After the Bears and Vikings almost combined for a hundred points in the 48-41 shootout on Sunday, my thoughts are best summarized by Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune: “How bad are the Vikings and how much worse would the Bears be if they didn’t win this cruddy division?” Yes, when a professional televised regular season football game, played for real-sies you guys!, started by Gus Frerotte ends up with his team getting back 60 cents for a dollar, you have to look out the window and make sure the sky isn’t raining Gilbert Godfried keychains (though that would be a cool alternative). As Rashied Davis noted, “I thought I was back in the Arena League.”
Gus Frerotte has been starting and sucking for so many teams now I can spell his last name accurately without cheating. Against a Bears secondary missing starting cornerbacks Charlies “Peanut” Tillman and Nate Vasher and nickelback Danieal Manning, Frerotte threw four interceptions, doing his best Rex Grossman impression with his arm and his best Adrian Pasdar impression with his eyes. Brad Childress, when not signing autographs as “Major Dad” and the police captain on “Monk,” was calling a great game by power running against an overmatched Bears defensive line, snatching 20 yards chunks at will which resulted in Adrian “Please Call Me ‘All Day’ and Not ‘Purple Jesus'” Peterson once again brutalizing the Bears for 121 yards and 2 TD’s. If Peterson played against the Bears 4 times a year, he’d eclipse 2,000 yards easily.
The Minnesota defense became the sixth team to put the clamps on Matt Forte, who ended up with a TD but only managed 2.8 yards a carry. The shaky-not-stirred offensive line of the Bears didn’t establish a strong ground game but gave Kyle Orton all the time to throw 2 TD’s, 283 yards, and 8.1 yards per pass. It was freaky deaky: the Bears offense got a first down on 10 of 12 possessions against the number two defense in first downs allowed. Marty Booker, who runs the forty like he’s drinking one, was burning past defenders for a score. Devin Hester made no big plays but scared the Vikings special team so badly, the Bears blocked a punt for a score by Garry Wolfe and got six from Zackary Bowman on another botched punt. Robbie Gould finally missed a field goal but the special teams dropped 20 points like it was ’06 again. The Bears D “played horrible” according to Alex “Super Mitts” Brown: they gave up 439 yards at home to a team with no real weapons outside of Peterson. And the Monsters prevailed.
The Bears are 4-3, tied for first in the NFC North with the hated Packers. They go into the bye week with big questions answered: Kyle Orton is looking more like an effective starting QB with each game that passes by making adjustments, effectively running the no-huddle, and “managing” the game (i.e. not sucking but not putting up Drew Brees numbers). Matt Forte, though dipping in numbers, is already more effective in seven games than Cedric Benson was in 3 years. Lance Briggs is the heart of the defense now with guys dropping left and right. The receiving group of Rashied Davis, Booker, Hester, and Brandon Lloyd isn’t death inducing as I had anticipated. The TE’s are making big plays. And the special teams has been pretty much lights out. Overall, I’m excited for this team and believe they can still win the division.