1. The Bears came out trying to run Matt Forte. To my eye they had the most success when they attacked the edges of the Lions defense with him. The failure to run on first down today hurt the Bears as they seemed to always be in second and long.
2. The Lions seemed to be concentrating on stopping Forte and Alshon Jeffery because they left Brandon Marshall in single coverage. This guaranteed that they’d get burned and they did. The Bears scored quickly on the first possession.
3. The offensive line did a nice job of protecting Jay Cutler. He was getting enough time in the pocket to where the Lions started to do some blitzing in the second quarter. Kyle Long was notably better against Ndamukong Suh compared to the first match up.
4. Despite getting a lot of time for much of the game, Cutler didn’t have a good day. He looked off on his accuracy and some of his decisions were less than stellar.
5. It was obvious that Cutler hurt his left hand and the groin was bothering him by the third quarter. The offense stalled in the second half and I spent the whole period saying, “Get him out” as Cutler failed to drive the ball pass after pass.
6. Martellus Bennett looked more fluid this week than he did last week.
7. Nick Fairley is a thug.
1. The Lions came out running and the Bears obviously knew that was gong to be the plan. They concentrated a great deal on stopping Reggie Bush.
2. One of the things you notice about Corey Wooton is how quick he gets off the ball. It was understated but he had a nice day.
3. I think Charles Tillman did OK on Calvin Johnson. You aren’t going to stop him. You can only hope to contain him.
4. Cornelius Washington made an appearance. He was unremarkable. Julius Peppers also had what I would call another unremarkable day for him. Not a great day for the defensive line over all though they did start to get some pressure in the fourth quarter.
5. The third quarter was a bad one for the defense as they sprung a leak in the running game allowing Reggie Bush to make some long runs.
6. I would say that the Bears defense made fewer mental mistakes and their tackling was notably better this week. I consider that to be encouraging.
1. The Bears continue to get the best announcing teams out there for their games. I’m having a hard time remembering the last time they had anything other than the #1 or #2 announcing team. Today, I thought Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa did a reasonable job. I thought Johnston made a particularly good point that the key to attacking the edges on the Lions was to do the difficult job of getting outside of the wide nine ends. There weren’t a lot of “Wow, great point!” moments and they weren’t at their best but that’s still pretty good.
2. Special teams were unremarkable. Jeremy Cain did a nice job filling in at center for Patrick Mannelly. The Bears had a big return in the first quarter. The Lions had a big one in the third. David Akers missed a critical field goal in the fourth quarter. The Bears needed an onside kick at the end of the game and didn’t get it.
3. The game was relatively clean in terms of turnovers. The Bears got an interception from Chris Conte to set up a field goal. The Lions got an interception at the end of the first half on a tipped pass that was a tough break. The Bears had sustained along drive to come away with nothing. It was that kind of day.
4. Each team had their fair share of penalties. Tillman and Suh each had a face mask. The Bears had an illegal motion on the punt team. Corey Wooton jumped offsides in the third quarter. The Bears had yet another killer holding penalty, this time on Matt Slauson, in the red zone in the fourth quarter to take away a touchdown. The Lions stupidly committed personal foul after personal foul to try to hand the Bears the game.
4. Both sides had some drops. Jeffery dropped a touchdown. The Lions had their share. Too many on each side and it was pretty much a wash.
5. This wasn’t a particularly well-played game on either side. If you’re the Lions, you can’t draft in the top fifteen year after year without acquiring a lot of talent. They’ve had more than anyone in the division for several years but continually beat themselves game after game. They’ve generally stopped doing it and what we’ve seen this year is the result. But today they gave the Bears more than their fair share of opportunities. Unfortunately the Bears rarely took advantage as they made too many mistakes. It hard to win when you’re quarterback isn’t on top of his game.