A Bears fandom divided against itself seems to be figuring out how to react to a 2-0 start, and one of the biggest wins for Lovie Smith.
Detractors (operating with the franchise’s larger best interests at heart, of course) had been hoping that the broad expectations of a down year would materialize strongly — enough to clear out the principal actors despite looming labor war.
Those not so tormented — including the vocal throng in Dallas yesterday– have reason to celebrate.
Smith and his assistants delivered not just the 27-20 result, but an active, convincing coaching performance that seemed unlike so many games previous.
The crumbled protections of the first seven dropbacks (I believe Jay Cutler screamed “F—-in’ pass-block!” to nobody in particular after one frenzied early escape) soon solidifed, despite the loss of Chris Williams and the on-the-fly transposition of tackles Kevin Shaffer and Frank Omiyale.
Mike Martz did his part by creatively scrapping his classic slow-developers for quick strikes. The dump-off to Greg Olsen changed the risk/reward calculus of the Cowboys’ man-blitz schemes, and thus changed the game.
Smith’s personal pupil, DJ Moore, had two interceptions and assisted on a third turnover by holding up Roy Williams long enough for Charles Tillman to pop the ball free. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs patrolled the middle of the field like guard dogs.
And even the roster decision of Earl Bennett for Devin Aromashodu appeared to be the right call.
How good are the Bears? Dunno, really, yet.
1-11 on third down is worrisome, it would be nice to see the odd running lane or two, and Devin Hester’s interpretation of “returning” punts is downright strange. These are mere quibbles today, however.
Undefeated after two weeks is an odd spot for fans steeled against failure, disheartened by the opener and distrustful of their head coach. But all must admit it really is better than either alternative scenario.
Terry and I will discuss it all with you this afternoon,as we broadcast from the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan.