December 10, 2013
The Chicago Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 45-28, at Soldier Field on Monday night proving that the only thing more fun than playing in snow is winning in snow.
The Bears dominated this battle between two contending teams with good offenses and bad defenses with the Bears scoring on their first eight possessions and it would have been nine if the clock hadn’t finally decided to hit zero and run indoors for a cup of cocoa and a snuggle with the closest fat person it could find.
The Bears won because their offense was efficient, effective and relentless, racking up 490 yards, 33 first downs, five touchdowns and relegating punter Adam Podlesh strictly to the role of holder on extra points and field goals. Adam’s a good guy.
The reasons the Bears’ offense was more breathtaking than Scarlett Johansson in an elf costume are numerous. One, Chicago, believe it or smoke it, has the best tandem of wide receivers in the NFL. Read that sentence again and then look out the window to make sure pigs aren’t eating the sun.
Alshon Jeffery caught five passes for 84 yards including another amazing touchdown catch, something he does more routinely than Gene Wilder bakes cupcakes. Jeffery is emerging not only as the Bears’ best receiver but one of the best playmakers in football. He has big hands, big dreams, speed, and a certain adhesiveness you just can’t teach, coach or buy legally outside Utah.
On the other side there’s the old pro, Brandon Marshall, who hauled in six Josh McCown passes for 100 yards and threw a block on Sean Lee that left the Cowboys linebacker wishing he had stayed in dental school.
McCown also continues to excel in place of the injured Jay Cutler and anyone who thinks there isn’t a quarterback controversy in Chicago is also in the camp that believes Jerry Jones still has his original nose.
Cutler is due to return this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns but everyone in Chicago, Halas Hall and certain trailer parks in Texas know that the Bears would probably fare better by sticking with McCown who gutted Dallas for 348 yards, four TDs, no interceptions (though in fairness to Dallas, the Cowboys should have had two picks, one was dropped, another nullified by a penalty. Even when the Cowboys’ D does good it does bad.) and a passer rating of 141.9. That QB rating by McCown for Week 14 was second only to Ace Sanders, a guy who either plays receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars and threw one pass for one TD against Houston or is the star of a new action movie franchise. Let’s hope he’s both.
Here’s the scoop, and we reserve the right to change our mind before the season ends and maybe even before this paragraph ends, the Bears are contending for a playoff spot and their quarterback is playing great and the guy who is supposed to be the starter was having a good season but he’s always been injury prone and so, dang it, stick with the hot guy and see where he takes you and if he takes you far give him the big bucks and let Cutler go.
And if he falls on his face you’re only stuck with a 34-year-old cheap QB and you’ve let a major talent get away and OK maybe it’s time to change our mind. Put Cutler back in.
It’s not easy. Perhaps you need to do both things. Give Cutler the start but if he stinks it up and the game, and thus the season, is slipping away, bring in McCown because if you do it the other way Jay is not going to want to come back no matter what.
But where else would he want to go? The Bears, and I still can’t believe these words are being typed, have just about the most promising offensive future in the league. Great receivers, a great line, a versatile running back, a monster tight end and a coach who knows offense, understands QBs and is, perhaps, learning to never let up on the gas.
Of course it’s easier to keep the pedal to the medal when you have nothing in front of you but road kill with starry helmets.
Enough about cloudy futures, though. Monday night was magical in Chicago. There was snow on the ground and the temperature was hovering around zero. You could not only see your breath you could set your beer on it. It was Bears-Cowboys outdoors in the elements on national TV. And, at halftime, the most Beary Bear of them all was honored as Chicago finally retired Mike Ditka’s #89 jersey. Ditka was emotional, he was sincere and he was appreciative. And it was all so perfect.
Unless you’re Tony Romo.
The Bears are now 7-6 and tied with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North. The Lions swept the Bears and thus own the tiebreaker but we have about as much trust in the Lions as Kim Jong-un has in unmarked aircraft.
We need to think cold thoughts, run tight routes and keep the bus rolling. Let’s fight to Christmas. Let’s go down swinging in the cold. And laughing in the night.