If you had told me we would lose 10-3 to the Kansas City Chiefs a month ago, I would have slapped you in the face and laughed. Now it is I, who has been slapped in the face. Feelings of confusion and disdain now overwhelm me as a fan.
The Jay Cutler-less Bears have now become the Matt Forte-less Bears going into the home stretch of the playoff run. Forte suffered a MCL sprain against the Chiefs, thrusting Marion Barber into the feature back role.
Here are my general observations from the game. Let's start first with defense...
The Chiefs came out running against the Bears defense with a couple short passes. This was apparently to take the pressure off of KC quarterback Tyler Palko. They were probably also anticipating a defensive game with Caleb Hanie at quarterback for the Bears.
Palko came out throwing easy throws accurately.
This was a really good game for the defensive line. Julius Peppers was a beast on the pass rush.
The Bears supplemented the pass rush with some well timed blitzes but otherwise they were, once again, generally bland.
Palko avoided a pretty good rush by simply running away from it. He’s very mobile.
I was surprised to see Kyle Orton with Palko not doing too bad to my eye. It was a shame to see him hurt after only one play.
Dwayne Bowe always seemed to be a step ahead of the Bears defense. He’s big and he can run after the catch and he always seemed to get just enough yardage to get that critical first down.
KC did a really good job of running the ball on the Bears defense in the third quarter as Bears pass rushers eager to get to Palko ran right by the running backs. Some really good play calling there.
Bear defensive backs were having a terrible time getting off blocks on the Kansas City wide receiver screens. They’ve got to be stronger than that.
It didn’t take long for Kansas City to bring that safety up into the box to stop Matt Forte. As usual, the Bears opponent wanted to make the Bears beat them through the air. First possession – three and out.
Kansas City’s defensive backs dominated the Bears receivers with good coverage.
Caleb Hanie came out unable to complete even some of the short passes that Mike Martz called to get him started. His accuracy apparently did not get better in his second week wth the starters. He was missing opportunity after opportunity to hit wide open receivers on broken coverages.
Thank you Matt Spaeth for that wiff on the block that got Matt Forte hurt.
Caleb Hanie has to get rid of the ball. I know the Bears receivers were well covered most of the time but he’d have had more success if he threw with some anticipation to a spot like the offense calls for him to do.
KC did a good job of keeping Hanie in the pocket with a controlled, disciplined pass rush.
Glad to see Marion Barber running so well again.
The offensive line struggled to block for the run on occasion when they were allowing too much penetration. The Chiefs were crashing line of scrimmage against the run.
Caleb Hanie cannot throw a jump ball with Johnny Knox as the receiver. This was a lesson Jay Cutler learned his first year (with Hanie watching). Interception.
The pass protection was really poor in the second half. Mike Martz really needed to call some screens and draws. Running the ball with some delayed handoffs like Kansas City did to slow down the Bear pass rush would have been a good way to do it.
In fairness, giving Hanie max protection in the fourth quarter did help. It might not be a cooincidence that Hanie’s passing improved at that point as well.
I’m not entirely sure why Devin Hester ended up being Hanie’s primary target.
Like the Bears, Kevin Harlan was off his game. Warning that a punt almost hit Jalil Brown again was, perhaps, unnecessary given that KC kicked it. Getting Dom DeCicco mixed up with Patrick Trahan wasn’t a high point for him. It could be because we’ve been spoiled with the best color men the NFL has to offer this year but Solomon Wilcots didn’t seem to have much of any significance to say.
The Chiefs started off the special teams battle the right way with a touched punt that resulted in a turnover to the Bears.The Bears fake field goal was pretty sick. Yellow flags flew everywhere against the Bears special teams. KC kicked the ball off out of bounds midway through the third quarter. Devin Hester dropped a fair catch. Hester had a nice return at the beginning of the second quarter but otherwise special teams were just a comedy of errors. A really bad comedy.
Kansas CIty got an interception late midway though the third quarter that just killed the Bears. I thought that’s what the Bears were supposed to be doing. Instead Charles Tillman missed an interception in the second possession of the first quarter. Tim Jennings dropped one as well.
The penalty on Bowman for interference with a punt reception in the first quarter was bogus. Marion Barber sure looked to me like he was close enough to the line of scimmage to avaid a penalty on the stolen touchdown in the second quarter. A bogus defensive holding call on Tillman kept a critical drive going in the third quarter that led to a field goal. The referees hurt the Bears as much as the Chiefs did.
There weren’t many drops but it figures that the one critical one that resulted in an interception would come from Roy Williams. Its come to be expected.
I hope someone explains why the Bears called timeout in the second quarter immediately after one by Kansas City.
Late in the third quarter down 10-3. The Bears had first and goal from inside the ten. Two Hanie sacks on some terrible pass protection later, Robbie Gould missed the 42 yard field goal. They aren’t a playoff team.
Television commercial of the year: Allstate mayhem commercial with the “300 lb streaker painted blue and completely naked apart from the cleats”. Made me smile on a miserable day.