Beachwood Sports ArchiveA monthly look back
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If we keep up this torrid one-home-victory-per-calendar-year pace, the Cubs may lay claim to a World Series title before the Bears win another game at Soldier Field, so savor every victory as much as you can.
"I thought our offense did a good job of possessing the ball," said Head Coach John Fox during an interview with Bears.com senior reporter, Larry Mayer.
"Lack of possession had been an issue through the first three weeks," said Mayer. "What adjustments did [Offensive Coordinator Dowell] Loggains make after the loss to Dallas?"
"As a staff," said Fox, in an effort to undercut the notion that Dowell Loggains can achieve anything alone, "we took a look at a number of things to try and improve in that area. Play selection is a big part of it," he continued in his usual monotone, but rapid fire cadence.
"Ultimately we decided that it was time to get some outside help and hired Sinestra, the Mistress Of The Void, to help us possess the ball more effectively."
"Um . . . huh?" said Mayer.
"Vic did some work with her back in San Fran while Alex Smith was the quarterback. Minimizing turnovers and possessing the ball was a big part of their organizational philosophy. We want to emulate that."
"So, you hired a sorceress to have the football possessed by a . . . " Mayer trailed off.
"We used one of those . . . " the coach repeatedly snapped his fingers while absent-mindedly chewing gum as he struggled for a moment to remember the term. "Ah. Evil spirits. Sinestra used a dark incantation to summon one from beyond the pale. We're not traditionally an organization that hires consultants mid-season, but as a general practice, summoning can help to effect change pretty quickly."
Chew, chew, chew.
"So we were able to get the demon-based game plan installed before Saturday's walk-through."
More gum chewing.
"Obviously, we're pretty happy with the way things worked out but we know there's always room for improvement."
A true professional, Mayer powered forward.
"I suppose a 34- to 26-minute edge in time of possession over the Lions wasn't quite as dominating as you'd hope, given that the game balls were home to a demon bending reality to the will of a witch from another dimension."
"Like I said, our goal is to get better every week." Chew.
"Thanks coach," said the reporter as Fox nodded quickly before jogged into the tunnel.
"Sooooooooon, each of your sssssouls will be miiiiine," came an otherworldly rasp from an invisible source.
- Jordan Howard: The kid looked good! The rookie running back was decisive and tough to bring down. In the post-game press conference, Fox favorably compared Howard to one of his former players, NFL great Stephen Davis.
Well, "great" might be pushing it a bit. Mid-aughts standout Stephen Davis? He had like four total good years.
The comparisons kept coming as former Bear Olin Kreutz likened Howard to his old teammate Anthony Thomas, "a real North/South runner" . . . who had like one good season as a rookie.
Why not toss in a reference to Curtis Enis, while we're damning the guy with faint praise?
Never thought I'd see the day when I craved some old-fashioned hyperbole.
Overall, Howard passed the eye test. He picked up yards after initial contact, caught the ball better than expected and, despite his youth, has chest hair more impressive than Zangief.
I'm not sure that last one has any truth to it, or technically counts as a compliment, but if nobody else is going to volunteer to fill the homer void, I nominate myself.
- The Play-Calling (Mostly): Amazing how passable an offense can look when it commits to the run.
Through three weeks of football, the Bears were such a full-on vanilla failure that even the most mundane of offensive successes felt like a major accomplishment.
Bootlegs? Play action? Five-yard runs on first down?
As exotic as that approach felt, the offense stayed largely within itself and focused on moving the chains rather than attempting to dazzle the world with downfield heaves to Alshon Jeffery. (I'm sure Jeffery was thrilled.)
The notable blemish on the play-calling was the fourth-and-one call to new running back Joique Bell, a man who in addition to having a first name inspired by the kinds of noises Shaggy makes when a Frankenstein-esque monster comes out of a rotating bookcase wearing a green blazer. Bell was out of football two weeks ago and and it showed, as he was unable to move just three feet closer to the goal line when asked to do so.
Things seemed to have been going just fine with that Howard kid to that point.
- Defense: This was a good game for The D. It was particularly refreshing to have players to focus on beyond Jerrell Freeman, who I suspect could amass five meaningful solo tackles even while sleepwalking.
Jacoby Glenn and Deiondre' Hall both reaffirmed suspicions that the Bears may have more to be excited about in their secondary beyond safety Adrian Amos.
Add them to your list of reasons to tune in when the Bears are 3-8, aside from the fact that it gets your attention off of your horrible, horrible home life.
