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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  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 31 min 50 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 44 min 6 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 53 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 58 min 26 sec ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 3 hours 55 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 5 hours 5 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 5 hours 44 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 5 hours 44 min ago view