The Bear Truth: Holy Crap the Bears Won

I'm gonna let The Bear Truth website evaporate into the Internet ether over the next few days, but I'll occasionally post some thoughts on here and be sure to team them up with a Cubs related post for those that do not wish to discuss football.

To the recap...

The Good: They won and they did it easily. Color me surprised. The defense was outstanding, holding a good offense albeit not great offense to two field goals. Classic Lovie Smith defense, bend, but don't break, force some turnovers with Old Man Urlacher's full out dive being the play of the game. The fumble return for a TD was just the icing on the cake, and that one was pretty much all on Matt Ryan. The only real mistake on defense was the Michael Turner 53-yard run.

Cutler and the offense looked good for the most part. A 107.8 QB rating and 2 TD's with over 300 yards looked good in the boxscore. A lot of that yardage was on well executed screens, but it's not like anyone doubts Cutler's ability to throw it downfield. And a lot of good offenses and QB's can get their yards on well-executed short yardage throws. I'm just happy the Bears finally know how to execute a proper screen. Roy Williams made the catches that he didn't in the preseason. And is just me or is refreshing to know that third and long isn't an automatic death sentence to the offense? They actually seemed to play their best in those situations.

The Bad: Cutler was sacked 5 times, some of that is the offensive line, some of that is Mike Martz's offensive scheme, some of that is Cutler. Cutler first half could have went from great to disastrous with two tipped balls in traffic that didn't get picked. Cutler missed a ridiculously open Kellen Davis in the red zone on a brilliant bootleg playcall with the TE and 3 linemen sneaking the opposite way. It might not be the easiest throw on the run, but I'm guessing he's made it in practice and it's a play who just have to make.

Mike Martz's playcalling with a 24-point lead that led to the INT returned for a TD. Martz has his strengths, running out the clock is not one of them...or protecting the QB.

The Ugly: Brutal road game at New Orleans this week and then the Packers at home in Week 3, so pretty close to a must-win for the Bears and they delivered.

Comments

I thought that me being one of the writers there would serve you better. Fuck people.

I blame Real Neal. Only cuz I pulled him out of my cranky hat.

Was it really 5 times?

I don't worry about M's play calling unless it's a close game.

I read the line was ok. NO? I couldn't see the game.

one sack was a slide near out of bounds near the end of the game that he probably would have thrown away, but wanted to keep the clock running.

The O-line did well getting out on screens and stuff, but certainly got beat a few times and badly. I recall Webb twice and the new guy from Wisconsin at least once.

A lot of new bodies on the O-line, it'll take some time to gel together. That being said, I don't have a lot of faith in them either.

I think I have better faith this year than last. I know a lot of median dudes were upset over Kruentz getting kicked off, but if he was the captain, last year's ship sunk bad.

who would have guessed that Orton vs. Grossman still isn't settled?

Based on last night's performance, it's Grossman FTW

I thought it was settled along time ago that Sexy Rexy was better.

Eh....Orton is steadier....Grossman will make more soul crushing INT's....
Grossman: 41 games 54.4% comp, 42 TD/40Int, 5.6 yds/att, 72.1 rtg.
Orton: 62G: 58.1 comp%, 71 TD/ 48 INT, 6.2 yds/att, 79.6 rtg.

Orton's last two seasons in Denver have been much better than Grossman's ever been.

Agreed.

It's not about the eyebrows, Mr B.

other than Orton being decent the last 2 years and Grossman having one foot out the NFL door, sure it was settled :)

Grossman looked pretty damn good Sunday though from what I saw, someone finally got through to him to step up in the pocket and not run backwards, at least for one game.

I always preferred Orton, but I'm biased as a Purdue fan.

I hope you do continue to post a Bears article per week here. It's a shame that the other site didn't take off the same.

More Good:
Cutler played under control and moved the ball well down the field. Hester finally did something with a screen pass. O-Line didn't get their asses completely handed to them. TE's seem to do what the offense looks for them to do. Knox and Williams both caught some balls down the field. Kahlil Bell is still better that Chester Taylor. The offense scored early and gave the defense a lead to protect.
The defense held the Falcons to two field goals - extremely impressive. Tillman had a monster game. Urlacher had one of his best performances that I can recall. Jennings continues to defy the odds and play like he's not 5'8". Peppers continues to be a game changer, and Melton looks like he might really be a three-technique. Podlesh is a really good punter, and special teams are solid as usual. Gould is killing those kickoffs from the 35.

More Bad:
No real running game. I can think of four times off the top of my head that Forte was dropped for a loss about when he was taking the handoff. Webb needs help to consistently block anyone and he still had a bunch of penalties. Not much of a push from the line on the run.
The defensive line's success was against a backup C/G combo. Briggs didn't stand out to me much.

More Ugly:
I would like someone to break Roy Williams' hand/fingers the next time he makes the first down signal. I always thought that was a horse shit celebration when he was a Lion, and he's attached enough to it to keep it up. Act like you've been there before, son!
I have a hard time believing that we'll be able to take down the Falcons and Saints in successive weeks. I don't think our secondary can play man-man well enough and Brees will find the open man in the zone with all the weapons the Saints have. I hope I'm wrong again

The entire Houston Texans crowd yells "FIRST DOWN" (encouraged by the stadium announcer) when they get one. Two things that always bothered me about that is like you said, you're supposed to get first downs, don't congratulate yourself. The second is that it gets the crowd all riled up when your offense wants it to be quite.

The Saints' best wideout is hurt. Hopefully that will help, but I am looking for a fantasy defense to stick in against the Saints at home.

Forte did rush for an average of 4.3 yards per carry, so it wasn't all bad in that area.

I'm very happy with Forte. My point was more that the O-Line allowed penetration enough times to keep his yardage down. If those 4 runs go for 3-4 yards per carry that's a swing of 24-30 yards, then he's near 100 yards rushing on the day.

I think to some degree the offensive line sets up like they're going to pass block, regardless of the play call, sort of like a draw. I didn't watch the game, but that's what they did a lot last year.

I'll have to watch for that. I know they're bigger this season, but they don't seem to have that push off the line. I guess I'm a believer that he who controls the line of scrimmage wins, and I am surprised that the interior of the line can appear to be pushed around and still have a successful day. Maybe I'm being a little too hard on the line, but I feel like they're a weak spot on the team

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  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 31 min 17 sec ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 22 hours 7 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 22 hours 12 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 22 hours 17 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 22 hours 29 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 22 hours 40 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 23 hours 5 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 23 hours 46 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 1 day 58 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago view