The Bears endured a devastating loss last week in OT at the hands of the Vikings. A tough pill to swallow but the season goes on. Sunday afternoon, the Lions encountered mother nature and LeSean McCoy--and had no answer for either.
Coming into Monday night, the Chicago Bears trailed the Detroit Lions by one half game in the NFC North. With four games remaining on the schedule, the Bears were home to face the Dallas Cowboys in a must-win situation. With both teams at the bottom of the league in defense, the prevailing thought was which offense would have the ball last.
Under frigid conditions that saw the game time temperature at 9 degrees, with the windchill at -9, it appeared to be perfect “Bear” weather. Also, on a night in which the Bears would retire Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s No. 89, everything was leaning in the Bears favor.
After a successful opening drive that saw the Cowboys storm down the field to take an early 7-0 lead, the Bears responded the rest of the night with a dominating offensive performance that Tony Romo could not match.
Josh McCown, once again starting for the injured Jay Cutler, did what most offenses have done against an awful Dallas defense--move the ball at will with great result. McCown, 27-36, 348 yards, 4 TD and one rush TD, led the Bears to a dominating 45-28 final. The Bears scored 7 touchdowns on 8 possessions and didn’t' punt one time the entire game. Almost sounds unfathomable as a fan accustomed to seeing more punts than first downs in the past.
The past is gone and the present is very bright on the offensive side of the ball for the Chicago Bears. The combination of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at Wide Receiver have defensive coordinators trying it pick its poison. And should you play nickel or dime, then Matt Forte can beat you on the ground.
While its all gravy offensively, the defense once again allowed a 100-yard rusher; the 6th consecutive game doing so, which set an NFL record. The Bears' injury issues on defense has been well documented. However, in week 14 most teams are banged up to some extent. It's time to get better results with who's on the field.
DeMarco Murray ran and ran, and ran again--18 carries for 145 yards. Tony Romo hardly threw the football, he was just 11-20, 104 Yards, but did throw for three touchdowns. The biggest key in the game was once the Cowboys faced passing situations on 3rd down (especially in the second half), Bears' defensive coordinator Mel Tucker dialed up blitzes that the Cowboys had trouble picking up.
With the known weaknesses of this defense, the Bears will need to implement different schemes that involves taking risks.
At the end of the day, the offense may need to come to the rescue down the stretch, if the Bears want to sniff the playoffs. For years Bears’ fans have been begging for this kind of offensive attack. Little did we know it would come with the defense being this bad. One can only imagine how dangerous this Bears’ team would be if it had a defense from the past decade.
The Bears and Lions now sit tied atop the NFC North, but with Detroit taking the season series, finishing with identical records would do Chicago no good. It will be a challenge to run the table, but it may be the only way for the Bears to earn a postseason berth. And wouldn’t it be an awful feeling should the Bears do finish 10-6, only to see the Lions finish with the same record. I’m not sure Bears’ fans can stomach a repeat of last year.