Gift Pack

julius peppers 9 28 2 Gift Pack

I was all but sure that last night’s performance would help me figure out how good this Bears team actually is.

The outcome tells me they are the NFC’s only undefeated, and that they have now given themselves a 78% chance of making the playoffs.

But thanks to the Packers for being so terribly, astonishingly stupid.

The 18 penalties for 152 yards was the second-most ever by a Bears opponent (and you have to go back 60 years for that record by the Cleveland Browns — 21 for 209), and the flags nullified Jay Cutler interceptions and Green Bay scores, and extended drives that would otherwise have been stopped.

The idiocy even infected the rookie punter, who appeared to be singlehandedly trying to reactivate Devin Hester from his long dormancy.  First a low liner right at him, then the fateful lob beyond the reach of the coverage team that let Hester get up to speed.

Aaron Rogers took advantage of a nonexistent pass rush and outplayed Cutler.  But he could not outplay his own team of stumbling oafs.

Julius Peppers did what he could against protection schemes designed all night to limit him.  His blocked FG was a game saver (Great Blanda’s Ghost!).  The opportunities are there for his linemates to beat single defenders — any time one of them wants to do so, it’d be nice.

It would be easier to deal with the fact of Tommie Harris’s deactivation if we could pin it on a late arrival to practice or a missed meeting.  The sad truth, however, is that he’s not very good at his job anymore, and the coaches would rather play others ahead of him.  There is a silver lining in the new accountability:  Devin Aromashodu joined Harris in street clothes and Zach Bowman was benched mid-game for Tim Jennings.

We can question how well the Bears block, tackle and pursue the passer.  We can question the decision-making of both Cutler and Lovie Smith (again with the not taking the three points?).

But we cannot question what their record says they are after three games.

Zach Zaidman reports from Halas Hall today and Hub Arkush gives his opinions at 5:00.

  • mike in davenport

    That win was like taking home the ugly woman from the bar. You’re not going to brag about it afterward, but at least you got some.

    Question about the interception that stuck: was that a Mike Martz system interception, or a Cutler bad decision interception?

    Question about Forte – why can he never shake off the first tackle?

    • ChiRy

      I’m almost certain it was a Cutler bad decision interception:

      Olsen was streaking down the right seam, and the defender had inside position

      Cutler threw to the post. Because of the d-back’s position, and because Olsen didn’t outrun him, when Olsen tried to cut towards the post, he ran into the defender, the pass sailed a little bit, and the over the top saftey picked it off.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego


    What a game, most exciting in years.

    And, yes, the Packers gift-wrapped it, but a win is a win.
    I thought several times about items BTS blogged yesterday.
    BTS is a very smary, insightful fan.

    I am whipped today, little sleep, today is a day to coast.

    Doug and O’B were a riot post-game…Doug’s false-teeth could barely keep up with his words.

    And I don’t think that Doug and O’B got Bernsie’s memo about the rivalry with The Packers being dead.

    Gould is gold.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego


      I still can’t type.

      • Denver Smeghead

        “I still can’t type.”

        Practice makes perfect… except for you. ;)

      • bigtime sucker

        i can’t let this go either and it’s buried in bears love, but let’s get behind this kid because I LOVED DERRICK ROSE’S COMMENTS yesterday, go and get that MVP my high flying friend!!!!

  • Denver Smeghead

    “The opportunities are there for his linemates beat single defenders”

    The Bears should’ve had several sacks last night, but once they got into the backfield, they seemed to just trip each other up. Or, in one case, the Bears player was obviously held and the refs missed it – his jersey was grabbed to the point that he fell down as a result.

    Still, I also don’t know what to make of this team. I said a few days ago that they could start 6-1 with this schedule, and that is obviously possible now. But they still don’t *feel* like a solid team.

    The Bears took advantage of the gifts the Packers kept giving… and still only won by 3. Hmm. And another failure to score on 4th and goal from the 1? Sigh.

