December 16, 2017

Bears 13, Lions 7: A Monster Named Suh

Gentle souls and kindly critters shutter to think of the horrors Ndamukong Suh commits away from the football field when the cameras are off, the referees are absent and Jay Cutler isn’t such an easy target.

Mr. Suh, the defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions and a target of government drones and audits, hit the Bears quarterback and, with the crafty use of his legs and arms, tossed him to the turf during the second quarter at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Monday night in such an earnest and truculent manner it scared grownups and cracked statues.

Ndamukong Suh is bigger than Kirstie Alley and meaner than Leonard Nimoy.

Jay Cutler survived Suh’s savage tackle which, in fairness, was perfectly legal.  But keep in mind, please, that many monstrous things are within the rule of law including corduroy and Dane Cook concerts.

Cutler bounced back – not just from the ground – and hung in there as the Bears went on to beat Detroit, 13-7, for their fourth straight win to improve to 5-1 which are also the odds against Suh being invited to Jay’s next weenie roast.

Suh did ask Cutler if he was OK.  Japan also apologized for Pearl Harbor.  Eventually.

Perhaps too much is being made of Suh’s savagery, just like some people are still hot and bothered over that whole silly financial meltdown.  Chicago’s victory was about more than just that one play, it was about a defense that forced four more turnovers, came about 30 seconds away from pitching a shutout, and now leads Made in Jersey in voting for “The Most Frightening Thing on the Planet.”

The signature play of this game was not, in fact, Cutler getting rag-dolled by Mean Mr. Number-90, but rather came in the third quarter when Bears cornerback Charles Tillman punched the ball out of the hands of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in the end zone in an act that, had it occurred on Michigan Avenue instead of inside Soldier Field, would have landed Charles in jail.

On the very next play, Lions running back Joique Bell forgot that humans, at least humans named Joique Bell, cannot fly and so his attempt to cross the goal line from roughly the Illinois-Indiana border was thwarted and he coughed up the ball like a cat that just licked up a cigar.  The Bears recovered and it was all very appropriate and funny.

The Bears have allowed 78 points this season.  No other team has allowed less than 100.  Bears cornerback Tim Jennings was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and Tillman might win it for October.  Or maybe Lance Briggs will.   Or Julius Peppers.  What does it say about the Bears defense when Brian Urlacher might be its fifth best player?  Might be.

The Bears are 5-1 and afraid of nothing mortal nor helmeted.  But, the victories they’ve accumulated so far have come against teams with a combined record of 12-19.  Looming in the second half are the 5-2 49ers, the 6-1 Texans, the 5-2 Vikings (twice) the 4-3 Cardinals and the 4-3 Packers.  But first, the Bears get a home date with the 1-5  Carolina Panthers and then a road trip to the 3-4 Tennessee Titans.

There’s nothing like eating SpaghettiO’s before going off to fight the Huns.

The Bears could, and should, reach the season’s 50-yard line at 7-1.  They’ll need to be because even if they continue to play well it’s easy to see them going 4-4 down the stretch.  But winning, like Liam Neeson movies, tends to be habit-forming so maybe there’s no need to fret about those mountains ahead.  Maybe they have flowers.  Maybe there are goats that can’t kick.  Maybe Suh really is sorry.


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