Football

Three Things We Learned From Week 1

Hello there. This is something I did at FanSided last year, except FanSided is evil and you deserve it more here. This isn’t meant to be totally serious, because nothing with the Bears can ever be totally serious. If you’ve come for hardcore analysis, you’ll have to wait on that. But at least now I don’t to worry about fucking slideshows and tagging photos correctly. Much more my style. 

10 Days Is Far Too Long For A Narrative

Because you know that’s what you’re going to get. Adding three days between games means everyone is going to talk about PRESEASON for 42% longer than they normally would have, and what they normally would have would have been insufferable anyway. Most of the bleating about starters not taking reps in four games that don’t mean anything and can only get you hurt is going to come from guys who went through two-a-days while getting cat o’ nine tail’d by a very angry dipshit with sunburns on 75% of his body, and they’re going to take those regrets out on someone on TV and in print. And if it’s not those guys doing it, it’s guys who wanted to be those guys doing it, or guys who went drinking with those guys doing it, and so on.

Yeah, the Bears offense looked like shit last night, and so did the Packers’. Neither did anything with the real jerseys on in August, and it’s easy to connect those two things. It’s probably not even wrong, though it seems to ignore that the Bears did the same thing last year and the offense looked pretty zippy when it came out in Green Bay before Matt Nagy somehow turtled under his visor (and let’s face it, the reason the Bears lost is because Nagy didn’t keep wearing the fedora he entered the stadium with throughout the game).

No one can argue that everyone wouldn’t have benefitted from a rep or two more, but that won’t change the NFL preseason to not being stupid and evil and greedy. And considering the vanilla stuff all teams run in preseason games to not give anything away, I’m unsure how much it translates to when teams run their real stuff in the first game. Oh, there will be teams that look ultra-sharp come Sunday, and a lot of pointing with exclamations of, “SEE?!” But then the next week a whole different set of teams will look sharp and the teams that looked sharp will look like shit and what will be the explanation for that? It’s just annoying that there will be more space to fill.

Critics Of Mitch Will Get Through The O-Line Faster Than The Packers Did

Any rational Bears fan, if such a thing is in the wild, knew before the season that inconsistency was going to be part of the game with Mitch. I’m inclined to toss his whole rookie season out, given the horse-feed-brain nature of the coaching staff. So this is at most his 2.5th (nd? rd?) year. The fact that it came against the Packers, in primetime, in the first game of the year, after last year’s first game of the year, has this amazing ability to white-out any logic from our minds. But you didn’t become a fan to be rational and logical, and that’s ok. We save that for the rest of our lives (maybe).

What’s of more concern is that the offensive line put up as much resistance to an oncoming force as the volunteers at Wicker Park Fest. Little seemed to have been made in the preseason of the switching James Daniels and Cody Whitehair between center and left guard, and I guess I took that to mean it was always coming. And yet any blitz the Packers came up with, or even a simple line stunt…sorry, let me correctly Doug and OB that…LINE STUNT the Packers did, the entire line became a Dali painting.

We can bemoan the play-calling and QB play, and you’re not wrong, but what contributed to that was Matt Nagy not being sure what they could actually block. There wasn’t time, most of the time, to get the ball down the field, or to open up holes for a run game (that would have gone to Sec. 106’s beer vendor ahead of the three RBs on the roster, apparently). That should be of much bigger concern, because neither Nagy or Mitch are going to be able to do much if the roving hordes get to plunder and pillage in the backfield at their leisure.

Perhaps it’s just a fit and time thing, and not that Kyle Long might just be old and completely bionic at this point and Bobbie Massie never felt like he was all that good anyway. But not even Mitch can torpedo this season as quickly as a dysfunctional offensive line will.

Creativity Is Going To Spill Over At Times

I get as angry as anyone at times when Matt Nagy appears to get way too cute with his play-calling. But it’s hard to think of mad offensive geniuses who don’t. Andy Reid has been wearing that label for 20 years. Certainly all of his proteges have. You lived through the Mike Martz Route Tree (which isn’t as hard as any of the defensive systems the Hawks run, or so they’d have you believe). Brady and Belichick never get that label, but that’s something you clearly can’t recreate. Perhaps we just have to accept it’s going to happen at times and just pray it’s not at the critical juncture. Which sadly, it’s been the last two times we’ve seen the Bears.

And even if I could get past that, it’s on Nagy that his team, and himself, didn’t look ready to play. And the one that sticks out is the second delay of game penalty one a 3rd quarter drive, and getting two delay of games on one drive is some serious how-does-this-work-what-does-this-button-do shit. Somehow, in my new phase of trying to be positive and forgiving (it’s going great), I could let the first one with 10 guys on the field go, even though that’s also a sign of massive unpreparedness. I think sometimes coaches are too panicky with timeouts, and five yards–depending on field position and time–isn’t worth losing the timeout.

However, the Bears had gotten to the Packers 28 in the third, and took the second one. Was no one paying attention to the clock? Did no coach start screaming about it? Because 3rd-and-5 is something you want to keep ahead of 3rd-and-10 and is worth a timeout, especially when it becomes the line between trying a field goal or not. Or having a makable 4th down. How does everyone miss this?

If all these things are relegated to the first week and kink-ironing-out (back to the cat o’ nine tails, I see), fine. But that is some disheartening-ass shit right there.

Related Posts