the Bears defense at ease. Zach Bowman was lit up for several touchdowns and had many Bear fans heavily intaking eggnog to forget about his performance. Josh McCown played particularly well, many think had he been playing instead of Caleb Hanie earlier in the season, the Bears might be in the playoffs at this moment. Kahlil Bell rushed for 121 yards on the day as well. Here are some observations from the game, credit fully of Tom Shannon. 

Defense

  1. The Packers started with seven in the box  against the run.  I think a lot of these teams want to just try to stop the Bears without bringing that extra guy down.  They don’t want to just give up too soon.   The Packers did resist and really didn’t start bringing that eight guy down and didn’t shoot the gaps regularly but when they did stop the Bears run, that’s what they did.
  2. And there’s no doubt the Bears did run the ball well.  The offensive line blocked well.  The tight ends blocked well.  Tyler Clutts blocked well.  Nice work.
  3. And the protection for quarterback Josh McCown wasn’t all that bad.  They did a nice job of picking up the blitz and when they didn’t, McCown sensed it, left the pocket and ran.
  4. Having said that, McCown never looked all that comfortable in the pocket to me.
  5. McCown’s accuracy wasn’t bad but it could have been better.  Its probable he’s still getting the timing down with the receivers but I don’t think that’s all of it.
  6. Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen both ran well and made yards on their own.  I thought Bell looked particularly good.  His only real gaff was fumbling the ball in the first half.  McCown recovered it but you’d think the one thing these guys would know to do is give the defense a chance and to under no circumstances turn the ball over.
  7. Roy Williams actually didn’t do too bad once he got his customary drop out of the way.  I wish there was a way to break him of that.
  8. Dane Sanzenbacher had a good game but eventually the Packers picked up on the fact that McCown was feeding him and started jumping his routes.
  9. Wow was there some bad Green Bay tackling out there.  This teams is going to have a hard time making the Super Bowl unless they clean up their fundamentals on defense.
  10. Down 17 points and McCown dunks the ball over the crossbar?  Bad form.

Defense

  1. The Bears went largely with single coverage most of this game which was, in terms of the X’s and O’s, the right way to play it.  It was, therefore, a re-enforcement of what I think we all know by now.  They can’t do this.  Their corners aren’t good enough.
  2. The Bears did try to blitz occasionally and put pressure on the Green Bay line, which was a bit banged up.  Green Bay picked it up well and they caught the Bears in the blitz a couple times for big gains with some good calls.
  3. Which emphasizes another problem.  The pressure on Aaron Rogers wasn’t there.  Many of the passes were coming out quick but when they weren’t, the Bears weren’t getting there.
  4. The Packers must really not be confident in their running game.  the Bears were inviting them to do it, playing seven in the box against running personnel and the Packers still threw the ball most of the time.
  5. Once again the Bears defense broke at crunch time and allowed a touch down in less than two minutes to end the half.  This has been a major problem for what is supposed to be a strength of the team.  They aren’t bowing up and stopping teams when they need to.
  6. Apparently if you want to score agains the Bears, you just isolate Zack Bowman in single coverage and throw at him.  I’ll be interested to hear what Lovie Smith has to say about this happening over and over again.  I’m not sure what, if any adjustments they could have made but that was way too easy.

Miscellaneous

  1. I was trying to watch the game amongst various and a sundry family members and there was far too much noise to hear the announcing team.  The Sunday Night crew usually does a good job.
  2. Is Chicago leading the league in interceptions thrown to pass rushers?  The interceptions obviously hurt.
  3. I thought Devin Hester called fair catch on a punt in the second quarter that he decided to run after catching the ball.
  4. If you’re going to pooch the ball on a kickoff into the empty space behind the hands team, make sure you practice it and can execute it.  That was pathetic.
  5. I can’t com pain about drops this game.  Except for Williams’ usual brain cramp they didn’t too too bad here.
  6. Too, too many penalties.  The defense was offsides.  There were false starts.  An legal shift?  There’s not excuse for this.
  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  You can’t succeed against the best teams in the modern NFL unless you have corners who can cover man-to-man.  Its too easy to set up mismatches against a zone.  To Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli’s credit, I think they know this.  But that doesn’t help when you simply don’t have the talent to do it.  The Bears don’t.  Its another of the many, many needs the Bears have going into the offseason. 
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Chicago Bears News & Notes from this Week

It has been an interesting week to say the least. After getting blown out by the Seattle Seahawks, a couple moves have been made by the team. Let's start this out in bullett form....

