Bears lose, but Grossman injury not serious

Redskins: 24
Bears:  16

Last night’s Chicago Bears loss to the Washington Redskins may not be as costly to the line-up as originally thought.  When Rex Grossman went down with a knee injury, it looked serious enough to not only end his season, but to impact his ability to play next year.

Today the Bears announced that Rex has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.  He will not need surgery and will recover in about three to four weeks.  Given the fact that the Bears most likely won’t be making the playoffs this year, the injury is season-ending.

Given that the rest of this season is really just practice for next year, let’s focus on the good.  Devin Hester showed that he has improved as a wide receiver.  This is a good thing because it appears on that the Bears are headstrong about having him do double duty.  He had five receptions for 67 yards.

Garrett Wolfe played pretty well, also put in as a receiver.  He had four receptions for 37 yards.   Since the Bears don’t seem to want to give him many carries, I am happy to see him getting some playing time, even if it is as a receiver.

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Bears play Redskins in rare Thursday game

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
Thursday, 7:15 p.m. central time
TV: NFL Network, WPWR-Ch. 50 (channel 8 on Comcast)

Given the way that their season has gone, especially their complete collapse in the last game against the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears may be glad that few people will be able to watch their game tonight against the Washington Redskins.

The game will air nationally only on the NFL network, but local viewers can also see it on WPWR-Ch. 50.  Only 40% of homes nationwide have NFL network, so few people outside of Chicago, and presumably Washington D.C., will have access to the game.

I imagine that the Bears are likely both mentally and physically exhausted at this point, coming off of a tough loss and not having their typical two days off.  I have a feeling that the Bears are going to struggle in this game.


Bears lose one they should’ve won

eli-manning.jpg

New York Giants: 21
Chicago Bears: 16

Although, granted, the New York Giants were beating themselves for most of the game, the Chicago Bears really should have come down with this victory today. Instead, following a late score, the Giants beat the Bears on their home turf.

The Bears had their own problems, dropping passes they should have caught (I’m talking to you Devin Hester) and the defense obviously collapsed at the end, but it was the Giants whose frequent miscues and turnovers nearly cost them the game.

In all likelihood, the Bears loss will cost them a playoff birth and, with that in mind, you would think that the defense would have battened down the hatches in the final few minutes. Instead, they gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, costing the Bears the victory.

I think that Eli Manning was fallible, obviously, and I think that the defense could have contained him, but they fell short. He certainly did not move mountains and could have been stopped.

The weather in Chicago today was cold, dank, and all around icky. Sort of like the Bears season.


Video of Devin Hester’s two kick returns against Broncos

Chicago Bears Devin Hester had a great game last Sunday against the Denver Broncos. He returned a punt and a kick-off for touchdowns, breaking the Bears single-season return record.

Here a video that shows both of his great returns.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/XfY1j_AHwgw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


NY Giants mum on whether they’ll kick to Hester

devin-hester.jpgAlthough typically opposing coaches are pretty open about their game plan regarding Chicago Bears player Devin Hester, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin won’t say whether or not he’ll kick to him.

Saying only “we’ll see,” the coach has left the Bears guessing how Sunday’s game will go. Typically the other team will say something like, “No way in hell are we kicking to Hester” or “We’re not scared, we are kicking to Hester.”

Really any coach is a fool to kick to Hester, but I am holding out hope that Coughlin is a fool, because then I can count on the game to have some excitement.

If they do kick to Hester, the Giants punter Jeff Feagles has assured everyone that they won’t “serve it up on a silver platter” the way that the Broncos did.

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Cedric Benson’s injury is season-ending

cedric-benson-ankle-injury.jpgAfter leaving the game against the Denver Broncos yesterday on the cart, things did not look too good for Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson. Today the Bears confirmed the worst and announced that Benson will have season ending surgery.

They have not disclosed what specific injury Benson is plagued with, only saying that it is an ankle injury and that he needs surgery.  I guess it must be some kind of ligament tear or something, rather than a break.  Typically only severe breaks require surgery.

Too bad they traded Thomas Jones. Although, now that I think about it, Adrian Peterson did a great job yesterday and this also means that Garrett Wolfe should get some more playing time. I think that he has not yet shown the NFL what he is capable of doing.

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Bears win in OT, Hester sets return record

devin-hester-broncos-bears.jpgThankfully my prediction of a boring game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos did not come true. In fact, the Bears OT win over the Broncos was probably the most exciting game this season.

