Chicago Sun-Times

Did Johnny Knox drop the ball before the goalline? And much more ...

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No question has been asked more since the Bears' 48-24 victory over Detroit this afternoon than whether or not Johnny Knox crossed the goalline on his 102-yard kickoff return before flipping the ball to the ground.

I wondered the same thing aloud to Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald when the play happened, and I've watched the play over and over now. The first thing that should be mentioned is it was a terrific call by special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He said the Lions had been overplaying returns to the left in the first half, so when the Bears opened the third quarter they called a naked--the blocks would start out left and then Knox would cut it back right. There was nothing but daylight, and some key blocks from Corey Graham, Jamar Williams and Josh Bullocks, active for the first time this season, helped spring Knox.

I can't tell you with certainty whether the ball reached the plane of the goalline or not before he released it. Unless you have a better camera angle than what was provided on television, you won't be able to tell either. Frozen near the goalline, it looked darn close. Knox flipped the ball backward with his right hand. It landed a yard into the end zone. That right there makes me believe he probably did reach the goalline. He didn't flip the ball forward. Obviously, no official was in position to make a definitive call on whether he pulled a DeSean Jackson or not. The Lions were smart not to challenge the play because the television replays showed nothing in the way of indisputable evidence. Moreover, a successful challenge would have meant the Bears had the ball first-and-goal at the one.

It's fair to say Knox will get a short chat from Toub. Other than that, it's a fun sidenote to the second-longest kickoff return in franchise history. It marked the fourth consecutive year the Bears have had a kickoff run back for a touchdown, and it's their sixth since 2005.

Now to some game observations. It was a good win for the Bears to get to 3-1 entering the bye week, but I think the way the Lions really outplayed them, especially in the first half, raised some valid questions. Let's go through five positives and five things to work on:


1. Jay Cutler was advertised as a gunslinger when he arrived from Denver and didn't do anything to quell concerns over his decision making in the opener at Green Bay. He's thrown just one interception since and looked comfortable as a "game manager" and someone who wasn't bent on forcing the ball downfield. I'm not always sold on the passer efficiency number, but it does punish a quarterback for interceptions and reward him for yards per attempt. Cutler didn't fare well in the yards department, gaining just 141 on 18-of-28 passing, but he posted a 100.4 passer rating to hit triple digits for the third straight game. He is the first Bears quarterback since Jack Concannon in 1970 to have three straight 100-plus passer rating games. Concannon was all sorts of inconsistent, though, because he finished the season at 61.5.

2. The defensive line continues to play well. It didn't make much noise in the first half when Matthew Stafford had all kinds of time to set up in the pocket, but as the momentum shifted in the third quarter, the pressure arrived. The Bears notched five sacks to give them 14 on the season, half as many as they had in 2008. Adewale Ogunleye's early contract drive is going well. He leads the NFL NFC with 4 1/2 sacks, and tackle Tommie Harris was disruptive again.

3. All the difference in the running game for the Bears was two long runs--61 and 37 yards by Matt Forte--to jump start what had been a grounded rushing attack. The Bears created some space for Forte and he did what he does best, make a single cut. He absolutely faked out Lions safety Louis Delmas on the 37-yarder, which went for a touchdown. The numbers for the season are still off, he's at 3.8 yards per carry on 71 rushes, but one more big game and he ought to be on track. Forte finished with 121 yards on 12 carries.

4. Charles Tillman did a nice job locking down on wide receiver Calvin Johnson after he tore the Bears up in the first half, but Johnson made plenty of those yards on Tillman too. What made perhaps a bigger difference was a change in the play calling. It looked like the Bears went to more cover two to provide some help. Stopping the Lions' running game cold helped too.

5. He might have gone overlooked in press box statistics--Tim Shaw was credited with just one special teams tackles--but special teams coordinator Dave Toub said he made four. Special teams is a major reason why this game got lopsided in the second half. The Bears' average starting field position was the Lions' 46.