What Reminded Us That Even Though The Bears Were Winning All Game Long, They Still Almost Lost
- Special Teams: I bet you felt pretty good about Eddie Royal's punt returns, but that was just the residual glow of one of last week's only positive. The fact of the matter is that he only had 15 total yards returning punts for the third phase, so take that off of your feel-good list and replace it with Viagra single-use packets!
Sorry, I actually didn't mean to say that.
Not that I'd send the Brinks truck full of boner-gotten dollar bills back to the local Pfizer Pharmaceuticals cash warehouse, but those guys aren't even a sponsor. It's just that their ad campaign has become so pervasive on NFL broadcasts and web pages that I kinda want to eat some Viagra, now in a refreshing Cool Mint!
Arg! Damn you, Madison Avenue!
Then again, after watching Connor Barth through three weeks I am having a difficult time getting stiff. Based on ad placement*, I think the NFL has received similar feedback from other fans.
I think chanting "Robbie, Robbie, Robbie" when Barth takes the field might not be having the positive motivational effect fans were hoping for. (Unless we're trying to make our own kicker miss, in which case bravo!)
My point is that Royal is very capable, but his real impact was as a receiver in this contest and Connor Barth is an affordable-option kicker, but not an acceptable one.
And as for that punt coverage near the end of the game - you had one job guys.
And it wasn't to allow this to become a one-score game with two minutes left.
- Throat Stepping: Given that the Bears were clearly the better team on Sunday, the game was surprisingly close.
The positive aforementioned "staying within itself" spin on the offense was cut with the baby powder of unproductive drives.
I know there isn't much of an expectation for this squad to have a fully developed killer instinct (what with the complete lack of late leads to this point), but Hoyer n' Friends clearly should have put more than 17 points on the board.
- Kevin White's Leg: Yup. There's your problem right there. Busted pick, I mean fractured fibula.
Eye On The Opposition - Colts 45
I've got two questions regarding Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
1. Does anybody else want to see Andrew Luck cast as Billy Dee Williams' sidekick in Colt 45 commercials?
Other than that, I have no thoughts on this week's opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.
Like the Bears, the Colts are 1-3, but unlike the Bears it's because they're bad on defense, rather than just fielding a defense that is tired because of a lousy offense.
Indy is allowing about 380 yards and 32 points per game and appears to be wasting Luck's best years.
Surrounding a QB with inconsistent skill players and an aging defense?
Thanks to my memory of the 2013-2015 seasons, I have no sympathy.
We could do a deep dive into the metrics - hell, maybe they are okay against the run - but who cares!
I'm watching that Billy Dee Williams ad again!
Kool-Aid (3 of 5 Bombers Of Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf)
My favorite beer from the famed Indiana brewery, grab some at your local Binny's Beverage Depot on Saturday morning before they run out!
Pairs especially well with Pfizer/Pepsi Cola's all-new extreme mash-up formula, Viagra: Tundra Plow.
(Seriously, corporate overlords. You won't regret advertising with The Beachwood Reporter.)
It's bad-on-bad crime happening at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday, but I've got great news: The game starts at noon.
So defense isn't Indy's thing, but there are some weapons on offense for Luck to work with.
T.Y. (Totes Yoked**) Hilton has the big-play potential to smoke the Bears' secondary if pressure isn't being generated up front.
With that in mind, one of the Colts many problems is their offensive line; there's a chance for our Bears to excel here.
The Chicago offense needs to build on its recent mediocrity, er success, by drawing the Indianapolis defense in with the threat of Jordan Howard and burning the Colts' terrible secondary with play-action trickery.
It's a winnable game and a group that has played better on the road for the last calendar year.
While it's not a time to go totally bananas, enjoy these moments.
With another beatable team coming up in Week 6 (Jacksonville), we're about to start riding the biggest wave this season will offer.
Bears 27, Colts 17
About The Author
The Author enjoyed the Bears-Lions game a great deal and he wasn't alone.
Smile, fans! This is probably going to be as good as it gets.
* That pic is not Photoshopped and, by the way, how fucked up are the ingredients in your product when it comes with a disclaimer lengthy enough to necessitate a scroll bar within a banner ad?
And speaking of not Photoshopping boner-related content into actual screen shots of official NFL pages, is anyone proofing the sponsored links section of the Bears website? The bottom line is, the NFL has become the third leading cause of priapism within the United States.
** Contrary to popular belief, "T.Y." does not stand for "Thank You" but rather, "Totally Yoked."
Carl Mohbacher is the mad genius behind the Kool-Aid Report. He welcomes your comments and snide remarks.