...And this is as close as I'll get. Let's talk about Bears game balls for what could be their biggest win of the season.
This message was attached to my latest blog:
"Congrats on the win...the team that wanted the victory got it."
"Bears game ball goes to Mike McCarthy, James Jones, and Prevent Offense."
"Thank you and..."
"Give some credit to Ron Turner, who called a pretty darn good game..."
"And give some credit to Lovie Smith for getting in the defense's face at halftime..."
"And give some credit to the defensive unit for causing turnovers and getting tough in the second half."
"You have to admit, it was another classic Bears/Packers game."
I'm not picking on PackBrew42. He's a very classy guy and was one of the kindest Packer fans on Friday, when I was getting mauled by rabid Packer Backers everywhere I went. But I left something out of my response: The Bears' game ball should go to Charles Tillman. No doubt about it. I think Brian Urlacher got the Horse Trailer Player of the Game for his interception that led to the Greg Olsen TD, but I think the BIGGEST plays of the game have to be the two stripped balls by Charles Tillman.
At that point in the game, the Green Bay Packers were moving the ball at will against what looked to be a befuddled Bears defense. Were it not for those two plays by Tillman, the Bears would most likely have been staring at a 31-7 deficit at halftime instead of 17-7. I think 31-7 would've broken the Bears' backs. Those were two REALLY big plays, folks.
I have to admit, I didn't have the guts to watch the entire game. With the Cubs exiting the playoffs in the most ignominious of ways, I just didn't have the heart to watch the Bears fall too. And I guess all those snotty emails and messages from the Packer Nation finally wore me down. However, ignoring my feelings of dread, I listened to most of the first quarter on the radio in the car. The game was close, so when I got home, I watched the game on TV until halftime. I was none too optimistic at halftime. The way the offense had been playing, a 10-point deficit seemed insurmountable.
I put a movie in. My girlfriend and I had not seen Borat, it arrived via Netflix Friday, and she *really* wanted to see it. So, Borat overruled the Bears... Still we paused the movie once in a while to check the score of the game. We saw the teams trade field goals at the beginning of the second half, then didn't turn the game on again until the fourth quarter. When we saw the score (it was 20-20 then), I looked at her and we said, "We really need to watch this." So the Bears overruled Borat, and we watched the entire fourth quarter. Does this make me a bad Bears fan? Geez, I hope not. A guy can only take so much disappointment in one weekend, you know?
After being so hard on his unit in past blogs, I wanted to say that Ron Turner called a heck of a game. He should get a game ball too. Honestly, he was driving me crazy in the first half. I remember at one point, it was 2nd down and 1 and the Bears ran the ball. Cedric Benson got the first down, but I was a bit upset. I looked at my gf and said "2nd and 1 is when you take a shot deep, man! What is THIS cr@p? Ron Turner is running the offense like he's afraid!"
But, with the game on the line and the offense within striking distance, the Bears lined up in a short-yardage formation. It was 3rd and 2. Ron Turner called a play action pass, the safeties bit on it, and the Bears scored as Brian Griese showed great pocket presence, worked through his progression, and found Desmond Clark wide open. How did Turner get the Packers to buy the play fake? By calling conservative plays (the very same plays that were making me crazy) throughout the entire game. The Packers just knew the Bears were going to run on 3rd and 2. It's a good, conservative call, especially with CB finding himself in the second half. Turner knew what the Packers D was thinking and called the play action pass. Perfect.
Wow. That's what the offense needed. Good play-calling. Determination. Pocket presence. Poise. Thank God Rex Grossman wasn't in there. He probably would've been sacked, fumbled, or threw a interception, and the outcome of the game could've been very different.
Side note: Did anyone else notice Rex standing alone while Griese, Kyle Orton, and QB coach Pep Hamilton were talking on the sidelines? What the heck was that all about?