Needs work

1. As much stuff as was open in the middle of the field during the first half, the Bears probably needed more help from their safeties. Stafford's numbers were nuts at halftime--14-of-23 for 221 yards--and when the defense began getting pressure on him in the second half, some of those issues went away. The Bears know the strength of the defense is in the front seven, but there were some significant gaps exposed.

2. Speaking of coverage, right cornerback Zack Bowman didn't cover himself in glory. He got an immediate introduction to Johnson on the first play from scrimmage when the receiver motored by him for a 45-yard deep ball. Later, Bowman was called for a pass interference penalty that went for 18 yards. It wasn't his best day.

3. Rookie safety Al Afalava was offside on Jason Hanson's 40-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Lions took the points off the board on fourth-and-four and move ahead five yards for first down at the 17. They eventually scored a touchdown on Kevin Smith's one-yard run. Rookie mistakes like that can make a world of difference in close games.

4. The offense was only 2-of-10 on third and it is now 19-for-53 on the season (35.8 percent). With a tight end like Greg Olsen, a solid pass-catching back like Forte, and Cutler, the Bears should be better. I think in time they will be.

5. One of Johnson's big catches, a 21-yard pass along the Bears' sideline, was challenged by Smith. He felt Johnson was out of bounds but replays clearly showed the receiver's knee came down in bounds. The play happened right in front of the Bears' bench. It ended up being a complete nonfactor, even the loss of the timeout, but too often it seems Smith gets caught up challenging with his heart, not his head. The Bears need to know they have a challenge right when the play unfolds right in front of them.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention:

1. Danieal Manning didn't look like he missed any time as the kickoff returner, running back his try 43 yards. With a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, are the Bears better off using Garrett Wolfe? They really can't afford to lose Manning on defense right now. It's got to be tempting though as he led the league in kickoff returns last season.

2. Another solid game for defensive end Mark Anderson. Nothing fancy, but he had the pressure that led to the Tommie Harris interception, and he was credited with a tackle for loss.

3. Alex Brown absolutely did not get the facemask on the personal foul he was given. Bad call.

4. One of these games soon, the Bears will run it in at the goalline. Right now, they're pretty content with the short passes to the tight ends. It's a very difficult play to defend, especially vs. a quarterback like Cutler.

5. Lions safety Louis Delmas ran his mouth a lot, but he also made some plays. Looks like a nice building block for the future on defense in Detroit. He might be the only bright spot in that secondary right now.

6. There is no question the NFC North is loaded with quarterback talent now. Stafford looks legit. He moves around better than I expected, and he's got a great arm. Hopefully the reported dislocated knee cap he suffered is not serious. It will be fun to watch him progress from afar.

7. It was great to see so many players from both sides take part in the Breast Cancer Awareness initiative by the league and wear the pink--cleats, sweat bands, towels, etc. Much of that equipment is available via auction with the money going to the fight for a cure. One in eight women in the United States suffers from breast cancer at one point in their life.

8. And finally, the quote of the day courtesy of Detroit coach Jim Schwartz after he was asked about being visibly upset following the loss:

"We lost a football game,'' Schwartz said. "You saw the second half of the game, you saw the first half, you saw the second half, it's hard for me to come up here and point to positives in the second half. You can't say our arrow is [pointing] up, or any other happy stuff. We got out-played in the second half, we played poorly. There is a lot to be ticked off about in the second half of football."

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Orton's 4-0, with first round draft picks the next two seasons to boot.

Did you see Orton last night though? He still couldnt hit a stationary bus from 30yds. He over and underthrew so many balls last night, he's lucky they're so good after the catch. Even when he threw the ball ok short defenders were allover the receiver because he was staring at them like he was Jack Bauer shooting terrorists!

Orton hasn't played a really good team yet.
Dallas isn't the Dallas of three or four years ago.
So far, Orton has survived by luck.
The catch in the Cincinnati game?
Brandon Marshall saving the game yesterday?
Orton is doing better on the Broncos. It looks like it's a better system for him. But....we'll eventually see him doing the same things he did on the Bears -- underthrowing receivers, getting sacked, and not winning in the playoffs. For every good throw, he'll miss someone who's wide open.
Orton is a solid backup, but an average starter.

