Bears vs. Vikings Recap
The Bears squeaked out a win in Minnesota by the score of 19-16. Minnesota played a very good game of football and just about went mistake free up until 3 minutes left in the game. After picking up a first down on some good running by Melwede Moore and some terrible tackling by just about every LB and Saftey on the Bears, the Vikings Brad Johnson fumbled the ball while handing it to Chester Taylor on the next play and gave the Bears hope while down 12-16. Rex led a 5 play 37 yard TD drive capped by a 24 yard pass to Rashied Davis to take the lead with 1:53 left on the clock. The defense held strong on the next posession to close out the game.
Minnesota was determined to bring pressure on Rex Grossman all day and they succeeded with a variety of blitz packages. While the protection was fairly decent, Rex forced two bad throws that resulted in 2 INTs and 10 points for the Vikings. He did move the ball fairly well, but the O stalled near the redzone on several drives. He finished the night 23/41 for 278 yards 1TD 2INTs. Not his best performance by far and definately a step in the wrong direction. If not for his last minute scoring drive, Rex would be the goat for sure.
I am VERY surprised the Bears didn't run the ball more. Thomas Jones got all 18 of the carries and managed only 54 yards. The Bears should have known this would be a tough game and committed to the running game. Instead, they came out throwing and ran just enough to keep the play action honest. I think it was a terrible mistake that almost cost them the game. Jones didn't look very strong tonight and spent too much time dancing and looking for cutbacks instead of running hard to the hole.
The receivers did a decent job of getting open quickly, but on several plays they were out of synch with Rex on hot reads. That kind of miscommunication could have hurt the Bears much more than it did today. Moose had a big day catching 9 balls for 118 yards but it was Rashied Davis who gets the star for the winning TD catch. Tight end Desmond Clark left the game in the first half with what looked like either a hamstring or a pulled groin. Hopefully, he won't be out too long as he was on fire entering todays game.
Overall, i think the play calling and the penalties are the biggest problems from todays game. The passing game continues to look good, but Rex has got to stop forcing plays and just take the sack or throw the ball away. We are good enough to win without scoring on every drive.
The D went another game without allowing a TD (the Vikings scored a TD on an INT return), but did give up a good chunk of yardage and three field goals. The stat line is misleading though, as the play of all the LBs and secondary was very suspect today. Poor tackling and blown assignments were rampant and must have been driving the coaches crazy. If it wasn't for the stellar play of the DL again, this game could have been a lopsided win for Minnesota. The D should be working overtime on tackling drills after todays game.
The DL on the other hand played another great game against one of the best OL's in the league. Brown and Ogun were getting decent pressure all night, but the guys in the middle were really getting upfield. They only recorded one sack, by Tommie Harris, but they were pressuring Johnson all game. The DL was about the only bright spot for the team.
ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Robbie Gould connected on all four of his FG attempts and has not hit 9 in a row. His 49 yard FG in the fourth was a key kick under a lot of pressure, but it was right in the middle of the uprights and plenty long enough. Devin Hester was a non-factor with three punt returns for 12 yards. Rashied Davis had a nice 35 yard kick-off return to start the Bears first scoring drive.
This was an ugly game for the Bears both coaching and playing. The poor play selection and the poor decision making by Grossman on offense could easily have cost them this game. The poor tackling and blown assignments on defense also could have done them in. They also were hit with a lot of penalties early in the game, but did settle down in the second half. The amazing bright spot of the game, is that we played so badly and still won the game. Both sides of the ball got the job done when the game was on the line and that is a mark of a good team. The biggest test of the season happens next week when Seattle visits. Seattle is red hot after scorching the Giants for 42 points. I think the Bears have a chance to win this game, but most likely I see Seattle winning 20-16.