Some angry thoughts on tonight’s game. I’m more worked up than usual tonight – frustrating loss.
- Nick Collins had 2 picks on that final drive. The call against Morgan Burnett on his second pick was really weak. Burnett had even turned around and Bennett didn’t even have a play on the ball anyway. But the first missed interception call was much worse. On the first one (that ESPN did a horrible job of reviewing), Collins caught the ball, took 3 full steps before tumbling to the ground and fumbling. We then recovered the ball. But the official with zero viewing angle (and a wallet full of mafia dollars) somehow ruled it incomplete. Go back and DVR it, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
- Say what you will about the penalties. I unofficially counted 6 highly questionable calls – calls that would rarely be called against a team when the refs aren’t on a mission of some kind. Mark Tauscher’s second holding call against Peppers on the TD pass that was called back was an extremely weak call.
- What sucks about the announcing – and I don’t want to even get started – is that they focused in solely on the penalties while seemingly missing out on the controversy there should have been about 2 interceptions being called back.
- McCarthy’s clock management toward the end was horrendous. Burning a timeout on the James Jones clear turnover was not worth it. But what I can’t figure out for the life of me, is that McCarthy thought there was a better chance of blocking a 19 yard chip shot by one of the NFL’s best kickers than of having our team march down the field with some time left (and a timeout too). We should have let them score when they were close in and we still had a minute 30 left. Just let them score. But to let them run out the clock like that was ridiculous. The is simple: there’s a 1% chance Robbie Gould misses that kick and a say, 10% chance we march down and score a TD with a minute 30 left.
- I wrote early on tonight that I had the feeling this game would evolve into a Naked Gun, officiating for the home crowd scenario and I think that’s what happened. But I also think that our team looked a bit off. It is tough on our guys when you know you won’t get a call and when it’s OK for a 350 fat ass to fall 4 seconds after the play on Aaron Rodgers’ head without a flag. That’s frustrating. But it’s also no excuse for bonehead plays by the Packers that were fouls. Coaching is responsible for that to some extent, but so are the players – bonehead plays.
- Our running game is horrendous. For those who were ripping on me and many others who were calling for a trade after the Grant injury – stop now and take stock. Jackson is an OK 3rd down back, but he’s not a starter. And as much as the whole world, for some reason, wants John Kuhn to be a success story – YOU CAN’T BE SUCCESSFUL WITH A 5.8 40! We need to go after a quality RB and we need to do it now. TT has to stand up for our team here and make an uncharacteristic splash move to help out asap.
- Rough night for Tim Masthay. He had 1 great punt (his first punt) but then 1 very costly bad punt that led to the Bears’ TD at the end of the first half. And on his 3rd punt he had a great out-of-the-end-zone kick only to outkick the coverage unit leading to the Hester TD.
- What happened to Greg Jennings? I like that Finley is so involved but I felt the offense slowed a bit when he was hurt. I liked the deep ball attempt to Jennings in the first half and I’m not sure why we didn’t try that in the second half. Throwing deep here and there has the effect of keeping the defense honest. While our offense wasn’t exactly stopped in the second half by the Bears tonight, working with a stretched field instead of allowing their safeties to cheat up might have helped open up the scoring.
- It was interesting, I kept feeling throughout the game that we were trying to eat up the clock, having slow, methodical drives (because, well, that’s what we were doing). But I think against a team like Chicago, by doing that as much as we did (and especially by not finishing those drives), we let the weaker team stick around. A no-huddle might have been good rhythm disruption in that second half.
- I didn’t think the Bears would be bad this year and caught some flack for thinking that. But after watching the game tonight, interestingly, I’m a bit less sold on their playoff-readiness.