The Bears out-gained the Lions 463 yards to 168 and the Lions were leading going into the fourth quarter. That is just amazing to me. I watched the game and was still confused on how the Lions were winning. Predictable play-calling and turnovers cost the Bears some easy points.
In the first half the Bears saw Jay Cutler through an awful pass into triple coverage get intercepted, Matt Forte fumble a ball away and Greg Olsen fumble a ball away. The Bears didn’t convert a single red-zone opportunity, a problem that hurt them last season. They had the ball on the one yard line in the second quarter and settled for a field goal.
Then with 10:37 left in the game Lance Briggs stripped Lions backup QB Shaun Hill, who came in for injured starter Matthew Stafford. The Bears took the ball at the one and ran two predictable runs and then tried to get it Devin Aromashodu on third down, but Cutler overthrew him. Then they tried to run it the weak side of the offensive line, the right side and the Lions defense stuffed the Bears.
The play-calling on those two drives that the Bears had the ball at the one yard line were horrendous. It seems like Mike Martz and Ron Turner both have the same predictable playcalls in the redzone.
The game winning touchdown for the Bears came with 1:32 left when Jay Cuter hit Matt Forte for his second receiving touchdown of the day.
Then the big play of the game came with 24 seconds left when Lions backup QB Shaun Hill hit Calvin Johnson on what looked to be a 25 yard TD.
Officials ruled the pass incomplete and called for a booth replay, which seemed to show Johnson making what appeared to clearly be a TD. Officials upheld the call on the field, and the Bears won the game. A game that seemed like the Bears basically let the Lions crawl back in the game.
Brian Urlacher had eight tackles and a sack, Julius Peppers forced a fumble with a sack and Charles Tillman had an interception. The defense had a solid day besides the last drive of the game. The offense was high flying besides the turnovers and the poor red zone efforts.
My players who must step up segment in my preview for the game were Tommie Harris, Greg Olsen and Charles Tillman. I said Tillman would make six tackles, an INT and force a fumble, he actually made three tackles and did reel in an interception. I said Olsen would make seven catches for 65 yards and a touchdown, he actually had four catches for 37 yards and lost a key fumble.
Lastly, Tommie Harris had one tackle and a fumble recovery, but I predicted him to make five tackles and two sacks. My Tillman and Olsen projections were close, but Harris was very quiet today against the Lions.
If you don’t understand the rule on the Calvin Johnson touchdown controversy than read this.
The Bears need to get there offensive line in sync for next week because the Cowboys will bring all kinds of pressure in Dallas. Cutler needs to get Knox and Hester more looks because Aromashodu can’t do it all. Urlacher, Briggs and Peppers need to play as well as they did today if not better.
Look for Lovie Smith to make some changes this week, hopefully he fixes up the redzone offense. The playcalling needs to be much better if the Bears want to have a chance against the Cowboys.