- The Bears came out with seven in the box but they were mixing it up well. Occasionally they were bring Major Write up and they did blitz on occasion.
- It was fairly obvious that Steve Smith was a major focal point. Tim Jennings got the assignment and he did his best. But Smith isn’t Calvin Johnson and you aren’t going to be able to completely shut him down. At least it kept Jennings around the ball for another pick six at a crucial time.
- I give the Bears credit in that in the first half they generally rushed Cam Newton and got pressure on him while, at the same time, doing it with discipline to limit his running. Like Smith, you aren’t ever going to shut this down completely.
- I thought the Bears were shutting down the run well pretty well in the first quarter but it opened up in the second for Carolina. That’s because the Carolina receivers are were getting open. Cam Newton simply wasn’t looking at them enough at the time as far as I could tell as he concentrated a lot on Smith. He looked like he came out in the second half and made the adjustment.
- We had read that Newton’s accuracy was suffering this year and the first half was no different. He was way off on some throws and started the game throwing behind everyone.
- I noticed that Nate Collins got some playing time at nose guard. I can’t say his performance was notable in the first half.
- I see that Greg Olson’s blocking hasn’t improved. He completely wiffed on Shea McClellin as he got a sack in the first half.
- Not a particularly good game for Chris Conte. He looked like he was playing too much out of control. As pointed out by color man Daryl Johnston, was Chris Conte out of position on a long, long reception in the first half.
- I thought the Bears ran a good mix of run/pass. Too bad they didn’t execute better in the first half.
- Bears were really running well in the first half. They were mostly attacking the edges though their first half touchdown was up the middle.
- On a related note, it looked to me like they ran a lot of double TE.
- Talk about protection issues. They had them for most of the game. The offensive line really struggled this game. I thought Chilo Rachal was having a particularly hard time at left guard.
- One of the first sacks came with an empty backfield. How you can do that with Forte running wild at the time?
- The plan for Carolina was obviously to take away Brandon Marshall and all things considered they did limit him. As we all know would happen should that ever be the case, they covered the other receivers easily. Cutler frequently dropped back, took a look for the pass he was looking for, didn’t find it, then started moving but by then there was nowhere to go.
- Once the Panthers realized their corners had the Bears wide receivers well in hand, they started to bring an extra guy up and blitzing. They definitely started keying on Forte.
- Cutler didn’t show any obvious signs of his injured ribs being a problem.
- It was nice to see Kellen Davis come alive with a good touchdown catch. It was also nice to see Cutler and the offense in general come through with it with the team down.
- I thought this was kind of a nondescript performance from announcers Kenny Albert, Johnston, and Tony Siragusa. I thought maybe Johnston and Siragusa were picking on Newton a bit when he gave him a hard time for not jogging over to Lewis Murphy after he recovered his fumble in the endzone.
- How did everyone like this exchange in the first half? “What’s going on down there, Tony? Everything’s good down here, Kenny.”
- The Bears dropped balls all over the field. Matt Spaeth had a bad one at the end of the first half. Hester had a bad one in the third quarter that basically stalled a drive.
- The referees are still carpeting Soldier Field with Bear penalty flags. They were putting themselves in a hole and letting Carolina off the hook with then continually.
- I thought the Panthers were over doing it with the pooch kickoffs to keep Hester from running with the ball. They constantly gave the Bears great field position with Hester in a slump. A horrible punt gave the Bears the field position to drive and score their second touchdown. For the Bears, you know things are bad when Robbie Gould is missing 33 yard field goals.
- Turnovers. For Carolina they giveth and they taketh away..
- Take final thought on Lions game. Subtract the critical comments on the Lions and a little of the enthusiasm for the Bear defense.