Let’s clear the elephant in the room.
To be clear, I personally have a hard time blaming any loss on officiating. The Bears had plenty of chances to put more points on the board and put away Detroit. The Bears were only 3-8 in the red zone.
That’s eight chances for a touchdown.
If they converted on all eight of those chances then the Bears would have had 56 points and that would have been more than enough to put away the Lions.
That said, with the game on the line the officials put their impact on the game. Including a booth review of a very close (initially called a 1st down) fourth down ball spot. On the flip side, the Lions had a similar situation on the following drive. A close first down call but the booth did not review it.
Bears fans including myself are asking:Why?
There was also a very weak roughing the passer call on Pernell late in regulation.
Oh yeah! Let’s not forget about that second quarter debacle. The classic, almost weekly question, what is a “catch”?
All I am asking of the NFL Officials is a consistent game to be called.
If the referees are going to be stingy and call everything, fine. Please stay consistent with the calls.
If they are just going to let the guys play and call the minimum amount of penalties, fine. Please, stay consistent with the calls.
Just because the game is close in the final quarter doesn’t mean they can change how the game is going to be called.
I’m not going to dwell on the subject because it is just part of the game, but there’s nothing more annoying as a football fan than having an inconsistent official.
The defense WAS making strides.
They only allowed 10 points against Kansas City and 20 to Oakland the week before that. I’d say they were making an improvement. So, I’m not sure if the Detroit offense was the best 0-5 offense I’ve ever seen or if the Bears defense came in underprepared. Naturally Calvin Johnson is a nightmare match-up to begin with, and he had six receptions including a big catch in overtime that set up the game winning field goal for Matt Prater.
But… the Lions were without Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew, two tight ends that have given the Bears trouble in the recent past. With those two out, I thought there really should not be too many problems.
Then Lance Moore showed up.
Moore had a game to write home about, he made Sherrick McManis look foolish out there with his five receptions for 106 yards. That’s a heart breaker because Lance had not been an impact player in the offense until this match-up (his first 100 yard receiving game of the year).
Why was the secondary playing so poorly?
Short answer: There was no consistent pressure on Matt Stafford.
He had all afternoon to throw the ball if he wanted to. Yeah, the Bears had two sacks in the game, but it didn’t feel like it. This Bears defense succeeds when there is constant pressure on the quarterback. If the Bears defense can’t reach the quarterback it will be a long Sunday afternoon.
It is quite apparent that the offense is better with Alshon on the field.
34 points would have definitely been enough to win the game against Detroit if the defense could have stepped up and made a bigger impact. The offensive playbook opened up and we saw a lot more shots taken down field. Alshon’s longest catch for the game was a 45 yards, we also seen a 46 yard reception from Marquess, and a 30 yard catch and run by Eddie Royal.
On the final drive in regulation, it was obvious that the Lions secondary could not cover the Bears vertical threat. They handed the whole field pretty much to the Bears on two straight defensive pass interference calls with under 10 seconds left.
So why on Earth did the Bears not go back to that in overtime?
They threw three passes in OT and the other calls were running plays to Forte. I’m okay with a conservative play call when the game calls for it.
In overtime…no, there is no need for a conservative play call. As Will said in our post game show, it looked like the Bears were playing for the tie.
I’m still scratching my head on those play calls, as John Fox watched his offense walk down the field because the Detroit secondary could not handle the Bears passing attack.
Why would you not go back to that when the game was on the line? If the offense could get inside the Detroit 40 the game would have been over. Inside a dome with no wind, I like my chances of Robbie Gould hitting another game winning field goal in those conditions.
In the End…
The Bears special teams looked solid with Robbie Gould’s 14 points and the punting unit recovered two fumbles. It was really awesome to see the special teams turn it around after looking shaky to start the year.
If I’m Vic Fangio
I’m taking this bye week to really study Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson.
The Bears need to penetrate through that Vikings offensive line to make Teddy uncomfortable.
While Bridgewater is still trying to make a name for himself at quarterback in the NFL, he is going to burn any defense that allows him to sit in the pocket all day. Make him use his feet and think on the run, I don’t want to see another sub par performance from the pass rushers coming off a bye week.
If I’m Adam Gase
I’m resting Alshon and Eddie in this bye week to let them continue to heal a little more. Plus, I’m going to work a lot on the red zone offense.
Getting down the field doesn’t seem to be much of a problem right now.
The red zone offense is a buzz kill. Start running the ball from under center instead of out of the shotgun. Start looking at other targets other than Marty, the play calls just seem too predictable right now.
Plus, I would be looking over my play book again.
Scratch some of those conservative plays in my overtime section of the book. It was tough to swallow as a fan to watch only three pass plays called and looking like there was no attempt to advance the ball down field hardly at all. Frankly, if I’m Adam Gase I’m rethinking my strategy for a proper game with Alshon back in my lineup.