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Bears End Year With 37-23 Victory Over Detroit

The game between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions had little meaning except for a pair of NFC Central teams looking to go into the offseason on a positive note. The Chicago Bears were favored in this game for at least two reasons: 1) The Bears had walloped the Lions 48-24 in their first meeting of the season and 2) The Lions are one of the worst teams in the NFL with a record of 2-13 coming into this game. It would be interesting to see if the Bears would keep riding the momentum with their OT win over the Vikings last Monday or would they suffer a letdown and be upset by the Lions.

Unfortunately for the Lions, the Bears would have one of their better games of the season. Early on though, the Bears were their usual selves coming up with only field goals on their first couple of trips inside the red zone. The Lions would actually led 10-6 in the second quarter but the Bears would respond with an impressive 76-yard drive for a 13-10 lead shortly before halftime. One of the strangest plays of the game would come early in the third quarter. The Lions were on fourth down with eight yards to go and they faked the punt and tried to run for the first down. They were unsuccessful and the Bears would take over on the Lions’ 39-yard line. The Bears would capitalize on the good field position as Jay Cutler connected with Devin Aromashodu for a 9-yard score to give the Bears a 20-10 lead with just over ten minutes remaining in the third period.

Just when it appeared the Bears had things under control, the Lions would claw their way back into the game with ten consecutive points. Jason Hanson would cut the lead to 20-13 going into the fourth period and the Lions would then even the score at 20 with a 5-yard touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson from Dante Culpepper. With the momentum seemingly on the Lions’ side, the Bears would again respond as they did in their win against Vikings, the Bears would put together a lengthy 87-yard drive capped off by with a 1-yard pass from Jay Cutler to tight-end, Desmond Clark to give the Bears the lead at 27-20. The Lions would only manage a field goal on their next possession pulling them within 27-23 with less than five minutes to play. Instead of merely running time off the clock to secure a victory, the Bears offense would again put together another 85-yard drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Devin Aromashodu (his second score of the game), to give the Bears some breathing room at 34-23. Robbie Gould would tack on a field goal to provide the final score 37-23 and give the Bears their seventh victory in what has been a less than stellar season by both the viewpoint of the organization and the fans as well.

Keys to Victory:
The offensive line turned in one of the better performances of the season. Matt Forte rushed for over 100 yards, which is something that hasn’t happened too often this season. Another key was the fact that the Bears did not commit any turnovers. In fact Jay Cutler had thrown 19 touchdowns and 25 interceptions after the first 14 games but have has thrown for 8 touchdowns and only one interception over the past 2 weeks. Another key to the Bears solid play over the last 2 weeks has been the insertion of Devin Aromashodu who has scored at least one touchdown in three of the last four games. The Bears have may want to consider getting him more playing time next season as he provides a big target and shows the ability to get open consistently.

Offseason Changes:
With only seven wins this season, the Bears will more than likely make several changes during the offseason. The first area that needs to be addressed is the offensive line. The success of the passing and rushing game both hinge on the whether or not the offensive line can create running lanes for the tailback and give the quarterback enough time to get rid of the football. The second area of concern is that the Bears seemed to rely too much on the passing game this season. While Forte did not gain as many yards this year compared to last season, I think the Bears often relied too much on the arm of Jay Cutler to win games for them. The Bears have to make a more concerted effort to run the ball between 25-30 times per game if they want to have a healthy balance between the pass and the run. The play-calling needs to feature more rollouts as Cutler looked much better throwing outside the pocket than when he stood inside the pocket and forcing the ball downfield. If the Bears follow the above blueprint, it should improve their record by at least three or four games and hopefully the team will be in the playoff picture next season.

James Tillman

2 comments:

  1. The first order of business is the Bears should be sold to someone new who isnt a cheapskate. The next order of business should be firing Lovie because he is absolutely emotionless, his clock management and challenges are poor, and he seems dumb. The coordinators should go as well, and the Bears should hire position coaches who actually know what they are doing. Final order of business should be getting a new offensive line and defensive secondary because they are terrible

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  2. It will be great to watch Detroit Lions, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Detroit_Lions-tickets looking forward to it.

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