[Forgot to hit publish – MUCH better results in week 2, although still lacking on offense. I’m hoping Mitchell can loosen up a bit. He can make the throws, but it’s all head that allows him to sail one or under-throw or miss a wide-open read. Also, where’s Kevin White?]
If you, like me, watched the first half feeling like there was a new era unfolding in front of your eyes, you were right. But it might be a different era than Bears fans were hoping for – I can foresee the Chase Daniel era, clearer and clearer.
My rational, objective perspective is that the two new stars of the defense were out of camp and probably gassed after a fairly fast first half. Conjecture is that to get into football shape, there’s no substitute for doing it. Holding out means not doing it, and while we saw flashes of what could become one of the better pass rush games in football, we also likely saw two dudes not yet in football shape.
The bigger bother was that there were good and great offensive plays in the first half, but the patented “Prevent Offense” made its way back, even with an entirely new offense and staff. That power sweep early on where they had the FB and other RB clear a path for a first down looked pretty unstoppable. Why not use that on a 4th and 1 to extend a drive well into Packer territory and potentially seal off the game? Settling for the field goal was the worst play, in my opinion. It put the numbers in Green Bay’s favor, and relied on our kicker, who has been inconsistent at best.
That falls to conservative play calling, which has been the third leg of the strong defense and tough running game triumvirate that the Bears have been know for forever. The idea of Matt Nagy as HC was to bring in a guy who wasn’t afraid to continue to march forward, even after opening a lead.
My biggest concern is that even after an early start and a full training camp, that Trubisky is not much better than last year. Worse, how is his center still snapping over his head? I counted 3 at least, and this should be as unconscious as breathing by now.
On the more positive side, the Bears of last year would have been shredded by this Packers team. This young group still has to coalesce, and for 2 solid quarters, they looked really good. That means they have it in them. The Packers have been picked by more than one pundit to be the stars of the North this year, and you could see why last night. They got pounded in the first half, but rallied after halftime and made all of the necessary adjustments.
The Bears did something different, and if they want to contend, hopefully they’ll learn from what they saw in game 1. In all honesty, I’ll be surprised if the outcome is the same on the second meeting.