"Adewale Ogunleye's early contract drive is going well. He leads the NFL with 4 1/2 sacks"

I think you mean he leads the NFC in sacks, not the NFL.

Dumervil, Odom, Freeney and Mathis all have more sacks than Ogunleye.

He does lead the NFC, and the Bears though.

Alec: "Did you see Orton last night though? Blah-blah-idiocy-blah"

I was starting to wonder where NeckbeardSucks went but he just changed screen names. After watching Orton come out to a 4-0 start and is ranked 7th overall for QB's I was thinking we should put NBS on suicide watch ... but then of course that would imply we care.

Jay Cutler is the Bear's QB and he's awesome. Kyle Orton made that possible and I'll cheer for him every chance I get. Get over it little boy. No matter how much you kick and scream and pout, Orton is having the best season of his career AND Chicago has the best QB they've had ever. Now go get a bah-bah and watch Teletubbies whilst us grownups talk.

Hey Joe,

Have the Bears played a really good team yet?

The Bears 3-1 at the break is very good and should bode well for the remainder of the season.

The Bears offensive line still seems like it needs a lot more work. Forte's two runs were more because he was in space and made great moves than the O line creating great space for Forte. Plus Cutler had multiple times he was really pressured by the Lions, pass protection was OK but not great, it was Cutler feet and feel for the rush that helps protect him from the sacks. The O line had some challenges.

The receivers did not seem to get much seperation the entire game against what is not the best Detroit CB's and linebackers. Hester went out with the injury but he was a non factor until that point, was he ever really open during the time he played? Knox is the real deal, he may be the rookie of the year with the plays he has made and should make going forward. But even Knox was not that open for Cutler to wing him the ball. Bennett is good with great hands and can punt return but he also got little seperation. Even the tight ends were not wide open. Still have to wonder what a true number #1 receiver would bring to this offense. Time will make them better and maybe by the playoffs they will be getting the seperation necessary to carry them through the playoffs in crunch time, lets hope.

CB's and Safeties looked poor in the first half and OK in the second half, not great. Bowman got torched, good lesson for him. But they will get better as they play together. Safeties did not get burned for the huge plays however but they are only playing at a medicre level right now.

Forte played very good, always can count on Forte for each aspect of his game, running, blocking for the QB and catching the ball out of the backfield. A true pro he is.

The D line after half time was awesome. T Harris is starting to look good again which is great news, Adams solid, Brown had a great game as did Ogunleye and Anderson once again looked really good. I don't care what anyone says on this blog but Marinelli has had a tremendous positive impact on the D line. Oh yes, Indonije was great also. The linebacker's played ok but not great except for Briggs, but they played good enough against the run but not as good on coverage.

Special teams once again, Toub and his troups were simply outstanding. Once again they will probably rank at the top of the NFL again.

Coaching was good, Lovie thanks for getting pissed at halftime, sometimes that type of emotion is needed. And Lovie thanks for the second half adjustments particularly with Tillman which was very good. Turner's play calling on offense was OK, still worried about the WR's lack of seperation and the O line's ability to create holes for Forte.

A couple of questions:

--How does A.P.'s knee look the day after? I didn't see him get injured, and he was out for the game. It would be quite a bad thing if we lose him for the season, both from a special teams standpoint, and as a backup running back.

--Why don't the corners jam at the line when we are in the true Cover 2? The success of the safeties covering deep half (mostly pushes them towards the sideline on deep pass routes) depends on the timing disruption of the receivers and QB. Jamming at the line and not allowing a free release gives the safety time to get over and make a play on the ball.

--Based on what I have seen, I think the biggest problem in the running game is a lack of push by the Offensive line. What is the coaching staff saying? Are they seeing cutbacks or holes that the backs are missing, or is it a lack of lanes created by the line? Likely a combination of both. Pass protection seems to be better, but we are not pressing downfield often enough to get the 8th man out of the box. I was thrilled to see a couple of big runs, which makes me believe it is not Forte as much as it is the line.