  • BearsFaninHoustonTX

    A win by the “short hairs” this time…just like watching my wife’s LSU team…ugly wins!
    If you void the stupid mistakes by the Packers, and we truly lost last night. Another goal line wrong decision by Lovie, but gets the win which saves him again. I am greatful our Defense and special teams played so hard! Martz play calls were questionable – to many slow plays with Cutler seeing the stars in the sky.

  • bronzo

    What a great game! Don’t think there is a better linbacker tandem right now of Urlacher / Briggs outside of Lewis / Suggs in Baltimore.

    I don’t know why everybody has to downplay the Rivalry thing? As a fan, Bears /Packers games ar fun to watch. Why not play up the rivalry..Not a meatball thing…Just because.

  • mad as hell fan.....

    I would agree with what most are typing here but this is a win against a top 3 team in the NFL. Anyway you come out with that victory is beautiful. If that was not the Packers but the Saints or Steelers would people feel better? Well the Packers are supposed to be on that level of teams this year and the Bears won the football game vs. that team. This team winning “ugly” against the Packers is a hell of a lot different then winning ugly against the Rams or the Browns like last season. Winning ugly vs. one of the best team’s in the NFL, supposedly, is always beautiful, especially for a Bears team many projected to be one of the worst in the NFL.

    And if we don’t know how good this team is, I still don’t, and we don’t love this team’s personnel (for how many years now), yet Lovie is still finding a way for his team to get “ugly” victories…..doesn’t that guy have to get some credit? He coached a team to a superbowl with Rex Grossman at QB, went 9-7 in ’08 with Kyle Orton as his QB and Hester as his #1 WR. His 3 tech has been bad the last several years, his safties are mediocre, yet he still hasn’t had the Bears worse than 7-9, and so far 3-0 in 2010 with people complaining about “ugly” wins. The personnel on this team shouts 6-10, if he does 9-7 or better…..maybe he isn’t that bad of a coach.

  • dave

    the packers o-line is weak, they had to hold peppers on nearly every play because they couldn’t contain him.

    a win is a win. the bears better go out try to trade for logan mankins asap because roberto garza is awful and has nothing left.

    oh, and clay matthews is overrated, he beat down on the eagles and bills pathetic offensive linemen in the first 2 weeks and couldn’t get anything against our mediocre line.

    • mad as hell fan.....

      Going into this season Garza was the only guy I was thinking the Bears wouldn’t have to worry about on that O-line, but he was bad last night. Shaffer did a pretty decent job at LT, but this O-line is terrible. Hopefully they make a deal for someone soon, I think the way this season is turning out they might just do that. If they want to be serious contenders they have to get better on that line. They can’t run, and their QB gets hammered more than any QB in the NFL.

  • Peter

    Thanks for leading with the real story here; that there were an historically sigificant number of penalties called on one team last night. That doesn’t mean the penalties were undeserved or that the officiating influenced the outcome of the game, as they say. However, the sloppiness of the Packers certainly did (possibly moreso than did the Bears’ overall level of play).

    That doesn’t matter, the result of this game is in the books, it’s a Bears win, and (as you pointed out) it measurably increased their chances of making the playoffs. What does matter is whether or not that style of winning is sustainable over the course of the season and post-season.

    I don’t envy anyone who has a professional obligation to comment on the NFL with any degree of certainty. It can make an otherwise thoughful and intelligent person sound like an uninformed jerk (although Hub is pretty darn good). Comprehensively knowing how good a football team is in the present and how good it will be at a given point in the future is akin to simultaneously knowing the speed and position of an electron.

    I would look at the 22% of 3-0 teams who haven’t made the playoffs and identify any similar traits among them that the 2010 Bears may also share. My gut says there could be a couple, but there are a hell of a lot of moving parts in football and it’s damn difficult to quanify them all in any meaniful way. That’s what makes the NFL so appealing (and bewildering).

    Anyway, I was happy to see Devin Hester get the monkey off his back. Unfortunately he still has a lobster on his head.

  • pulseczar

    I’m ok with them being 3-0 but I still want their final record to be whatever it takes to get Angelo fired.

