Tag:Matt Forte
Posted on: September 28, 2010 12:19 am
 

Packers-Bears reaction

Chicago pulled out a victory to get to 3-0 on the season. Chicago WR R. Davis celebrates after the game (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Before the season began, I was pretty sure Chicago was overrated. I had never been impressed with the consistency of QB Jay Cutler. I didn’t think RB Matt Forte could be effective. I was weary about offensive coordinator Mike Martz. The defense would be fine – actually, I expected it to be very good – but I didn’t think the offense could keep the team in games.

Through three games – all Bears victories, including a less-than-impressive win in the season-opener against Detroit – there are still plenty of questions for the offense. But then again, the defense has been very good, and Cutler has done well enough to lead Chicago to the top of the NFC North division.

“It’s fun,” Cutler told ESPN’s Suzy Kolber after the game. “That’s all you can ask for. The defense did a great job. We still felt the whole game we were killing ourselves. But we came up big at the end of the night.”

OK, let’s talk about the real reason Chicago won or – more appropriately – how the Packers lost this game.

Green Bay outgained Chicago 379-298, but the Packers blew it for themselves. They tied a club record that had stood since 1945 with 17 penalties for 152 yards. Many of them, especially late in the game, were undisciplined and, frankly, stupid. Frank Zombo had a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cutler that wiped out an interception. There was the bad personal foul penalty by Nick Collins, and there was a horrendous pass interference by Morgan Burnett to give Bears possession deep in Packers territory.

If Burnett’s pass interference was horrendous, the play of Green Bay’s special teams was atrocious. Bears returner Devin Hester ran back a punt return for a touchdown and should have had another (speaking of which, why in the hell are you kicking to him in the first place?). Bears DE Julius Peppers blocked a Mason Crosby FG attempt. Green Bay got nothing with their return game. And let’s not even get into that last-second kickoff return of desperation that featured about 15 forward passes (the flags were gone, and after the officials would finish throwing their hats, they were going to have to start throwing their whistles).

“You can’t play football like that,” Mike McCarthy said in the postgame presser when asked about the penalties.

That’s true, Mike. But let’s not let the coaching staff off the hook here. After James Jones’ fumble with a little more than 2 minutes to play gave the Bears possession near mid-field, for some reason – even though it should have been abundantly clear to whoever was speaking in McCarthy’s ear that the call was good – McCarthy threw the challenge flag.

It was pretty obvious after looking at one replay that the fumble recovery was legit. Yet McCarthy challenged and lost a timeout. It helped his squad lose the game (hey, at least the Packers would have had more time after Robbie Gould's field goal).

This was a game Green Bay should have won. This was a game the Bears should have lost.

And you know what? I still think Chicago is overrated.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Stafford injured as Lions struggle into halftime

Posted by Will Brinson

The good news for the Chicago Bears is that Julius Peppers appears to care (he sacked Matt Stafford near the end of the half to land the Bears a field goal) and that Matt Forte appears to be closer to his first season than his second (he took a screen pass 89 yards to the house). The good news for the Lions is that Jahvid Best appears to be "for real" (he has two touchdowns in the first half) and they appear, as a team, to be better than last year (they're winning at halftime).

The bad news was that Mike Martz' offense managed to produce three turnovers ... against the Lions. The really bad news, though (at least for the Lions), is that Stafford suffered a shoulder injury on the sack by Peppers and was seen on the sidelines without his pads or jersey on.

Needless to say, the Lions will be careful with him, but considering that last year he managed to get back on the field and win a game with a shoulder injury, the news that he could be out for the second half is not good at all.

A strong showing by Jay Cutler, whose numbers are quite deceiving at halftime, in the second half could go a long way towards making Chicago fans feel less worried about their team this year. And likely towards keeping Lovie Smith and Martz' pants a little cooler.

Update (2:49): Shaun Hill entered the game for Stafford and the Lions' starter's return is officially listed as "questionable" -- he kicked the bench in frustration when being told that he wouldn't return.

Update (3:00): The NFL tweets that Stafford is OUT for the game and will not return, leaving the Lions hopes in Hill's hands.

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