I will have to go back and watch the game again, but I did not see the disruptive Tommie Harris. His INT was dumb luck, and every time I spotted him in pass rushing, he was being pushed out of the play in single coverage. Maybe there is subtlety that I am missing in his assignments, but he doesn't seem to be showing the same improvement in footwork and hand placement as we have seen from Anderson, Brown, Ogunleye, and Idonije. It looks like when they get 1 on 1 matchups, they are at the very least pushing their guy into the backfield, and in many cases winning the matchup.

I do like the idea of Anderson inside in the nickel, where he can pull a Justin Tuck and out-quick the interior linemen. He seems to be energized, quick, and looks strong. 14 sacks in 4 games looks pretty good. I thought we would need 2 sacks and 2 turnovers every game to stay competitive. We are falling short on the turnover side, but we are ahead on the sack pace. Marinelli to me is delivering on his promises, and deserves his rep as an excellent D-line coach.

Our return teams are just flat out sick....Doesn't matter who we put back there. Manning, Knox, Bennett, Hester, and Vasher have all had solid return yardage in the preseason and regular season. There are very few teams who can put the variety of return men who can all take it the distance in the game at any given time...That is going to make the field position battle one that we win every week. Especially if Maynard keeps punting like he has been

Also, kudos to Robbie Gould for finally breaking the 50 yard barrier! About time he got that stigma off of his reputation....

I will be interested to see how healthy we can get with the bye week. Hopefully, the wideouts, TEs, and backs will work with Cutler and get some timing and reads down with the extra week. We have a long stretch ahead of us, and we are going to need all the points we can get, because the defense is going to be average...

I'll take Cutler and spot you your choice of any of the draft picks who were available when the Bears would have picked. Even with draft day hindsight you would be 1-3 right now with Orton. At best you would be 2-2, and then only because Orton would have been gunning for Green Bay on a personal vendetta. Keep in mind that I like Kyle Orton when saying that. So far Cutler is worth the price the Bears paid and I see that getting better, not worse.

In defense of Bowman, Calvin Johnson is going to make a lot of cornerbacks look bad over the next several years. With all the low picks Detoit has had you have to figure they might accidently get one right. Even a blind hog finds the occasional acorn. That dude is really good now and is getting better every game. The Bears are going to have to deal with that Stafford kid throwing to CJ for awhile. Wonder what the Detroit blogs are saying about Cutler?

Yes the defense played much better in the second half. One of the factors that Brad has mentioned before, but not this time, is that they finally had a LEAD. I hate to beat the proverbial horse, but Lovie's defense has always done better when playing with a lead. The Bears have got to find a way to play better in the first quarter on both sides of the ball.

Hey Bears fans, they have a lot of issues, but they finished the first quarter of the season 3-1. One of those was the defending champs. They have the time, talent, and coaching to fix a lot of these issues. The bye week hit them pretty well this year. Looking real good so far.

Da Church:

Let's get this clear, I am not NeckbeardSucks and I wouldnt say I'm a massive Orton hater either.

I'd like him to do well there, the system will suit him much more being spread-based as it should be familiar to what he had at Purdue and arm strength is less important as it is in Turner's 'Air Coryell' type WCO, he's also got a highly rated coordinator/HC.

I just dont think he's a great quarterback and it was obvious to see last night. As I mentioned earlier he was staring down receivers and missing relatively easy throws. He also got sacked 5 times by defence not nearly as good as it was a few years ago and didnt he fumble another snap too? I've seen all that way too often and that's why I dont think he's a great NFL quarterback, very capable backup but enough of a playmaker. He's not mobile and as a pocket passer he cant make all the throws down the field.

dagot, you need a fact checker. the broncos have 1 more first round pick from the bears not 2. the 4 teams the broncos "beat" so far this season have a combined record of 6-10.

not sure if you realize this either but the "throw in pick" from the broncos in the cutler trade turned out to be this guy named johnny knox, looks like he's pretty good to me.

the first round pick the broncos got from the bears this year was used to select robert ayers, who has a whopping 2 tackles this season. knox has scored a touchdown in 3 of his first 4 games.

seriously any bear fan still pining over the cutler/orton trade needs to quickly run out their front door, scissors in hand, and go play in traffic.

cutler is so much better than neckbeard it's not even worth discussing/debating unless you suffer from football retardation.