    They could easily be 1-2 right now. I know, I know- they’re not 1-2. But let’s not get carried away. This team still has tons of question marks.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I agree with pulseczar’s excellent comments.
      Jerry gotta go.
      And they could easily be 1-2.
      I think of Denver’s hot start last year….and I still see an 8-8 team, maybe 9-7 or 7-9.
      I’m really, really, really enjoying it now but November and December could be quite painful.

      • bigtime sucker

        NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND, (i can’t believe i did that, sorry for going booyah on you), first of all, THANK YOU FOR THE KIND WORDS, much appretiated, and it’s terrific to see you back.

        secondly, LOOK at the schedule the AFC east teams we face, yes are all in november and december, BUT the bills? well that’s a win road or home. we will struggle with Miami, but they are not running away from anybody, it will be a close game and as the bears demonstrated, they can handle close games rather well, so that’s a toss up. maybe homefield will do it for miami, but then again, their field should be fixed by then and the warm weather will allow our speed to play fast, so who knows, health will be a big factor as well. Jets and Patriots at home. we will split that, just don’t know which team we beat but since we are at home, we should win ONE of those games. so that’s 2-2 against the AFC east in my book. we will beat the vikings at home, we will beat the lions, and since the eagles game is at home and at noon, i think we will handle them as well. i am going 11-5

      • bigtime sucker

        by the way, this sunday,

        I SMELL TRAP!!! best be careful, they have superbowl talent but are lacking the will to fulfill it. here’s the key, already, get up 10 by midway through the second quarter and if you can go into halftime up 13, Giants will quit. if the game is within 3-7 points by halftime and still that way midway through the third, you will get their best effort for the whole 60 mins. They are sick and tired of coughlin but they will try if the score dictates that because you just don’t throw games, but get a good lead, and they are ripe for the pickin.

        eli is a great passer, but finally we get to play against a statue!!! i want 5 sacks!!! their line isn’t much better than ours, so peppers and whoever our undertackle is, needs to bring it. They do have big tall receivers who can make tough catches, but they won’t pick us apart like aaron rogers, but they run well so play action could be a problem as well. and they still have studs on their d-line so protection once again, but i think they can be had all we have to do is break their spirit and i don’t see that as a problem

      • bigtime sucker

        that team imploded from within, people figured out nolan’s d, i don’t think clady played all that well last year, and brandon marshall, super talent, not so super attitude imploded that team. watching brandon lloyd sunday made me puke in my shoe, where did that come from?

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    The Bears haven’t looked especially impressive as a whole, but they’re not imploding against talented offenses when it matters most. They’ve bent plenty, but when Romo and Rodgers can’t open the floodgates, it makes me feel better.

    I prefer to look at it this way: to this point the only game you can make a case that they truly should have lost is Detroit.

    The thing that makes me scratch my head (and the thing that nobody talks about) is that the Bears are holding teams to less than 40 yards a game on the ground- despite the fact that they added Peppers, teams are committed to trying to beat them with the pass. That’s counterintuitive to me.

    It just seems weird, because any time you have a team where numbers say they are stopping the run cold (such as the Bears do this year), it’s one of two reasons: Either they’re truly a dominant defense, or they’re a booming offense getting big early leads. The Bears are neither.

    • bigtime sucker

      yeah, 7-1 at home and 4-4 on the road equals 11-5 right? i think that’s possible

  • G-MO82

    I understand the Bears had ball possession for less time, and that they needed to pass the ball in order to gain yards and win the game,
    Jay Culter was the leading rusher with 37yds ?
    I’m still not drinking the kool-aid yet. I’m not even excited for football season………….


    I don’t know what was more ridiculous in last night’s Bears’ 20-17 win over the Packers last night at Soldier Field…Devin Hester’s first punt return for TD since 2007 that tied the game or the record 18 Green Bay penalties, appropriately ending with the illegal forward pass on the final play of the game after Robbie Gould booted a chip shot 19 yard field goal with :04 left to give the Bears the lead and the win. This was a fitting, exciting way to wrap up Week 3 last night on the Lakefront. Let’s see if the Week 17 rematch in likely bone-chilling cold Lambeau Field means anything for either of these classic, ancient rivals.

