First person fan reaction: The Bears barely beat the Lions

(Disclaimer: the following article was written by a life-long Chicago Bears fan, who finds himself twisted up in knots trying to spin the result of Sunday's action into something positive…)

The Chicago Bears (finally) defeated the Detroit Lions 24-20.

At least they managed to shut Nate Burleson(notes) up.

I mean, I'd love to tell you about how the playoff-bound Bears stomped a Motor City mudhole into the on-the-clock Lions, but that'd be a reach even for a guy with surgically-implanted orange and blue glasses on (like me).

The fact is that the Bears escaped.


They didn't beat the Lions, they escaped.

It should never have come down to needing a disputed call against Ndamukong Suh(notes) to keep the drive alive that eventually produced the gamer, because the Bears should have already been up by 50 before Suh elbowed anyone in the back of the head.

And before any Bears homers out there start protesting anything, riddle me this, Batman:

How the Cleveland are my beloved Bears going to beat the New England Patriots next weekend when they gave up four (!!) sacks to the sad sacks from Michigan?

If this team is going to give Cliff Avril(notes) three sacks (it's called a "scouting report," Mike Tice, look into it), it sez so right here that Bill Belichick, the guy who once coached up some Super defenses for Bill Parcells before winning a handful of rings on his own, is going to have a field day figuring out new ways to plant Jay Cutler(notes) into the turf.

One of those sacks almost lost us the stinkin' game, by the way, but for a (finally) man-sized stand by the defense.

Speaking of which…

This defense made a Lions third-string quarterback look like, well, Tom Brady(notes) or something. I don't know, maybe there is something to this whole "trap" game idea, but I refuse to be convinced that no one on the Bears defense couldn't have run Drew Stanton(notes) down when he boot-legged the Lions' first touchdown. What, was there some trickeration involved that kept the Bears' feet firmly planted on the ground? Just last weekend, I saw Julius Peppers(notes) run down Michael Vick(notes) from behind. That never happens, not in real life, not in Madden '10, not anywhere, but Drew By God Stanton ran into the end zone like he was scalded and all the Bears did was dance with their partners while he did.

A Lions third-string quarterback completed 66% of his passes, tossed no interceptions, and posted a QB rating of 102.4 against this suddenly-suspect defense. The real Tom Brady comes to town next weekend. If you think that Stanton, a former Spartan, gave us trouble, just wait 'til Brady, the former Wolverine, comes visiting.

Somewhat lost in the haze of running from Detroit with their lives is the fact that Jay Cutler played superior football when he wasn't on his backside. Cutler is doing more with less, and has rediscovered his old Vanderbilt teammate Earl Bennett(notes) (who suddenly looks like Mark Bavaro dragging guys down the field) to everyone's benefit. Were this any other Bears quarterback, perhaps even the Jay Cutler of last season, the Bears end up doing the I-94 West drive of shame. Thankfully, Cutler has figured out that he's also got to win games for us, as well as not lose them.

Perhaps there is some good to be found here, all of my griping notwithstanding.

Perhaps, with the Patriots looming, the Bears coaching staff will treat this game like the loss it should have been and not the win that it barely was. Even on a relatively short week, and coming off a tough game with the New York Jets, the Patriots figure to be magnitudes better than the benighted Lions. Perhaps the coaching staff can impress upon the lads their need to capitalize on every good thing and to minimize every bad thing, because the Patriots are not the Lions. The Patriots will not give the kind of mulligans the Lions gave.

The Patriots hung 45 points on the Lions just last weekend.

The Bears got a little more than half of that against the same team a week later.

Coach 'em up, Lovie, coach 'em up…


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Van Walker is a member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Updated Monday, Dec 6, 2010