Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bears that Don't Dance

Today is Martin Luther King day, who may just have well been born five hundred years ago. Protest? Hell, we've got careers to attend to. Let's talk about the Bears, instead. Yesterday was their first playoff game in some time, which they lost to the Panthers, 29/21.

Report card:

offenseBgot rolling after a while
offensive lineB-too many hurries, but the run was fairly effective against a very good defense
running backsCdowngraded for lack of blitz help
receiversCnot enough there, lack of aggressiveness to ball, no speed
quarterbackB-steadied but only less erratic. accurate middle range, less so short range. inexperience showed in two minute
defenseDkeeping score down in first half and last two stops in second only salvation from F. defense was highly overrated, as Packers (twice) and Steelers piled up big yards before this debacle
defensive lineC-so-so against good running team. no pressure on quarterback
linebackersD-if it wasn't an eight or nine yard gain over the middle, it was an eight or nine yard gain on that flanker/wide pass with no outside backer in sight (revised to D- for Uhrlacher's all time highlights quality interception
defensive backsD-only Vasher prevents F-, Tilmon's efforts were historically you feel sorry for the guy wherever he ends up bad. the field was no help here, but phew!
special teamsFperhaps the most critical aspect of the game, as punter was uncharacteristically awful, putting us behind the eight ball. each time the offense responded kickoffs were short and coverage was poor, negating momentum.
offensive coachingB-downgraded for lack of timely adjustment to middle blitzes, which harried first half efforts well into the second quarter
defensive coachingFVasher on Smith (200+ yards) anyone?
head coachCcan't help thinking that Grossman and defense should have played final regular season game, that we were in no position to coast. wasted a challenge that might have been used on the last NC TD, I thought the receiver didn't have control when he hit the ground on a very tight replay. team seemed sluggish and ill-prepared at onset.
FoxBupgraded for helping Charter kiss and make up with the evil right wingers at Sinclair Broadcasting (who own my local Fox affiliate) in time to add Fox to my hi-def tier in time for playoffs. hate the buzz, zip, swoosh stuff, but I'm probably just old. beneath the flashy graphics, Fox is MBA bottom line not enough help cheap and it shows
Joe BuckAknowledgeable enough to have input, smart enough to stay out of the way
Troy AikmanFdidn't think it possible, but he's worse than Collinsworth! calling for balanced attack down 16/7 to an excellent run defense team, whereupon Grossman immediately catches fire and ignites offense. whereupon he says it won't continue to work. whereupon it does. whereupon after it worked three times in a row but not the fourth he declared himself right all along. what "got us there" was not being behind by two scores, nimrod! Collinsworth did his part on Saturday, though, remarking after numerous three and outs that "we're not in Chicago, after all". He keeps snarking the second biggest football market in the country, how smart is that?
outlookBwill defense maintain speed, because it isn't big. big backs (Steelers, Sam Con) steamrolled it. receiver situation is not good, no speed. Grossman has guts, but is clumsy, will he last? continue bubble under until top flight receiver core. looked like a bona-fide NFL team out there, which is a big improvement.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger Bullock said...

I would agree with most of your armchair anal-alisis except on a few notes;
The defense was just inconsistant; good against the run but horrible against the pass.Delhomme was made to look like a star while his stats are just OK.Lovie looked a littled shell shocked and as inexperienced as Grossman. Dunno. Bears had plenty of chances, 6 first downs on penalties alone and couldn't capitalize. Offense only ran 2 screen passes, which is what you do--and should have done more of-- against a blitzing defense on a sloppy field.Oh well, next year syndrome.
I work on MLK Day because my customers do. Took a morning though last week to go to a midweek proposed regional tollroad board meeting. Highly charged topic here in south OC, CA.Managed to get moved up in the public speaking que to voice my 3 minute opinion on why a proposed tollroad extension was a bad idea.I chose a line of bad for the environment (true),faulty environmental impact report (EIR) which are always slanted toward who pays them and lastly, just because I dislike intensely being force-fed development projects. Here--eat this, it's good for you...Not to mention the dirty lobbying efforts.( Got the US Wildlife Federation to downgrade a crtical habitat area to a neutral status. Which is kind of like re-zoning a nature preserve for a shopping mall) Got my pic in the LA Times but no mention of Trout Unlimited which was part of the reason I went, to get exposure for our conservation-minded chapter.

I gave myself a B-.
Biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger sequoit said...

Oh, yeah, and Collinsworth went on and on about how no team had done this to the Bears defense. But the defense slipped to second behind Tampa Bay by giving up over 360 yards in four of the five meaningful games down the stretch.


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