Some Quick Hit thoughts about the Bears win over the Raiders:
- I've got to tell you, I'm not thrilled about that victory. The Bears still haven't shown me much. This is a game they should've won a lot easier than they did.
- Seventy-eight yards total rushing against the worst running defense in the league? It's going to be a looooooooong second half of the season unless those numbers improve drastically.
- Should we get the torches and pitchforks and run Ron Turner out of town? I don't think so. During Turner's first stint with the Bears, he was able to handpick his QB (Erik Kramer) and other key players on the team. Or at least he had a lot of say in the matter of who was drafted and/or acquired by the Bears offense. This time around? I wonder if he has any say in his personnel. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have picked a runner like Cedric Benson to spearhead his zone-blocking rushing attack. Benson just doesn't seem to fit Turner's scheme. At all. As a matter of fact, I don't think Turner knows what to do with the majority of his personnel right now.
- Cedric Benson looks like he's running with his eyes closed half the time. I saw him make some nice runs for five to eight yards, but I also saw him run into the backs of his blockers when there was a small crease off to the side. This guy is showing zero field-vision right now.
- I would take Justin Fargas over Cedric Benson in a heartbeat. Fargas was sitting at the #3 spot on the Raiders' depth chart at the beginning of the season. But he out-performed not one, but two high-priced free agents and earned his starting position. He runs a bit too straight up and down for me, but he runs with ferocity. The Bears banged him up pretty well and he had to go to the locker room for a while in the 3rd or 4th quarter. But I knew he'd come back out on the field. This young man is tough, folks. And he had to earn his spot on the team, so it means a lot more to him than it apparently means to Benson. Kudos to the Raiders' coaches and front office for having the cajones to play their top performer rather than their highest-paid player. Maybe the Bears will learn something from that... Eh, probably not.
- By the way, the Bears offense will continue to struggle unless they get a decent running game going.
- What happened to Greg Olsen? Is he still on the team? I hope so, because we're going to need him at some point in the next seven weeks.
- The defense played well Sunday, but I'm not going to jump on their bandwagon just yet. The Raiders have a woefully unbalanced offense. When the Raiders needed to pass, they were doomed. The Bears could play eight in the box on most downs and were in Josh McCown's face all day.
- Gee, it's too bad the Bears can't score in the first half. If they had jumped out to a lead, the Raiders would've been forced to abandon the run. And that would've been a beating of epic proportions...
- The Bears' D tackled very well as a team. Hunter Hillenmeyer, Adam Archuleta, and Brian Urlacher all registered eight tackles. Charles Tillman added seven tackles, and Lance Briggs and Adwale Ogunleye made six tackles apiece.
- How about that hit Daniel Manning laid on Fargas? Way to make him pay for that straight-up running style! Oh yeah, and he prevented a first down on that play too.
- McCown picked on the 7th round rookie Trumaine McBride all day. And McBride responded with some darn fine coverage, IMHO.
- Am I going insane or did Archuleta look decent in coverage Sunday?
- My game ball goes to Adwale Ogunleye. He registered six tackles, three sacks, and forced one BIG fumble at the end of the game. That guy was playing like his season was on the line.
And now for the darkest, blackest, thought that's been lurking inside me for some time now. My "sneaky sense" has been going off like an alarm bell since the first of Urlacher's infamous "One-Word Answer Interviews." I haven't read or heard much spoken about this, but I think Urlacher will retire at the end of the season. If not at the end of this season, then at the end of next season.
During the television coverage on Fox, they showed us how hard Urlacher was working at stretching that back. He was in obvious discomfort. Then they showed Daunte Culpepper run up behind Urlacher and slap his back. Urlacher got up like he was going to break someone in half. That little slap really bothered him. His back is really hurting him more than he's saying.
Urlacher is twenty-nine years old with three kids and more money in the bank than he can probably spend himself. I'm sure he would like to be ambulatory when his little girls get married. Arthritis is a degenerative condition with no known cure, and Urlacher is looking forward to a lifetime of chronic back pain. I'm no doctor, but I'm sure every year he plays pro football he advances his condition exponentially. Think about it. Would you continue to play? I wouldn't blame him if he didn't.
Maybe that's why he's been so snippy with the press. Maybe he's seriously mulling retirement from the game he loves at twenty-nine years old. Maybe the Cinderella story is about to end for Urlacher. I know that would make me cranky if I were him. Heck, just thinking about it is making me cranky and I'm not him...