  • Beverly Brewmaster

    I think this year’s Bears team is like a Will Ferrell movie: it’s entertaining as long as you don’t expect too much, and while you generally have a good time watching it you still can’t get too comfortable because you know it’s just a matter of time before Ferrell gets naked.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I could have done without reading that during lunch.

      Very funny and true. (and terribly hairy, by cracky).

  • merklesboner

    With the offense being praised at times and the defense bending and possibly eventually breaking, will we hear the drumbeats for Mike Martz replacing Lovie as head coach?

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      1. I wonder if those drumbeats will be Straussian or Wagnerian?
      2. If so, the drummer will be Mark Martz. That’s his M.O.

  • Bob Loblaw



      and “hicag” in tha middle!

  • Brandon in Prague

    Dan, I can’t agree that the Packers lost the game through making stupid mistakes, those penalties are part of the game as much as anything. In this game if you’re holding it’s because you’re failing to block and if you catch a pass interference call it’s because you failed to cover the receiver. The abundance of penalties given to the Packers was just a sign of their desperation to overcome a match-up they were already losing.


      That sounds about right. Aaron Rogers owned the clock, could pass at will, but the rest of the team could not match the pace of the game.

  • AT3374

    Nice win , all areas did what was necessary to win . Now go beat that lowly Giants team next week and it’s on to the Super Bowl ….no I can go there .. have to kill that inner meathead real quick *bang* … there much better .

    Next week could be that dreaded “trap ” game with the “iants” . Better really bring it next week Lovie Staff & an Smith

  • Likquid Swordz

    Ahh the Chet Typo Hour has returned. How I’ve missed it so.

    What I really liked about Hester’s return is that he was in control during the return. Sometimes you see returners run as hard and as fast (hey buddy!) as they can, but look like a swerving truck with no brakes.

    Tommie Harris is done.

    I think it is amazing Cutler is doing what he can with no running game and a Swiss-cheese offensive line.

    Still think this team needs guards, RT and safeties.

    • Chet's Inflated Ego

      I’ll keep those typos coming…..

      Wouldn’t be surprised if Tommie is cut.
      I agree…he was done a couple of years ago.

      And, yup, the O-line needs lotsa help.
      Everyone but Jerry seems to see that.

      • bigtime sucker

        maybe tommy can play guard. why not? i think i could see him pulling, he is a good athelte, but he isn’t exploding off the ball like he used to, also officials caught on to his “cheating” so he can’t jump the snap count like he used to either.

  • cryptical envelopment

    The Bears biggest weakness is the O-line. I wish they woukd of paid more attention to that position in the off season. Johnny Knox and Hester and Olsen and Forte can taks this offense a long way as long as Cutler say erect. Is Lovie and compny coaches really that bad guys. I would always go for it on 4th and a half roll of pennies.

  • pulseczar

    Just read on yahoo that Paruch is going to be Eric n Kathy’s sidekick? Wow, from Q101/Mancow to SCR to Eric and freakin Kathy? Talk about all over the radio spectrum.

    Eric n Kathy have to bring back the Whipping Boy moniker! Not that I’d listen, sorry.

    • bigtime sucker

      WELL It kind of follow’s the aging process doesn’t it? Stage 1, young impressionistic,hard rock/alternative, immature humor appealing to the 18-24 crowd. to sports talk, mostly guys, testostorone, strip clubs, financial services, things of that nature appealing to the 24-35 club. then later in life, family friendly, nice polite humor, something you can listen to with the mrs. for the 34-45 yr old club and then either back to the score or to WLIT, depending on which side of the midlife crisis you’re at

      • bigtime sucker

        or 101.9 just offered him a buttload of cash

      • SPAULDING! is funny. It’s especially good, because you get a 4 hour show in 2 hours.
        Music radio is like the Bears running game.

  • ED

    Remember this. Why do penalties exist in the first place? Because your team obviously did something that (if) left unchecked, would give you an unfair advantage on that play. Conversely, It also robs the other team of the ability to execute the play unmolested. So, any inference that something was “giftwrapped is pure speculation at best. In other words, we don’t know WHAT the Bears migh have acheived if they weren’t so busy getting molested. What they really needed was a can of mace.

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