Still looking for more playmakers to show up on the defensive side of the ball. Bowman got beat a few times yesterday, but one time he almost made a great pick off Stafford, the kid made a perfect throw right over his head in between the safety on the sideline in the first half that made me go WOW, Detroit is a much improved team with him at QB.Manning starting to look like an NFL free safety, and his open field tackling has defintely improved. Both Payne and Alfalva made solid plays in the second half but are not able to get in position to take out receivers coming over the middle, another solid outing from Roach who is looking like he can be a solid linebacker in the Bear system, will be interesting to see who sits once Timo and Hunter get back healthy. Harris did okay, saw a lot of double teaming on him yesterday, its good other teams still respect his abilities and use extra personnel on him during games. Idonje made a great strip on Stafford on his sack, and they really shut down the Lions running game, but they must start out better as the season wears on, teams are getting off to leads against us, and better offense's will be harder to shut down as the season wears on.
Big issue is at back-up running back, Brad, who are we looking at with AP going down (JJ Arrington, DEDe Dorsey), we need to get someone in and quick, with the buy week we have a chance to get someone ready to play by the ATL game, Wolfe looked okay yesterday but it was against the lions so I'm not sold yet. Devin getting hurt on a 2 yd pass, not the best use of an asset in the passing game that's for sure, special teams showed improvement also this week. A 3-1 record, hope the pack knock off the Vikes tonight to get us in a tie for 1st, by the way bloggers we may thank Orton at end of the year for pinning that loss on the cowboys, we may need that to get in the playoffs this year....Go BEARS

I hope Orton continues to do well. His facial hair still looks silly, and I would definitely not trade Cutler for even two of him, but he has led his team to 4-0. I thought Dallas would end his winning streak, but he came through. Why bash him? I also would like to see Grossman get starts and do well.After all, both were Chicago Bears. Denver is a tough team with good receivers and a good running game. Clearly Orton fits well there.

Dago, Orton isn't jack he has the number 1 defense in football thanks to Nolan and the best O-Line in football. Marshall and Stoakley have won two games for the Broncos on bad throws by Orton. You know they don't have first round picks the next two seasons don't you? They have one pick from the Bears and traded their own pick. The following year they don't have anything from the Bears. Where do some people get there intel.

Brad are you kidding, Harris was disruptive? He had 1 tackle and his Int came not only because of Anderson, but because he fell down, when he got up the ball hit him in the stomach. If falling down is considered being disruptive then yes Harris is disruptive, and Omiyale is the most disruptive guard in the league. Goon even said when the ball hit Harris he looked like a Deer in headlights. He actually looks at the ball on the play, like where did this come from before he starts to run.

You don't even mention Brad Maynard. Is that a joke? Maynard is the biggest reason the defense turned it around, he kept pinning back the Lions, you don't even mention special teams. My god average starting field position was on the 46. They where awsome, the where the best unit on the field. The defense stank in the first half, 21 points to the Lions.

It was a good team win Brad but you don't mention special teams, even Lovie went on and on about them. By the way how about a little mention about Gould's 52 yard kick, looks like he has the leg after all.

Oh Brando, did you see Mendenhal last night? 165 yards and two 2 td's. Thanks for bashing him this week. Everytime you bash someone I like they have an awesome game. Do you think god hates you? Hahahahahaha

Oh for all the fans who are asking who should I root for tonight, the Packers or Vikings? Shut the f### up, you don't root for either, you root for the Bears to beat them. Cause if they beat them they win the division. The Bears control their own destiny right now. Now if you want to root to see Favre get smashed and Rodgers sacked over and over. Thats different.

Hey Seedy Backslash:

the Steelers are a pretty good football team. The Packers aren't chumps either. Allowing Stafford and Seneca Wallace to walk all over them in the 1st half? yes, you do have a point. defense has not been good against the bad teams, but pretty good against the Steelers and Packers.

