FINAL SCORE: Bears 19, Lions 14
This game will be indicative of what Bears fans can look forward to for the rest of the season. The offense looked unstoppable at times. In the first half, Cutler was finding wide open receivers and the Lions defense looked befuddled. But, as expected, mistakes were everywhere. Aromashodu dropped an easy touchdown pass on the first drive, which wasted a perfect throw from Cutler on a deep corner route. The Bears proceeded to move the ball inside the Lions 5-yard line, and had to settle for a field goal. Omiyale was completely blown off the ball on one of the Forte runs.
Cutler's interception on the next drive was inexcusable. On a 3rd and 19, he threw deep down the middle into triple coverage. Thankfully, it was his only interception on the day. I still can't figure out what he was thinking. Great quarterbacks don't throw that ball. Let's hope Martz chewed him out on the sidelines. That pick led to a Lions touchdown.
The offense genearlly looked sharp for most of the first half, but fumbles by Forte and Olson killed drives. Forte made an incredible catch and run late in the half that finally put the Bears on the scoreboard. Forte looks so damn fast on the second level, but he has a hard time getting there. The offensive line had real trouble consistently opening holes for Forte and Taylor.
The defense was solid in the first half. They did give up 14 points, but the Peppers hit on Stafford gave the Bears the ball back late in the first half, which led to a Gould field goal. It also knocked Stafford out of the game, who was starting to get hot late in that first half.
Going into halftime, down by one point, I felt really confident the Bears would dominate the second half. But, the offense struggled to move the ball. Luckily, the defense played tough. They completely shut down the running game, and backup QB Hill couldn't do much for most of the second half.
The most frustrating moment happened in the fourth quarter. Lance Briggs shot through a gap and caused a fumble in the backfield, which he recovered on the one-foot line. The Bears only had to move the ball less than a yard to take the lead. First down, Forte was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The offensive line got no push. Second down, Cutler play faked but was rushed. He threw it out of the end zone. Third down, Forte stuffed again. This is where Lovie should've kicked the field goal. They were down by one and the defense was stuffing the Lions. Nope. He goes for it. Martz uses the same damn formation, and I think he ran the same play they ran on first down. Forte stuffed for no gain. PATHETIC. They struggled mightily in the red zone last year, and they were 0 for 4 in the red zone on Sunday. Good teams can't fail like that when knocking on the door.
Another thing I noticed is that those running plays on the goalline seemed to call for their guards to pull. That is INSANE. I've never coached football at any level, but when you've got to move the ball 1-yard, and everybody is crammed in close, why are guys pulling? Seems like an over complicated plan.
So, the Bears defense holds a few more times, and Cutler gets the ball back. This time, he drives them down, throws a perfect pass to Forte, and the Bears FINALLY take the lead after outplaying the Lions the whole game. I looked at the clock. There was about one-and-a-half minutes left. Uh oh. Lions get the ball, completion, completion, completion. Soon, they're inside the Bears 30. Hill goes back to pass, throws a jump ball to Calvin Johnson and he catches it. I couldn't F**KING believe it. The Bears were going to blow this game. WAIT! The announcers say it was ruled incomplete. It goes to review. They explained the rule, and the refs made the right call based on the rule. But, seriously, we got lucky. Two more incompletions when the Bears finally decided to double cover Johnson and Bears win.
No, you shouldn't really complain after a win. But, the Bears made WAY too many mistakes (4 turnovers, 4 sacks against, and 100 penalty yards). Some of those are correctable, but if they were playing even a mediocre team, they would've lost. They racked up a ton of yards, and the defense played pretty good, especially against the run, but their overall pass rush was anemic and the offensive line still has lots of problems (holding penalties, sacks, no push in the running game).
My opinion hasn't really changed. This is pretty much exactly how I thought they would play this year. Explosive plays will be common, but so will mistakes. The defense will do some good things, but they will be mediocre overall. If they can somehow go about 4-4, the offensive line should be better in the second half of the season, which gives me a little hope. I'm not sure they can do that, though.
This is a talented, mistake prone team. I fear there will be lots of frustration this year, but it should be entertaining frustration, unlike the Jauron years or the late Wannstedt years when they just weren't talented.