ST. LOUIS--The Bears' six-game season just became a five-game season. Here we go.
There is not going to be any time to celebrate today's 27-3 victory over the hapless St. Louis Rams. The Bears travel to Minnesota for an appearance on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" this coming week with both teams 6-5 and the Green Bay Packers (5-5) in a critical game at New Orleans Monday night.
Some rambling thoughts while watching Indianapolis-Green Bay at my hotel in the shadow of the Arch:
*** Matt Forte looked strong in rushing for a season-high 132 yards on 20 carries. The 47-yard touchdown run he had in the second quarter helped boost his season average to 4.0 yards per carry. That's a nice plateau to reach and if he can improve it down the stretch, that will bode very well for the Bears. With 909 yards on the season (fifth in the league), Forte is on pace to have 1,322 yards and that could secure offensive rookie of the year honors for him when considering he already has six rushing touchdowns and three touchdown catches.
*** If tight end Desmond Clark is out for any length of time with his right knee injury, offensive coordinator Ron Turner is going to have to take a long look at the playbook. The offense has been very reliant on double tight end sets and Clark is far and away the best blocker of the group. Third tight end Kellen Davis is a rookie and turning to him for the 40-plus snaps a game Clark has been getting would be turning yo an unproven player.
*** The hard thinking Turner would have to do revolves around the lack of production the team has been getting from its wide receivers. Wideouts made just nine receptions combined in the previous two games and they turned in seven as Kyle Orton was 19-for-29 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Devin Hester had five receptions for 57 yards but the rest of the production was limited to Rashied Davis' one catch for 10 yards and Brandon Lloyd's one catch for three yards. Playing without Clark will demand more production from wideouts.
*** The defense succeeded pressuring St. Louis' trio of quarterbacks and three of the four interceptions came on tipped passes. Who says the five sacks they totaled don't matter?
*** Defensive coordinator Bob Babich was on the move again. Babich called the game from the coaches' box high in the Edward Jones Dome. It's the second time he's moved upstairs this season. Babich called the first half of last season from the sideline before switching to the coaches' box. That's five switches in 27 games if you're keeping score.
*** Didn't see any sign of strong safety Mike Brown after the game. He left with what was called a lower leg injury and it's fair to assume it is a calf injury. Cornerback Nathan Vasher said X-rays of his right wrist were encouraging. Of course, we thought he'd just miss one game earlier in the year when he had the same injury and one became three.
*** Sometimes stats don't tell the whole story. The Vikings trounced Jacksonville 30-12 despite being outgained 321 yards to 226 by the Jaguars. The Vikings were ahead 14-0 almost immediately after the Jaguars fumbled the first snap of the game, leading to a fumble return for a score, and then fumbled the ensuing kick return. The Vikings limited Jacksonville to 35 yards rushing on 14 carries.
*** More reaction after we make the trip to Halas Hall Monday morning.