Every once in a while I’ll quickly write up game comments and put them up, then sleep on it and regret some things I said. Well, probably more common than every once in a while. Last was one of those times.
Steve Rosenblom at the Chicago Tribune makes a good point that I probably should have emphasized more strongly:
“The offensive line has been the biggest reason to doubt the Bears this season. On Monday night, the line was perhaps the biggest reason there was no doubt they’d beat the Vikings.”
You can say a lot about the team that the Bears beat last night. The offense was banged up with their best player, Adrian Peterson, on the sideline. They got more beat up when they had to put in their third string quarterback. But there’s not much wrong with the Viking defense beyond the fact that they just plain aren’t play well. And even that isn’t true of defensive tackles, Kevin and Pat Williams.
Like the rest of the team, the Bears offensive line starts slow. That biases people like me for the rest of the game because, like most men, we see what we expect to see. Though I did say that “all of it got better as the game wore on”, the offensive line deserved better than I gave them last night. They allowed the team to attack off tackle on the ground and everything flowed from there. The pass protection got better as they were allowed to run more play action. Despite the fact that the Vikings kept on blitzing, they plugged the holes and gave quarterback Jay Cutler a decent amount of protection.
The line is still a weakness. They still make too many mistakes, especially early in games, and they commit too many penalties. But it appears to me like they might also be coming together and there really is hope that in a few weeks they’ll be good enough to carry this team into a deep playoff run.
I sincerely hope so. Last night they were a big reason why this team succeeded. But as Rosenbloom points out, one bad game in the wrong spot and they could also be the biggest reason why they won’t. It that important.