How great is it that the NFL is back? There is nothing better than spending an entire Sunday watching wall-to-wall football. I enjoyed some delicious Turkey Chili and homemade cornbread that Super Spouse prepared. And, she also thought it wise to run some errands during much of the Bears game. This saves her from witnessing irrational behavior from her usually subdued husband. My TiVO remote still has scars from an "accidental" dropping during the Bears/Cardinals game in 2006 (that's the infamous Dennis Green, "they are who we thought they were" game). I am a lucky, lucky man...
BEARS vs. COWBOYS PREVIEW
Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys will be an opportunity for the Bears to prove that their offensive and defensive performances (yards gained, yards prevented) last Sunday were no flukes. The Cowboys are a much more talented football team than the Lions, and they will be hungry to get a win after their debacle on Sunday night versus the Redskins. The Cowboys committed awful penalties at inopportune times, and they committed costly turnovers. Wow. You could substitute "Bears" for Cowboys in the last sentence and it would still be true. Both teams showed they could move the ball pretty well against their opponents, but they were unable to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
After one game, it appears that there is enough talent on both of the teams to make this a competitive game, even if the Vegas odds-makers give the Cowboys an 8.5 point advantage. I'm not a gambler, but that line seems absurdly high. I'm hoping the Bears players see that before the game. A little extra motivation, perhaps.
Tony Romo is a first tier NFL quarterback (in the regular season, anyway). He is not really a classic pocket passer, but he is extremely mobile and very difficult to sack. This allows him to extend plays and turn nothing into something. This could be a problem for the Bears. The Cowboys injured offensive line looked a little lost against the Redskins. I think they'll perform better against the smaller, standard four-man rush that the Bears use rather than the creative blitzes Haslett was calling for the Redskins from a standard 3-4 defense. Peppers should flush Romo out of the pocket a few times, especially if they line him up on the left side. But, that may not be a good thing. Miles Austin and Jason Witten might be able to find gaping holes in the Bears secondary.
I still feel confident in the Bears ability to stop the run. I think Briggs and Urlacher should be able to keep Barber, Jones, and Choice in check. Jones scares me a little more than the rest due to his riduculous speed. If he has a big game, the Bears will be in trouble.
The Bears offense will struggle this week to move the ball like they did last Sunday, which means they can't make anywhere near as many mistakes. Cutler will need to play a smart game, and the offensive line will need to improve, especially in the running game. I like Forte and Taylor to continue to excel the passing game. Martz isn't dumb enough to go away from what works. If they don't turn the ball over more than one time and have fewer than five penalties, the Bears could pull off the upset. Sadly, I don't see that happening.
Cowboys 23, Bears 17