As Devin Hester caught and fell on the onside kick attempt by the Panthers to end the game, I didn't know how to feel about what I had just watched for the past three hours. One half of the fan in me was saying look, it's hard as heck to win in the NFL so just take the W and start looking forward to the next game. The other half of fan in me though was saying, yeah sure, you won the game but if you continue to play like this your team is going nowhere this year. So I was confused and didn't know which way to go. I felt like Chaz Bono standing outside a public restroom.
The Bears benefited from two Carolina mistakes. A touchdown by the defense and Ron Rivera inexcusably forgetting that Devin Hester is the greatest ever to catch and run with a football after it had been struck by a foot. When I saw the line drive punt approaching Devin without a Panther within 25-30 yards of him, I could sense every Bears fan collectively inching to the edge of their couch. One broken tackle and one point to his blockers and he was gone.
The bad stuff by the Bears in this young season though is becoming eerily familiar. Inconsistent offense and spotty defense. A win is a win though, and in the NFL you take em when you can get em. Bears 34, Panthers 29.
Keys To The Game:
*Matt Forte LOVES playing the Panthers. Coming off of last year's 166yd rushing day against the Panthers, Forte dropped 205yds on them Sunday. That's 371 yds and 3 tds in two games! If the Bears played a 16 game season only against the Panthers, Forte would rush for 2,968 yds and 24 touchdowns! I heard he was mic'd up during the game but the only audio FOX got from it was Matt saying "Cha Ching! Cha Ching! Cha Ching!" I think every Bear's fan's feelings on the Forte contract situation can best be described by the great John Malkovich (See attached video).
*Devin Hester, you are RIDICULOUS! No seriously, those three somersault things you did after your touchdown were RIDICULOUS! Please don't do that again. And while I'm on the subject of Devin, I can not believe there are still coaches and teams that kick the ball to this man. Giving the ball to Devin is like giving your kid to Casey Anthony to babysit. YOU JUST DON'T DO IT!
*The defense is not playing well. Another receiver was able to get over the top of the cover 2 and that is the number one no no in Lovie's defense. He'll give you the underneath stuff in hopes that we'll force a turnover before you can get to the endzone, but once you allow someone over top of your safeties the defense comes crumbling down. Brandon Meriweather is off to a slow start in this Bear's defense, and that play was on him. In the post game interview that play was the first thing on Lovie's mind. Aside from the poor safety play (we need Chris Harris back) the front four haven't played much better. I feel like a broken record at this point but those four have to get to the quarterback. Zero sacks and Zero QB hurries Sunday. The only way this team can win those games is with special teams or defensive touchdowns. We got both Sunday. The D needs to step it up and fast.
*Cam Newton is for real. The kid is 6'5'' 250lb and already has one of the strongest arms in the league. He's bigger then most of the guys trying to tackle him! And his decision making skills were very impressive. The deep throw to Steve Smith was crazy. Off the wrong foot and scrambling to his left, all it took was a simple flick. Oh, THATS why he's been being paid the last couple of years. I get it now. That kid is going to be an elite quarterback much sooner than later.
Play Of The Game: Devin might not be a strong receiver but boy can he return kicks. I was at the epic game in Arizona during the superbowl year when he returned the punt to cap the crazy comeback and he's as exciting today as then. As Dennis Green would say, crown that man!
Player Of The Game: Matt Forte, duh.
So as ugly as it might have been, we'll take the W and move on because next up is a scary trip to Detroit. And this ain't your dad's Detroit. This is, "Hi. My name is Calvin and I'm the best player in the NFL" Detroit. This is, "Hi. My name is Ndamukong and all I want to do is rip heads off quarterbacks and kick babies" Detroit. It's the Monday night game and if the Bears show up with the same team that played the Panthers you might find it hard to find anything worse to watch on TV that night (Oh wait! Terra Nova is on Monday nights). But if being a Bears fan all my life has taught me anything, it's to laugh in the face of logic and keep the faith! A quarter of the season is done and my faith is strong. 2-2 Bearssssss