- The Cowboys came out running as expected. The game plan was to run, take the short pass and be patient. The Bears played their typical bend but don’t break. They mixed coverages but for the most part they tried to keep it all in front of them.
- Give Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli credit. He called a pretty good game. He had eight in the box to sto the run when the Cowboys were getting ready to do it and blitzed at appropriate times. The execution wasn’t alwasy on but he put them in the right positions.
- One of the questions going into the game was who was going to cover Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Turns out it was the safeties with occasional linebacker halp. He got a lot of attention.
- Kevin Ogletree has some jittery moves. Actually all of the OCwboys receivers did. There was some bad tacking out there on the Bears ed and the combination accounted for a fair number of extra yards after the catch.
- The Cowboys found Miles Austin matched up on D.J. Moore in the second quarter. It was capped with Austin catching a touchdown pass near the end of the half. Its probably no coincidence that Kelvin Hayden got more time in the second half. Its also worth noting that Moore got a little revenge with a critical interception in the fourth quarter that pretty much spelled the end of the Cowboys hopes.
- The Bears pass rushers didn’t do a good job keeping Tony Romo in the pocket.
- Romo really has a nice touch on the ball. He’s super accurate. You have to like that.
- I heard all week about how hard a time Doug Free was having at right tackle for the Cowboys. Generally speaking he sure looked like he did the job to me.
- Henry Melton had yet another good game. The Romo fumble that he caused which led to a Lance Briggs touchdown was critical. He also had a sack.
- The Bears also called their game pretty much as expected. Lots of running the ball. They took their shots down field but with little success.
- The Cowboys played seven in the box against them for most of the game on first down. As color man Jon Gurden pointed out, they played a lot of man under just as Green Bay did against the Bears. They did blitz when it was appropriate but I wouldn’t have called the defense especially aggressive.
- Jay Cutler didn’t have a particularly good game. His accuracy wasn’t awful but he was a bit off more often than he should have been.
- Its a broken record but the offensive tackles both had problems whenever they were asked to block one on one. Webb has my sympathies in that he had DeMarcus War on his side but you still have to handle him the majority of the time at least and he really had a hard time. Gabe Carimi on the other side was having trouble with the speed rush to the outside.
- The Bears recognized that Hester was in single coverage and they were trying to get him the ball but he was having a tough time shaking Morris Claiborne. Finally they got him in the end zone in the third quarter on a nice route.
- About 5 minutes left in the first half. It was first and fifteen. Cutler completed a 12 yard pass to Marshall. Lovie Smith took a five yards penalty and first and ten rather than second and what looked like a short three to me. I’m not too sure about that decision.
- About 4 minutes left in the half and Cutler gets up off the bench and walks away just after Mike Tice follows him and sits down talking to him. I don’t see how even the most staunch Cutler apologist can defend that.
- The Bears had good success with a little slant pattern to Marshall early in the game. They stuck to putting him in the slot to create mismatches and he took short little routes over the middle for a lot of yardage. Marshall also didn’t see the bracket coverage he’s seen against other teams, either. It added up to a big game.
- Mike Tirico is solid but Jon Gruden really is good at television. Strip away the corny Clint Eastwood references and he gives immediate, insightful looks into what’s going on during the game. I really enjoyed the broadcast.
- The Cowboys receivers didn’t have a great game. Too many drops. Too many catches that should have been made that weren’t. Especially Dez Bryant. Kellen Davis had another miscue as he had a drop for the Bears.
- Penalties weren’t too prevalent on either end but the Bears seemed to do a better job of overcoming their penalties. They handled first and fifteen reasonably well.
- I thought both special teams units were solid. The Cowboys new punter, Chris Jones, had a good game and put the Bears in some bad field position.
- The number of turnovers didn’t tell the whole story. There was one weird series where Major Wright picked off a tipped ball by Ogletree, then Cutler gave it back with a fumble as he held the ball too long, then the Bears got it right back when Melton forced the Romo fumble. It all made for a pretty sloppy exchange. All in all, the Cowboys turnovers were more damaging. As the Bears scored two touchdowns directly off of two of them.
- This one was as much poor play on the part of the Cowboys as it was good play on the part of the Bears. In fact, the best thing you can say about the Bear offense is that they didn’t give the game away (though there were a few good plays here and there in critical spots). The Cowboy’s offense, however, was a different story. Critical turnovers, drops, blown coverages and stupid penalties gave the Bears opportunity after opportunity and they made the plays. If Dez Bryant just just his job, the Cowboys are probably in this game. As it was, the Bears just played solid football and came away with a no frills win.