The Bears lost 21-14 last night to the Atlanta Falcons and you would think the Falcons played great ball, but they really didn’t.
The Bears had a lot of good drives in this game, but had way too many red zone mistakes. Jay Cutler was 2/9 throwing a touchdown and an interception in the red zone. Matt Forte had back to back fumbles at the one yard line, the first one the Bears got back, but the next one the Falcons recovered. The final drive in the game, on a fourth and one, veteran Orlando Pace had a huge false start penalty, which ultimately cost the Bears the game.
Jay Cutler had 300 yards passing, two touchdowns, two interceptions and actually lead the Bears in rushing yards with 34 yards. Matt Forte and Garrett Wolfe combined for 38 yards on 18 carries. The receivers played very well, Johnny Knox know has touchdowns in four straight games, and he is now the first rookie to accomplish such a feat since Walter Payton. Earl Bennett, Greg Olsen and Dez Clark all had clutch catches and Devin Hester had almost 100 yards receiving and had two very nice punt returns, one which he almost took to the house if it wasn’t for a nice tackle by a Falcons player.
The lack of a running game, the bad play calling and horrible penalties ultimately killed the Bears. Allowing a 62 yard kick return on Atlanta’s game winning drive was something that should never happen again.
The Bears won the time of possession battle, they out gained the Falcons 373-253 and they were 9-16 on third down. You look at those three stats and you think the Bears would win. Jay Cutler isn’t too blame, but he made a couple costly throws especially in the red zone. Matt Forte looked really bad. Frank Omiyale and Orlando Pace made way too many bad plays and penalties. The Bears had nine penalties in this game by the way. The bright spot in this game besides the Bears receivers was the Bears defense. The run defense allowed 30 yards to Michael Turner and the pass defense allowed only 185 yards from Matt Ryan. Charles Tillman shadowed Roddy White very well all night, but one switch on defense and White broke out for a long touchdown catch and run. Zack Bowman and Nathan Vasher had interceptions, but both fumbled immediately after getting the turnover, but luckily both were recovered by the Bears. That is not a typo, Nathan Vasher was on the field and he made a big play, it was refreshing to see.
The pass rush had no sacks, but they were pressuring Matt Ryan all night.
Matt Forte has to learn to protect the ball, but the play calling was really really bad in the red zone. Does Ron Turner know what a QB sneak is or what play action is? Obviously not.
It is really a shame the Bears lost that game last night, they were really the better team, but they just made stupid mistakes. Now their tied with the Packers for second place and their two and half games behind Minnesota, who got lucky because Baltimore’s kicker is obviously not good under pressure.
The Bears are now 12-15 on Sunday Night Football.
If anyone happened to see Around The Horn today on ESPN, I totally agreed with what analyst Tim Cowlishaw said about the Bears “Chicago is the up and coming team, not Atlanta.”
Changes that have to be made going into next week for the Bears:
The play calling in the red zone HAS TO GET BETTER, their is no excuse for what just happened.
Off-season acquisition Frank Omiyale has to be on the bench and Josh Beekman has to be put back in at left guard.
Orlando Pace can’t ever do that again, fourth and one and you flinch. Come on man! Your a future hall of famer.
Pisa Tinoisamoa played in only his second game this season and looked good forcing a fumble, but got injured once again and he looks to be out for the season. So, with a lineup of Briggs, Roach and Williams. The depth isn’t enough behind them considering Hillenmeyer is still out with an injury. They might have to make a trade or pick up a veteran off the street like Derrick Brooks.
The Bears take on Cincinnati next week and the Bengals will be without defensive end, Antwan Odom, who was having a monster season with eight sacks. The Bears will see former players Cedric Benson and Tank Johnson, when they visit Cincinnati.