  • Johnny Knox underwent back surgery after his brutal bone-crunching hit on Sunday. He was announced as having walked the next day and has been released from the hospital. His injury will take him out for the rest of the season, adding to the list of Bears on Injured Reserve. It sucks we have ANOTHER guy injured, especially after last season we fought the injury bug so well. Outside of football, it's great to see Knox is walking and wasn't seriously injured. That hit hurts to watch. 
  • Josh McCown will start this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers on Christmas day. If we're going to blow on national TV, I would prefer it be with a QB who has blown on national TV before. Hanie isn't ready for the spotlight and have proven to be completely abysmal. McCown is used to playing bad so maybe it will balance out finally. If his start culminates in a win against the Packers, our season will be saved and considered a "success". 
  • According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Gabe Carimi suffered a “subluxation of the knee”, which was similar to an injury he sustained during his college career that resulted in a yellow flag on some team’s draft boards. Carimi underwent arthroscopic surgery in November, but was placed on injured reserve the following week. The new surgery will sideline Carimi for four months, but is expected to be ready for training camp. UGH! 
  • Chris Conte will be joining Johnny Knox on injured reserve. Conte, a third-round pick out of Cal, sprained his foot during Sunday’s 38-14 loss. Conte started nine of 14 games this season, totaling 30 tackles and an interception. Conte proved to be a solid pick after many questioned his draft selection. 
  • To replace Knox and Conte, the Bears promoted wide receiver Max Komar, linebacker Thaddeus Gibson and running Armando Allen from the practice squad. The Bears had a third open spot on the 53-man roster after released wide receiver Sam Hurd late last week
It's RIVALRY WEEK! Let's hope we smash (or maybe contend?) the Packers! 
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Bears Blown out by SeaBirds, Lose 38-14 against Seattle Seahawks

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Well it looked like a game for awhile. Seattle's defense took the game by the claws. Red Bryant and the Seattle defense made it a tough second half on the Chicago Bears and helped the Seahawks pummel Da Bears 38-14 win Sunday.

Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for the go-ahead TD in the third quarter — one of four picks by the Seattle. Caleb Hanie was hit hard on the play by K.J. Wright and threw the ball right into Bryant’s arms as Seattle (7-7) scored two touchdowns in a 50-second span early in the third quarter to take control. Brandon Browner returned another interception 42 yards for a TD in the final quarter as the Seahawks outscored Chicago 31-0 in the second half. Seattle had four sacks and also a fumble recovery.

Now 7-7, the Bears lost their fourth straight and played most of the game without wide receiver Johnny Knox, who was carted off the field after injuring his back while scrambling for a fumble early in the game. Knox would later be pronounced as ok but would go to the injured reserve. 

Knox’s injury was the latest setback for the Bears over the last month. Quarterback Jay Cutler (broken thumb) and running back Matt Forte (sprained knee) have been sidelined and this week wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on federal drug charges and subsequently cut by the team.

Hanie, who has struggled mightily since Cutler was hurt Nov. 20, kept his feet moving, stepped to the side of the pocket and bought enough time before delivering a 25-yard TD pass to Kahlil Bell with just under two minutes left in the half for a 14-7 lead.

After that, everything went downhill for the injury-plagued Bears. 

When you turn the ball over and you are outscored 31-0 in the second half, no matter how good of a team you have, you will lose every time. Hopefully the Bears will recove this weekend as they face the division rival the Green Bay Packers. The Packers will be coming off their first loss of the season against the abysmal (yes, I know they beat us) Chiefs. Hey...any given Sunday! If the Bears win this game, it doesn't matter how the season ends. It will have been a huge success. 

Let's go get a W! 

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