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Bears Knocked Backwards In 41-21 Loss To Cardinals

The matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals would be interesting one. The Chicago Bears were coming off a 30-6 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns but the victory was nothing to really celebrate, as the Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Cardinals were defeated by the Panthers in a game where Carolina’s defense forced Kurt Warner into throwing five interceptions. Both teams were riding a wave of expectations coming into this season. The Chicago Bears’ offense was supposed to be transformed with the acquisition of Jay Culter and the defending NFC Champion Cardinals were looking to make another run at the Superbowl after falling short against the Steelers a year ago. However both teams have been very mediocre with a record of 4-3 and this game could have major implications on both of the team’s chances of making the playoffs. If the Chicago Bears were going to show that win against Cleveland was not an aberration, they would need their defense to be physical and not allow Warner too much time in the pocket and their offense in the redzone would have to be much more efficient than it has been so far this season.

The Cardinals would draw first blood as they scored on their opening possession capped by an 11-yard touchdown catch by Larry Fitzgerald. However the Bears would surprisingly answer the call on their first possession as Cutler would connect with tight end Greg Olson for a 33 yard touchdown pass to even the score at seven. However, the Arizona Cardinals would score on their following possession for 14-7 lead and at this point, it appeared that it would be a long day for the Bears’ defensive unit. The Chicago Bears would fail to move the chains on their next possession due to a reverse play that was poorly executed and put the Bears in 2nd and 20. The Cardinals would score yet again on their next possession giving them three scores in three possessions and frustrating the Bears’ defense. Arizona’s first three scoring drives covered 81, 74 and 70 yards respectively. The offensive struggles would continue, as the Bears would go three and out on their next possession. The Bear’s defense seemed non-existent as this point as the Cardinals would yet again punch it into the end zone on their next drive to give Arizona a 28-7 lead with just over 2 minutes remaining in the opening half.

Things did not get better for the Chicago Bears in the second half either. The Cardinals’ would offense would feast on the Bears’ defense for just about the entire game. The Cardinals even sent in backup Matt Leinart in for Warner in the fourth quarter as they were up by a comfortable margin at that point. Leinart, however, would be intercepted and the Bears would find the end zone off the turnover. However, any hopes of a comeback would be quickly dashed, as Warner would hook up with Steve Breaston on a four-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach following a Bears’ turnover.

Jay Cutler completed 29 of 47 pass attempts for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Warner completed 23 of 32 passes for 261 yards to go with five touchdowns. The Cardinals also racked up over 150 rushing yards, a season high for them. While Cutler had a decent game, this was a bad lost for Chicago to say the least. The defense gave up big plays all day as the Cardinals seemed to almost score at will (including four scores on as many possessions in the first half). In addition to that, most of the offensive production came in the second half after the game was pretty much out of reach. After starting the season at 3-1, Chicago has dropped two of their last three games. With the loss, the Bears drop to 4-4 on the season and their playoff hopes are beginning to look dim. The Bears will need to win at least 11 games to have a chance at making the postseason but it’s difficult to imagining them willing 7 of their next 9 games. While the Bears have shown flashes of a good team here and there, the overall play has been disappointing at the mid-way point of the season, to say the least. You heard it here first, unless the Bears go on an unbelievable run to close the season, they will indeed miss the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

James Tillman

1 comment:

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