The Bears were pretty much at the end of the line play-off wise if they lost Sunday, so Coach Lovie Smith told them to treat it like a playoff game. Although it did not feel that way in the first half, the Bears really came alive late in the game.

The Bears were down fourteen points late in the game, but managed to come from behind and score two times in under eight minutes, sending the game to overtime. The final touchdown pass of regulation was a beautiful catch by Bernard Berrian in the corner of the endzone. The play was reviewed by the booth and it was indeed a catch.

The Bears won the coin toss and moved the ball quickly down the field. Robbie Gould kicked a field goal, leading the Bears to a 37-34 victory.

Devin Hester returned two kicks for touchdowns, one on a punt and one on a kick-off return. With the first return, he took over the Bears records for kicks returned for touchdowns in a season with 10. The Broncos are certainly regretting their decision to kick to Hester, because he really made them pay.His speed and ability to move down the field, avoiding tackles is a thing of beauty.

One downside for the Bears was the loss of running back Cedric Benson to an injury. He left the game on a cart after injuring his ankle and did not return.

Benson was replaced by Adrian Peterson and Peterson made it clear that he was there to play. On two different rushes he used his strength to push through a whole pack of defenders, making it look more like a rugby scrum than a football running play. His fortitude is something that has been lacking in the position all season.

Rex Grossman had a lackluster first half, but came on strong in the second half, to end up with 193 yards on 17-33 passing. He also had an interception and two fumbles. His quarterback rating in the second half was a stellar 91.9.

This victory gives the Bears new life and hopefully they will carry this success onto their next game and throughout the rest of the season in hopes of getting a playoff birth.

Photo source: Chicago Tribune


Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos preview

Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Soldier Field
3:15 p.m. central
TV: CBS

The Chicago Bears are 4-6 and can’t seem to buy a good performance from their offense or defense these days.  They are going up against the Denver Broncos who are only 5-5, but are at the top of their mediocre division.

My prediction for the game? Another boring one, with one of the two teams playing a little less crappy than the other.  I hope that punter Brad Maynard has his foot warmed up.  I have  feeling he is going to be busy again.


Packers vs. Lions in Thanksgiving showdown

Growing up in Michigan, part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition was watching the Detroit Lions play on television. I was never much of a Lions fan, and did not get hooked on the NFL until I moved to Chicago.  Still, every year when I head to Michigan for Thanksgiving, I love to watch the game with my family, even if I am the only one who wants the Lions to lose.

This year’s turkey day Lions game has more significance than it usually does, as the Lions are actually playing well this season. This game against the Green Bay Packers will be a pivotal moment in their season.

Of course the game tangentially affects the Bears because they are all in the same division, even if the Bears are much father down in the standings.


Bears lose to Seahawks 30-23

matt-hasselbeck-seattle-seahawks.jpgThe Chicago Bears lost another game that they could have won today, this time to the Seattle Seahawks. If a few more catchable passes would have been caught, and few more blocks would have been made, this could have had a better outcome than a 30-23 loss.

The first possession of the game for the Bears had things looking up and made me think that it was going to be a good day. Cedric Benson ran in a 43 yard touchdown, amassing more yards in one run than I think that he has ranked up all season. I said, “Who is that man and what did he do to Cedric Benson?” However, except for one other good run, Benson went back to being mediocre and ended up with a total of only 89 yards for the game on 11 carries and made the Seahawks run defense look stellar.

Rex Grossman did a good enough job to win, but unfortunately his receivers did not come through for him. There were several catchable passes that went uncaught and receivers who appeared to miss their spots. I liked that Coach Lovie Smith let him go long with his passes, but it was unfortunate that they didn’t get caught. Rex ended up with 21-of-32 for 220 yards. He also had a great move in the 4th quarter where he managed to avoid a sack. Given his previous inability to avoid sacks, this might be a sign of growth.

The defense had some good moments mixed in among the bad, much like they have in the past few games. They had a couple of good blitzes and Urlacher was on his game for the most part, but giving up 30 points is not exactly a strong performance and they couldn’t seem to handle the passing game of the Seahawks.

The Bears are just beating themselves now, which shows their lack of confidence, as well as their inability to play as a team. Last year’s successful team had both confidence and played like a cohesive unit. It seems like those two things might be at least part of the key to why the Bears are so much worse than last year.

I think this Thursday on Thanksgiving we should all give thanks the Bears have managed to win four games this year, as it appears to be a true holiday miracle.

The Bears next play at home this Sunday against the Broncos.