In this ‘essay-like’ series under the name ‘Foreign Perspective’ – I’m trying to elaborate on views of a European, when seeing traditional American news or results. This includes, but is not limited to, potential political topics. My main focus, however, is the Chicago Bears – an American Football team that I love. How do I see the recent news and results lining up? Do I even understand this sporting mentality? Find out in the Essay Series ‘Foreign Perspective – Chicago Bears’.
On Sunday September 7th, the Chicago Bears opened their NFL Regular Season (2014/2015) against the AFC East Buffalo Bills. At Soldier Field, expectations were big – seeing as the Bears have been stellar against the Bills at home, and generally in the opening game. However, the Bears proved that this year won’t be as good as most people expected. I, perhaps infamously, predicted a 12-4 season – I drank the kool-aid, and believed the hype. But the Bears ultimately fell to the Buffalo Bills 23-20. Now, I have a couple of notes and views on the game. This week’s Bears Essay is entitled: The Good, The Bad and The Inexcusable.
Most of the things we saw at Soldier Field were bad, but it’s important to remember that it didn’t start that way. The Bears opened the season by forcing the Buffalo Bills 3-and-out. The Defense we wanted to see. When the Bears got the ball, they were fast and furious – an on-point Jay Cutler led the Bears down the field, and finished it off with a Touchdown to Martellus Bennett – a Tight End who had a big role to play in the opening week. It all went downhill from there.
Did the Bears think it was an easy win? Well, the game proved to be a trap-game. E.J. Manuel took his team down the field, by exploiting the Bears’ defensive holes – using Robert Woods to perfection, for one. The Bears let the Bills take an easy Touchdown. Tied at 7-7, I wasn’t panicking – not at all. But then the Bears offense made the same mistake that the defense did – thinking it was too easy? Sure, maybe. Hubris? Definitely. Trying that flea-flicker was obnoxious – and the playcalling was essentially terrible following the opening Touchdown-drive.
The Bills quickly went up 17-7, and the Bears were booed going into the half. And Cutler’s first interception of the season, directly led to a C.J. Spiller Touchdown. What happened during that play? I think Martellus Bennett was running a hitch-route, but failed to turn around and catch the ball Cutler was throwing – a missed play by Bennett. These missed plays continued, as Cutler was unable to lead the Bears back to a win. It wasn’t made easy for him, though – as Garza, Slauson, Morgan, Jeffery and Marshall all had injuries during the game.
Now, Martellus Bennett is not the bad, the good or the inexcusable. He had an average day, and his performance had both plusses and minusses at the end of the day. The Good was Matt Forte. He ended up with a total yardage of 169 yards – and was the one positive aspect of a game, wherein I expected very little from Forte following a mixed pre-season.
I label Jared Allen as ‘the bad’. But in reality, the defensive line should be labeled so. Jared Allen was particularly disappointing – and maybe both Allen and, the new Packer, Peppers are over-the-hill. As for the inexcusable? Jay Cutler. He did okay early in the game, and I don’t blame him for the first interception. But he did hold onto the ball too long, he did make two throws that easily could’ve been picked. And his second interception forced me to label him as inexcusable.He’s got his big deal, he’s got the big receivers – his type of coach. He didn’t take home the win – and he has no excuses when he throws directly to Kyle Williams. Throw it away, Jay.
Next week the Bears face the San Francisco 49ers, and they look good – like I expected – but it’s probably the best chance the Bears have had of pulling off an upset in San Francisco in a long time – with the defensive lack of health and new stadium in mind.