Is everyone over football already? Because that was such a rollercoaster I’m not sure I can handle anymore. (That’s a total lie.) The Bears opened up strong, but petered out as the afternoon wore on, letting the visiting Buffalo Bills establish their offense off costly Chicago turnovers. It’s time to recap the Bears’ first game of the season.
(1-0) Buffalo Bills 23
(0-1) Chicago Bears 20
What Went Right:
Chicago’s first drive of the game was hella-sexy. Jay went 3/3 for 64 yards, ending with a gorgeous throw to Martellus Bennett for the first touchdown of the game. Chris Conte picked off E.J. Manuel in the third quarter, a timely play for the much-maligned safety. That let the Bears cash in on a turnover for a change, with the resulting drive capped off by a Brandon Marshall jump-ball catch for a touchdown that tied the ballgame. For a moment, we almost thought Chris Conte was not terrible. Almost.
What Went Wrong:
Chicago’s two turnovers in the first half were turned into ten points by the Bills, putting the Bears in a hole. Brandon Marshall fumbled the ball away while running after the catch, something that has begun to plague him. On Jay Cutler’s first interception, Martellus Bennett ran a straight go route off a bunch formation, but never even turned for the ball. It was an easy pick by Corey Graham. Dropped passes by Matt Forte and Michael Spurlock on the Bears’ opening third quarter drive prevented the Bears from coming away with a touchdown. They had to settle for a field goal instead, which only closed the gap to seven points. Then came Jay’s second interception in the fourth quarter… man did that one suck. It looked like Madden when I scramble to the right and no one’s open… only to forget what the hell which button I press to “throw-away.” Seriously.
When the Bears Really Lost:
When the Bears decided not to play any disciplined run defense on the Bills’ first drive in overtime. They lost containment on C.J. Spiller and then let old-ass Fred Jackson run it off left guard and through the secondary, untouched until Chris Conte tried to shoulder-grab him into submission. I’ve seen more force used on baby burpings.
Other Notes of Note:
-Did we need a try a flea-flicker in our first game of the season? Really? I thought it was an awkward moment for an offense that up until then had all its mojo.
-That defense yo. Two 35+ yard runs were broken off on this defense, which clearly hasn’t improved the way we’d all hoped.
-Matt Slauson and Roberto Garza each went out of the game with ankle injuries, setting up the rest of the afternoon’s pressure on Jay Cutler. When two starters go down off your line, there are going to be major issues, obviously. Receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery also missed time during this contest, but fortunately Marshall came back in. I haven’t heard any news on Jeffery at this point, which totally doesn’t scare me. Chicago will need Jeffery, Garza, and Slauson back soon if this offense is to work the kinks out.
-I kinda wanted a penalty on that third down throw to Santonio Holmes, which forced the Bears to kick the game-tying field goal. That Bill was all over him. Effer.
What this Loss Means for the Bears:
It means there’s some friggin’ work to do! Chicago’s defense certainly came up short, but we’ve started to depend on Marc Trestman’s offense for more than just 20 points. They’re not doing their jobs if they’re not putting 24 on the board. Cutler also can’t throw shitty interceptions, no matter whose fault it is. Home losses are painful for a team, but it’s only one game. Now they’ll just need to prepare for San Francisco to avoid going 0-2. Yikes.
It also signifies that we no longer needy brotastic fans cheering for 16-0 unironically. That’s always a bonus.
Bear Down and Happy Jay Cutler Day!