Tony Romo is probably the best football analyst in the game. But I had to laugh when, going into halftime, Jim Nantz made the comment that the Bears head runs so few plays. Romo excused the Bears offensive play in the first half by saying that they had only had “a few miss cues”.
Most observers and fans understand that the NFL is a quarterback driven league. But the truth of the matter is that the talent on most NFL teams really isn’t all that much different. What separates good teams from bad teams is the ability to execute. And that’s what makes the NFL at least as much or more of a coaches league than anything. Ask Bill Belichick.
Week after week I’ve listened to Bears analysts predict victory for the Bears, saying that they are a better team than their opponents despite the record. But what these analysts don’t seem to understand is that it’s not about the talent on the team. It’s about the way that the team executes and that’s what defines what the Bears are. And that is not a very good football team.
The way that this game ended was typical. The Bears did a nice job of running a play which resulted in a long touchdown pass when they needed one to go ahead. They left less than 2 minutes on the clock for the Ravens to go 80 yards ansd score a touchdown after the ensuing kickoff. Most non-Bears fans, probably including both Romo and Nantz, probably thought that the game was over. But Bears fans knew better. A long pass interference call and a broken coverage later and the Ravens were set up on the 3 yard line with less than half a minute to play. The resulting touchdown came as a little surprise.
I’ll give the Bears credit. They were competitive and did have us all holding our breath at the end of the game. They kept it close. But when the spread began to sink earlier in the week after the news that Lamar Jackson was sick and might not play leaked out, this game was going to come down to which coach and staff you trusted most. John Harbaugh or Matt Nagy. In the end it really wasn’t much of a choice.
- Kudos to Robert Quinn who had an excellent game with two sacks just in the first quarter alone. He ended with 3.5 total.
- The Bears seem to have a similar game plan to the Ravens this game. With the Ravens also starting a young quarterback who, while not a rookie, is certainly an experienced the Bears chose to pressure him quite a bit especially on third down. I’d say it had some success. Tyler Huntley seem to do a good job on occasion of getting the ball out quick. Much better than Justin Fields did. And when he managed to get out of the pocket and past the blitzers he ran for a long way. HOwever, you can’t argue with 6 sacks.
- Huntley wasn’t very accurate early but he got better as the game progressed. He’s not Lamar Jackson, of course. But all in all he wasn’t too bad.
- I know this is an obvious comment for Bears fans. But Roquon Smith has officially arrived. His mobility really showed up today and he was everywhere.
- The Bears once again let their opponent out of deep holes, coming out of long downs and distances for first downs. Overall the Ravens were 8 of 17 on third and fourth down. It shold have been less.
- Tight end Mark Andrews had a wonderful game with 8 receptions for 78 big yards. He’s been buring up the league all year.
- Kudos to Trevis Gipson Who also had an excellent game. The Bears need Gipson to emerge for their future.
- The Bears seem to run a little bit more of the Kansas City offense every week. They still have the occasional play where they keep the tightends in and provide Fields with protection. And those players have a tendency to be the ones that go along way. But every once in a while they’ll spread the team out and go empty backfield and you hold your breath because you know something bad is likely about to happen. The Justin Fields fumble was a prime example.
- As I said above, the Ravens seem to have a similar plan for Fields as the Bears had for Huntley. They did a lot of blitzing especially on third down. And in my opinion it was much more affective against fields. As he usually does, he struggled to get the ball out fast as he really tried to go for the big play.
- I was kind of amused when Jim Nantz and Tony Romo kept pointing out the fact that Justin Fields was making just a few small errors on split second decisions where he did the wrong thing. Everyone is being easy on a rookie quarterback. But we have been through this before and you have to wonder how long we’re going to be hearing the same thing said of him over and over again.
- Although in fairness, Justin fields didn’t throw very many passes. Not enough of them went to receivers other than Darnell Mooney. The same thing could be said of Dalton. I understand looking for your number one wide receiver first but you have to spread the ball around a little bit more than the bears are actually doing.
- To his credit, Andy Dalton got off to a very good start marshaling a touchdown in just two plays. However, overall I can’t really say that the offense operated a whole lot better under him than it did under Fields. They were out of sync from the get-go. Dalton looked rusty and was not particularly accurate.
- I’d like to give the Bears wide receivers a little bit of credit for doing a very good job of blocking down field. It was very evident on the screen pass that resulted in the first touchdown. Its an under-rated skill.
- Although the statistics are not overwhelming, I thought David Montgomery had a very good game. He carried the ball 14 times for 58 yards and an average of 4.1 yards per carry. But they were hard-earned yards and he runs with a lot of effort. Kudos to him.
- The Bears were just 2 of 11 on third down. Its tough to win ball games that way.
- Overall the Bears ran for an acceptable 4.6 yards per carry. It was 5.5. at half but the Ravens clamped down after halftime.
- Cairo Santos delayed the beginning of his new streak of made field goals by missing the first one in this game.
- The Bears committed 6 penalties but none was so damaging as the pass interference call on Deon Bush that set the Ravens up at the 50 yard line with less than 2 minutes to play. In retrospect, it was a killer moment, something that you just can’t have in that situation.
- Tashaun Gibson’s interception was a big moment for the Beas as the Ravens weer setting up for a go ahead field goal at the time. The Bears need to generate more turnovers.
- Why does CBS seem to think that so many football fans want to watch yet another cop show starring Queen Latifa?