“I’’m feeling real good and refreshed by the referees calling the right things. That’s what I’m really pleased with – the referees calling the right calls. It happens all the time. It happens every game. It gets harder and harder year in and you out for a DB to play because guys know what they can get away with. They came through today. They made the right calls they were supposed to. For that reason, we won the game like we should have.”
That is what Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams had to say (via ESPNChicago.com) following their 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday.
It’s hard to believe Williams could say something like that since it was clear the contact between WR Alshon Jeffery and CB Sam Shields was mutual for most of the afternoon. Jeffery was flagged for three pass interference calls, including one that took away a touchdown from the Bears on a key fourth-and-goal.
Another horrendous call came in the third quarter when it appeared as if the Bears stopped the Packers on third and 13. Chris Conte was called for pass interference on tight end Jermichael Finley. Finley and Conte were jawing for position, but it appeared as if Finley was holding Conte’s arm. Also the ball was way over Finley’s and appeared as uncatchable.
It helped the Packers score a touchdown rather then settle for a field goal. It was 21-7 at that point in the game.
As bad as the Chicago Bears played on Sunday they had every chance in the world to win that game. They had way too many drives decided by the referees especially late in the game.
Obviously generating 190 yards of offense and not being able to convert a single third down (0 for 9) won’t help you win a game. But the Bears fought on defense all day long, they just failed once again to generate enough on offense.
Two crucial plays in this game occurred early in the first quarter and late in the second quarter.
The Bears first drive appeared to be a scoring drive until center Roberto Garza was penalized for a snap infraction. It pushed the Bears out of field goal range forcing them to punt.
Late in the second quarter, the Bears came away with a huge stop on defense. They took over at their own 37-yard line and had a 1:25 on the clock to generate some points.
The game was tied 7-7. All the Bears needed to do was not force anything downfield, but Jay Cutler underthrew Devin Hester and the Bears turned it over. Then Rodgers went down the field and tossed a touchdown pass to James Jones to make the game 14-7.
Those two drives were humongous. They changed the entire outcome of the game. The Bears were doing everything right on that very first drive of the game. They were running the ball, while looking very effective. It was certainly the right formula to win a game, but they failed to score.
The Cutler pick was obviously costly. How they dialed up a play to Devin Hester in that situation is beyond me. Cutler and Hester haven’t been on the same page since Cutler arrived in Chicago in 2009.
A screen pass or a run would have been a better call in that situation. The Packers did a good enough job once again at containing Brandon Marshall. Minus that 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter he didn’t do much.
As sad and upset as Marshall was after the game I was glad to see it. It shows that he truly cares about the team and the game of football. You don’t see that very much anymore in sports.
It still amazes me how ineffective the Bears’ offense has been against the Packers defense this season. The Packers defense isn’t that good. They are very beatable, but for some reason the Bears just can’t seem to beat them.
With two games left in the season the playoffs aren’t out of the Bears sights. Despite losing five of their last six after starting 7-1 and looking like a true contender in the NFC, the postseason is still in the Bears’ sights.
They have to win their next two games to have a chance at the playoffs. They will likely clinch the sixth seed if they can do that. The easiest way to get into the postseason would to win the next two games and have the Vikings and Giants each lose one of their final two games.
If the Bears do that and clinch the sixth seed, they would likely play the Packers, who seem to be well on their way to securing the third seed in the NFC.
That would certainly be an interesting matchup at Lambeau Field. I think if I’m the Bears that’s more than enough motivation to get into the postseason.
If they can knock off the Packers in the first round that would be a great feeling. Its not totally impossible considering the Bears will likely getting some key players back on both sides of the ball very soon.
It won’t be easy, but the Bears playoff and Super Bowl hopes haven’t vanished. They certainly need to improve if they want to have a chance however.
As bad as it looks for the 2012 Bears, don’t count them out just yet.
Here are the remaining schedules for the NFC teams in the hunt:
Bears (8-6): at Cardinals, at Lions
Vikings (8-6): at Texans, vs. Packers
Giants (8-6): at Ravens, vs. Eagles
Seahawks (9-5): vs. 49ers, vs. Rams
Redskins (8-6): at Eagles, vs. Cowboys
Cowboys (8-6): vs. Saints, at Redskins