Quick Game Comments: Bears at Titans
- Color man Brian Billick made the comment that the Bears usually are stopping the run with only seven in the box. That really isn’t the whole truth. The Bears have done an excellent job of calling the correct plays on defense. We’ve heard color men for at least a couple weeks say that its “almost like the Bears know the other team’s plays”. So what they do is show seven men, then crash an eighth into the box at the last second. It really is uncanny how often they do it.
- The Bears were getting good pressure from the front four on Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
- The Bears linebackers were frequently pressing and blitzing the A-gaps. I’m not so sure that they weren’t actually doing it in an effort to stop the run up the middle.
- I don’t think I have to say that it was a good defensive game overall. Its hard to complain but the defense did allow the Titans to occasionally get some big chunks of yards on some long throws including the Titans third quarter touchdown. I know it was with a bunch of back ups in but the big run by Chris Johnson in the fourth quarter also sticks out. At that point in the game you’d think those things would be what you’d be guarding against.
- Some good blocking by Brandon Marshall down field this game.
- Cutler wasn’t really very accurate this game. Part of that is because he had a lot of defensive pressure on him for some good chunks of the game. Once again his best throws went to Marshall. Its as if the quality of his throws are directly related to his confidence in the receiver.
- Cutler seemed to be making a conscious effort to connect with Earl Bennett and Devin Hester but they were having a tough time of it, especially in the first half. Once again, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte seem to be the only two biggest reasons the offense moves the ball. They were certainly enough this game.
- Nice run by Forte on his first quarter touchdown. He kept keeping his legs churning until the rest of the team could get behind him to push him in. The Bears were very aware of their surroundings and knew to look and do that. I think that’s probably the result of good coaching.
- Cutler’s mobility is such a gift. It was very evident on the offense’s second touchdown on the pass to Brandon Marshall when he bought time by getting out of the pocket and throwing on the run. Cutler is at his worst against disciplined defenses that don’t allow gaps for him to slip through. This Titans defense is not one of them.
- Kellen Davis just cannot seem to put two good games together. He looked lost blocking out there at times.
- Some good run blocking this game. With the Bears so far ahead, the Titans had to know the Bears were going to run the ball but Matt Forte seemed to run wild anyway.
- Thom Brennaman did his usual, professional job. Laura Okmin’s question for Urlacher was really inane but I’ll admit that its probably what the network thinks most fans want to hear. The network did try to make a bit of a theme out of comparing the current defense to the ’85 defense with a bunch of graphics and the occasional comment. Brian Billick was really good. For instance, he had a number of nice comments like the one right before the big return by Devin Hester in the first quarter. He pointed out that the return was on because the Bears were doubling both gunners on the outside.
- I thought both teams did a nice job of catching the ball today. There were very few drops.
- Penalties were another matter. There was a holding call on Kellen Davis that put the Bears in a hole right after they got a turnover. That eventually set up yet another third and long and a punt. There were a number of holding calls and an illegal hands to the face in the endzone by J’Marcus Webb that resulted in the safety. The Titans weren’t a lot better with a couple illegal formation penalties and an illegal block in the back that nullified a nice return.
- Beautiful block for a touchdown by Sherrick McManis. Which was, by the way, particularly well broken down by Billick. A nice return by Devin Hester set up a touchdown.
- Turnovers were, of course, the story of the game. The Bears ability to force fumbles, especially Charles Tillman, is amazing. Brian Urlacher doesn’t run those pick sixes back like he used to but he still got the job done. On the down side we had another Cutler fumble just before half time. I don’t know what that play was but guard Chilo Rachal let his guy go and went one way and Cutler rolled the other.
- The Bears once again traveled well as you could clearly hear the Bears fans on television throughout the game. Kudos.
- I’ve never had so little to say about a football game in my life. It was an explosive combination of the Titans handing the game to the Bears and the Bears being so good at forcing turnovers. I was ready to move on to next week midway through the second quarter.