As for Kyle Orton, he's playing his type of football. So far, I'd say he hasn't deserved two of his TDs; the first that won the Bengals game, and his first one vs Dallas (9 times out of 10, with that coverage, Orton gets picked off).

And as a look at the numbers, Kyle Orton's numbers read 20 for 29, but he was only 7 for 16 when targeting his WR's, including 2 for 6 at Eddie Royal. If a team takes away the flats successfully, Orton will be exposed. With Denver's ability to run after the catch and their good O-line, I think they can mask that up far more often than not. Broncos are 4-0 for that reason (should be 3-1 though!)

Oh, and DagoT, the Broncos only have 1 first round pick next year. They traded their own 2010 1st rounder for CB Alphonso Smith this past draft. And 2 years from now they don't have an extra 1st round pick, 2011 was never apart of the Jay Cutler trade.

Hey Joe

When did Orton play in the playoffs?

I didn't go anywhere!!!! Orton still SUCKS!! Just wait, the schedule is gonna get tougher for him and his true colors will shine!! Stay tuned!!!! BEAR DOWN!!!

You wanna know what I'll be rooting for tonight??? A plane to crash into the RollerDome and knock off both the Slackers and the Viqueens!!!!!!BEAR DOWN!!........Cry-ton, you still suck! Blah,blah,blah............

By Tripper/Brando on October 5, 2009 12:35 PM
You wanna know what I'll be rooting for tonight??? A plane to crash into the RollerDome and knock off both the Slackers and the Viqueens!!!!!!BEAR DOWN!!........Cry-ton, you still suck! Blah,blah,blah............

So I suck even though you agree with me??? I guess you must suck too. By the way wishing for the mass death of people is pretty messed up. You are one sick person. You know just two weaks ago you where talking about how great Favre was and how nobody should talk bad about him. Now you want him, both teams and everyone in the dome to die a horrible death.ick dude, really, really, sick.

Some final thoughts on this Bears win. Harris did not look good again, well at least according to Hampton and Doug B, but what do they know about D-Line play?

Why was Cutler in the game with 5:12 left and a 41-24 lead? The guy has taken a lot of hard hits this year, he didn't need to be out their. Not a big deal but you probably don't want to do that on a regular basis. Cutler is still running for his life and that against Lions who have no pass rush.

Player of game was Brad Maynard 7 punts inside the 20, 4 inside the ten. Give the Punter some credit he was awesome again.

Please point out these disruptive plays Harris had.

I agree Lovie they have a lot of areas they need to improve on.

Way to go special teams, after a bad week last week, they came out and where dominant. Given the fact that Toub has lost some of his best players to injuries to starters, Roach, Williams, Peterson, etc. Starting field position for the Bears was on the 46. Starting field position for the Lions was the 17. Hahahah awesome.

Mr. Knox with your giant eyebrows do not pull that DeSean Jackson garbage again. By the way that return was do to a call by Toub who noticed the Lions liked to overpersue, so he sent all his blockers left and told Knox to go right when he felt the time was right. Nice call and a nice run.

I would like to give a shout out ot Ray Lewis of the Ravens. After the game with the Pats he addressed the phantom roughing call he got. Calls in the league have been brutal this year, as we all know, Alex Brown knows more than most. But Lewis stepped up after the game and told it like it was, and not only did he do that, but he looked pimp doing it in that awsome Fedora. Good for you Ray.

Is Forte hurt? He got caught from behind in his 61 yard run. I know he does not a have big burst, and he made some solid cuts in his other big run. I don't think he is hurt, I think the blocking is bad and and play calling for the run game have been bad. Cutler still can't do more then a 3 step and an occasional 5 step. I actually think Angelo knows this, he knew Orton was not the guy and I think he knows the line needs work and talent.

Brando/Tripper, I am going to post more often than ever now. You know why, because I know you read it and it drives you nuts.

