Bears/Colts Review

September 10, 2008

 

Surprise, surprise, surprise, the Bears took out the Colts handily in the first game of the season with a 29-13 drubbing.  The Bears went to their old school ways in the victory sporting a dominating defense and controlling the clock through a dominating running game.

The defense showed that the preseason games really don’t matter.  The unit looked pretty bad throughout the preseason, giving up a lot of yards and a lot of points to unremarkable teams such as the 49ers and Chiefs. Missed assignments, poor tackling and a complete lack of urgency showed flashes of the injury depleted defense of a year ago.  A completely different defense showed up for the first game of the regular season.  The Bears held the Colts to 53 games rushing and made Peyton Manning look very un-Manning like, not letting him get comfortable in the pocket for any series. 

The front four for the Bears looked great in penetrating the line of scrimmage.  Marcus Harrison set up a safety late in the second quarter by blasting through the line and sacking Manning on the 2 yard line.  Adewale Ogunleye stopped Jospeph Addai in the end zone on the very next play for the safety.  With the front four doing its job, the linebacking and secondary corp were able to limit the effectiveness of Manning and the Colts passing game.  The Bears held the Colts to 1 TD, a great accomplishment to start the season. Lance Briggs also ran back a fumble recovery for a TD.  If everyone stays healthy like they did this week, the Bears defense may be back to their 2005/2006 status.

The Bears offense looked solid with Kyle Orton’s debut as the starting QB.  Orton seams to be just what the Bears need for their system to work.  Manage the game well, pass the ball here and there to multiple receivers and don’t turn the ball over.  He did exactly that, ending the day 13 of 21 for 150 yards and no picks.  He spread the ball around to 7 different receivers. A fantasy hall of fame day for the QB or Receivers, no, but the Bears have always been built on the run and that is what Matt Forte did.

Forte became the first rookie to start at running back for the Bears since Walter Payton and did a fine job of bringing back memories of a stout Bears running game.  Forte started his professional career off with a bang, rushing for 123 yards on 23 carries and 1 TD.  He also had 3 catches for 18 yards.  Forte looked loads and loads better than Cedric Benson’s run to the line of scrimmage, get hit, fall down for a yard or two running style. Kevin Jones added another 45 yards spelling for Forte time to time.  This looks like a solid tandem for the season.

I also have to give props to the offensive line.  John St. Clair looked solid against perennial Pro-Bowler Dwight Freeney. The line held the Colts D to 2 sacks and opened holes all night for Forte to run through. I look forward to seeing solid line play continue next week against the Panthers.

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