The offense certainly looked much better in the 17-3 victory over the New York Giants, and the Bears mounted a better pass rush but I am not sure if it was "relentless'' as Lovie Smith described it after the game. Here are some random thoughts before I re-watch the second half some time on Sunday.
1. The offense looked pretty good running a little no-huddle and that is a good way to combat a team with a strong defensive line like the Giants.
2. You would see if every now and then when you watched Denver play, but Cutler is really good on the run. Receivers are going to have to never give up on plays because they just aren't going to know what will happen.
3. Maybe more impressive than the 32-yard touchdown run by Matt Forte was the move he made to get outside to the left earlier in the drive on a 17-yard run. I wrote it last week and I will write it again, the Bears are being smart with him.
4. This was a spot where I was critical of cornerback Nathan Vasher after the Buffalo game. Need to note he made a nice open-field tackle on Ahmad Bradshaw in the second quarter, cutting the running back down low.
5. Maybe I missed it, and that is entirely possible, but didn't see as much Al Afalava this week.
6. Once again, Corey Graham looked good bringing some pressure off the edge as the nickel back. If there is a silver lining to Danieal Manning missing most of the summer it's that Lovie Smith has been able to train someone else in the position he personally coaches. Graham is hungry to get on the field any way he can and he's making himself noticed.
7. Paging Mark Anderson. Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye both looked good notching sacks but again Anderson was nowhere to be found. This isn't going to be so much an Anderson issue any more, it's going to be a team issue. Ogunleye and Brown cannot play every down. They need a healthy three-man rotation. Perhaps the coaches see something different on tape, but Anderson is 0-for-2 preseason games so far by my account. The Bears are going to need a complementary guy, and Israel Idonije looks pretty occupied inside right now. Is it possible general manager Jerry Angelo keeps his eyes peeled for a veteran?
8. Any questions on Frank Omiyale now? He took out Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn on the 32-yard Matt Forte touchdown run, showing the agility to get to the second level. Blackburn isn't the Giants' starter, but he was the player in the way of Forte and the end zone.
9. More playing time for the offense next Sunday at Denver means more chances for Devin Aromashodu and Brandon Rideau. Aromashodu made a nifty catch on a great Cutler throw for a 38-yard gain. The sample size is too small right now. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner needs to make sure he gets them ample looks next week. The question is can either do a lick on special teams?
10. It's looking more and more like Adrian Peterson will be on the outside looking in when it comes time for final roster cuts. He still runs hard though.
11. So much for a good ol' quarterback dilemma in Denver. Kyle Orton completed 18-of-26 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception at Seattle, setting him up for his first home preseason game Sunday against the Bears. Orton should have had two touchdown passes but Jabar Gaffney dropped a wide open opportunity in the end zone. Chris Simms only attempted seven passes. UPDATED: Simms was given no work with the first team, and left the field with a sprained ankle.
12. Which brings us to Cutler's thoughts on returning to Invesco Field in a game that will be broadcast on NBC's "Sunday Night Football.''
"Lot of fun,'' Cutler said. "Y'all going? It's a preseason game, obviously there's going to be a little bit of drama wrapped around it, but we just have to focus, keep moving forward as an offense and keep doing the stuff out there on the field that's going to help us in the future."