JP's Postgame Presser - Bears vs. Lions

Posted 2:21 AM Decemebr 31, 2014 by Jarrett Payton

For the first time in a long time I enjoyed watching the Bears play football. Yes, you read that right. The last time I sat on my living room couch and enjoyed a Bears game was…September 14 vs. the 49ers. Wow! That was four score and 14 weeks ago. This past Sunday I saw something out of this Bears team that I really haven’t seen all year: fight. The reality of this year is that it is almost over. In the meantime the saga continues at Halas Hall. You thought that the big story was that Jay Cutler, the $126.7 million dollar investment, was sitting on the sideline with the backup who hasn’t started in almost 4 years. Don’t worry it gets better now! Word came out that Jimmy Clausen suffered a concussion in the loss against the Lions and guess what happens next? You guessed it! Jay Cutler will start the final game against the Vikings. I pondered last week how Trestman and Cutler would rekindle their relationship after the public benching and now we all have a week to mull this over with Cutler back underneath center for the beloved again. What a mess!

Jimmy Clausen started out kind of shaky, but finished the 1st half with 106 yards on 14 completions, one touchdown and a quarterback rating of 86.5. Clausen finished the game with 181 yards on 23 completions with two touchdowns, one interception and a 77.0 QB rating. His numbers might have been better if the Bears receivers could have hauled in some of the 7 dropped passes. Alshon Jeffery had a rough outing, snagging 6 of his 15 targets for 72 yards and one touchdown. What was most uncharacteristic was his 4 dropped passes. For Mr. Sure hands, that was 4 too many.

The Bears did do something that I’m not accustomed to seeing in Sunday’s game and that was commit to the running game. All season, Bears fans, like me, have been screaming from the mountain top to hand the ball off to the best player on the field, Matt Forte. Going up against the best run defense in the NFL, Forte ran 19 times for 55 yards (2.9 yards per carry). It’s not the number you are looking for but the offense was better off and it gave more of a balance for the passing game.

Two weeks ago against the Saints the Bears O-Line had major protection issues. That caused big problems for the running and passing game. They did give up 4 sacks against the Lions but pass protection improved and that’s all we are looking for. Not having Pro Bowl right guard Kyle Long, who was inactive with a hip injury, Michael Ola started in his spot. That makes the fourth different starting position for Ola this season. Ryan Groy started and remained at left guard. The guy that struggled on the O-Line was Roberto Garza. He had his hands full all day trying to tangle with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Last season the Bears were very fortunate to go through the season with no major injuries on the line. This season they haven’t been so lucky.

The Bears defense was what kept this team in the game. There was a D-Line pass rush sighting versus the Lions. After having a rough time getting pressure on Drew Bress last week, the Bears D-Line played a hard fought game against the Lions. Jared Allen, Jeremiah Ratliff & David Bass all sacked Stafford in the first half. Sad news is that Willie Young injured his Achilles. He was defiantly a bright spot on his Bears defense this season, finishing with a career-high 10 sacks.

The Bears secondary played pretty well against Tate and Megatron. Young guys like Kyle Fuller and Brock Vereen are getting better every snap. Ryan Mundy and Vereen each finished the game with an INT.

He has all the physical gifts and once he gets experience, he could be a fixture on this Bears defense. He led the Bears again with 11 tackles, one for a loss, a quarterback hit and his first career sack. The dude is a beast!

With all of the good that I just pointed out, my feelings haven’t changed from last week. I still think there needs to be some major changes inside Halas Hall. Watching the Lions game just masked the reality that there are many problems that need to be fixed if the bears will ever capture what happened in 1985.