- The Bears came out playing man to man defense. The Lions did a good job of passing against it.
- Matthew Stafford came out ready to play. He was accurate, he got rid of the ball quickly and on time.
- I was also impressed with Stafford’s mobility this game. He did a nice job of avoiding the rush, all things considered as he made hay outside the pocket.
- The Bears did a nice job of holding the defensive front early and they did a nice job of both stopping the run and getting pressure on Stafford. The Lions offensive line is certainly nothing to write home about and the Bears did a nice job of taking advantage of that.
- Leonard Floyd, in particular, really looked good today. He and Akiem Hicks seemed to be living in the Lions offensive backfield.
- Everyone wondered how Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was going to attach Matt Barkely. It became evident early on. Though they mixed it up a bit, they blitzed him quite a bit the whole game. He wasn’t perfect but I thought he handled it reasonably well all things considered.
- The Bears response was to run the ball and stick with the short passing game and they didn’t do a bad job of it. Eventually the Lions stacked the box and dared Barkley to beat them through the air.
- The offensive line did a pretty good job of moving the Lions defensive front and the Bears found some success in the running game. They protected Barkley pretty well despite the blitzing up until the fourth quarter when Barkley started to see a lot more pressure.
- Having said that, I thought Barkley’s ball placement eroded a bit in the after the first quarter.
- Barkley did a nice job early of getting the ball out quickly and accurately to the right receiver. He also showed some all important pocket movement to find throwing lanes that we haven’t seen before.
- Barkley tried hard to throw an interception when under pressure in the second half. It reminded me a great deal of his first start. He’s going to have to get out of the habit of just chucking the ball up every time he gets in trouble.
- Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots were your announcers. I don’t have a problem with these guys in that they are professional and clear. They hit all of the high points and do a good job of describing the action. But if you are waiting for those, “Gee, I’ve been watching football for forty years and I never thought of that” moments, you aren’t going to find many. I didn’t learn much from them today.
- Special teams were OK on both sides.
- I like Josh Bellamy as an underdog well enough. But I’m getting tired of watching him drop balls. Having said that, it was really the Lions who dropped far too many balls today. That, along with their penalties really hurt them.
- The Jeff Triplette officiating crew held to form today, calling a lot of penalties as is their habit. The Lions (7 for 55 yards) shot themselves in the foot with wit too many penalties at critical times and the man to man coverage that the Bears were running caused them to commit a number of damaging pass interference penalties that hurt them badly. The had 11 total for 139 yards and a couple holding penalties on the final Bears drive in the fourth quarter were killers.
- The Bears finally came up with a turnover as Demantre Hurst intercepted a ball in end zone in the fourth quarter with a big play. That was follwed by a pick six by Cre’Von LeBlanc that put the Bears up 17-13 midway through the fourth quarter. Now it has to go from being a miracle when they get one to something we see regularly.
- This wasn’t the prettiest game you’ll see but the Lions clearly played better when it counted today. The Bears had their chances and couldn’t get the job done. Clearly learning to finish is one more thing that this team needs to do before they will climb out of the cellar to win more football games.