Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Bears Layeth the Smackdown

The one thing I hate most about being a Chicago sports fan is the fact that it has been ingrained in me to be pessimistic about all things related to sports. Sometimes I combat that with undue optimism (that usually happens with the White Sox), but more often times than not, I keep all my optimistic predictions and plans in check with the cold hard reality that Chicago teams have an uncanny ability to blow a good thing.

As the Bears ran up their undefeated record, I was overjoyed. We were playing great defense and we actually had more than just a semblance of an offense. Even after watching us sneak by Hollywood Leinart and the Cards, I still had a sneaking feeling the proverbial shit was going to hit the fan (part of that could be attributed to Mike Brown being lost for the year).

The Bears sleep walked through their game against Miami and then continued to bend over and take it from behind against the Giants in the first half until there were 35 seconds left. All the while, I couldn't help but think, shit, this if this is the best we can do, cancel that victory parade. I mean, I was hoping for a win, I knew we had the ability to pull it out, but I wasn't unduly optimistic.

I was actually in town to watch this game, well the beginning at least. I left for the airport as the Bears punted with 6+ minutes left in the game. I was down in the dumps at this point; leaving home and all AND the Bears losing, but I loyally listened on the radio nonetheless.

That's when things changed. We showed some life before the half, and then as I sat at my gate surrounded by 3 Grossman jerseys, and an Urlacher jersey, watching the game on a TV that had a 20 second delay (it really did, I was talking to someone on the phone during parts of the game and for some reason the TV in the airport was way behind her TV) the Bears transformed in the team we all knew they could be, into the team we all hoped they would be again.

Everyone that watched the Seahawks game saw how damn good this team is, but in the weeks since then, a combination of bad opponents and some sloppy play rubbed off some of the luster from that win. The Bears were starting to look, dare I say it, overlooked. But after they came out all guns a'blazing in the second half they reclaimed they place as team to beat in the NFC and perhaps in the NFL.

This had to be a seriously demoralizing game for other NFC teams. The Beasts (I typoed Beast instead of Bears, but it's fitting so it's going to stay) played a sloppy first half and for all intensive purposes looked ready to prove my turnover theory all over again, yet were only down 3 at halftime. The Giants were playing well, they were bringing it to the Bears; they looked like the team that was in the midst of a 5 game winning streak. The hottest team in the NFC, the heirs to title of best team in the NFC could only muster a 3 point lead at half. The Bears finally pulled it together and blew them out of the water in the second half.

For all the New Orleans of the world and the Carolinas, how do you feel after that game? The Bears came in with no momentum, whereas the Giants came in with all the momentum in the world and were sqaushed. The Bears shut down Eli, Plaxico, and the NY passing game (note to all receivers, don't talk trash; it makes the Bears really angry, and there's no reason to give them extra incentive to beat you, shut you down, crush you, rape you wives, etc). Tiki Barber even had a 7.4 average per carry (19-141), but that gave the Giants bupkus; they still were humbled. Urlacher summed it up pretty well "We took the Giants' best shot and survived. They took it to us early, but we hung in there. That's why this was a big win for us.''

With this win, the Bears have reestablished their dominance and have made it clear that the road to the Super Bowl will run through Soldier Field. So to hell with skepticism for now. I'm going to ride this wave of optimism for all it's worth. Who cares if we got gouged again by the opponents running game; who cares if the loss of Mike Brown may end up killing us. At this moment, I'm just pumped that the Bears Layeth the Smackdown upon the Giants. Excuse me for my optimism, but 15-1 and Super Bowl number 2, here we come!


Blogger DickdaStick said...

Grossman still scares me as he is learning on the job. That game could have gone another way if the Giants 2 Defensive Ends were healthy....

I'm normally optimistic, but I can see Grossman having the capability of laying an egg in a playoff game ...a bad enough egg that our Defense can't overcome it.

That caveat being uttered, lets hope he learns enough in the next 7 games to grow out of his recklessness when he's being heavily rushed. Lovie is the right coach for him and that will help !

...and for the love, get Hester the ball as much as possible !!

11/14/2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

dickie is right, this season is looking more and more to be landing squarely on the shakey shoulders of rex

11/14/2006 4:53 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

indeed...that's why I tried not to mention him. Thinking about Rex tempers my optimism, unfortunately.

11/14/2006 7:03 PM  

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