Finally I hope tonights game is entertaining, I will always enjoy a good football game and "I HOPE NOBODY DIES." Unlike you Tripper.

Brando/Tripper didn't you also use the whole Breast Cancer, awearness wearing pink color to make jokes and insult people who supported it right here on Brad Biggs blog. Why yes you did. You have issues. Good for the Bears and the NFL, looks like this past sunday real men whore pink.

So Brando/Tripper is for mass killings, killing me, and actually would rather support cancer and death than wear pink. I wore pink myself yesterday.

I would close by saying I am happy the Bears are 3-1 but I am still not sure this is a really good team yet. Thats just me.

Cutler/Knox - Ill take that, we (JA) could not ever hope to draft better than that, never has yet...

Did I see haltime adj??? No way. Way?

I think it's been said already, but comparing Orton to Cutler at this point is apples and oranges.

Fact is, off the top of my head, I can think of several key plays made by Cutler than Orton would not have accomplished on his best day.

The TD run yesterday was just one of them. He also escaped some pressure yesterday by rolling out. No completions, but he avoided sacks. And he has done that every day.

Then there was his throw to Davis against the Steelers. And if you look at the tape, you'd probably see about ten throws like that. But we just take it for granted, because it seems routine. But he can thread the needle like no other QB in the league besides Peyton Manning, and that includes Brady. His arm is that strong.

Orton is a game manager. Period. He is accurate on short-to-intermediate routes, but is a sitting duck in the pocket and worthless throwing anything over 25 yards from the pocket, and that includes sideline routes.

Right now, the trade reads Jay Cutler AND some bum named Johnny Knox for Robert Ayers, Kyle Orton and their cornerback Smith. They traded away their pick next year to get Smith.

At best, you could say it was a fair deal for both teams. But if things keep going the way they have been, the Cutler-to-Knox combination could haunt Bronco fans for a decade.

Creighton: "Brad are you kidding, Harris was disruptive? He had 1 tackle and his Int came not only because of Anderson, but because he fell down, when he got up the ball hit him in the stomach. If falling down is considered being disruptive then yes Harris is disruptive, and Omiyale is the most disruptive guard in the league."

I seriously spit beer on my monitor when I read that. Took my son and my dad to the final game of the season at St. Louis and sat in the Legends Club. Awesome experience and caught nearly the first half of the Bear's game. A Bear fan with a blackberry kept us updated the rest of the way so I am watching the game today with my son as we recover from the roadtrip (extra innings, long weekend, and traffic sucked).

Anyhow, no matter how you cut it, Johny Knox is the real deal. I just hope he doesn't flame out like Mark Bradley did. Remember when Bradley was setting the world afire and then got hurt his rookie year? Knox looks like a TRUE NFL wide receiver and I just hope it keeps up.

I was THRILLED to see Forte breaking those long runs. The guy has been in check all season and he finally broke out of his slump. I know it was "just the Lions" but hopefully it's a sign of more to come.

The defense still has a ways to go. I've only watched part of the game but can someone tell me what the starting LBs were? I have on a show for my son so I'll watch it later ... but I know Roach and Briggs, but who played the middle?

Finally ... Creighton: "I wore pink myself yesterday."

You just gave some of the sickos on here raging wood because they are picturing you in a pink thong. Sometimes you just don't think things through, Creighton! lol

Creighton wrote:

"So Brando/Tripper is for mass killings, killing me, and actually would rather support cancer and death than wear pink. I wore pink myself yesterday."

Were they the pink panties you promised to wear in front of Solider Field if Angelo pulled off the trade for Cutler? Or do you just wear them while you are alone?

Is this your idea of "Manning Up"?

I will take this win because we could be just like the Tennessee Titans. A great coach. A team that was supposed to make the playoffs. Does it look like they really miss one player? Calling Albert Haynesworth. A lot of teams in the NFL are just jelling and haven't played their best ball. I'd like to think that we are one of them. Any time you have a QB like ours who throw for only 141 yards and we still collectively score 48 points we must be doing something right. And Tripper, that really was kinda cold to wish 2 teams die like that. We are competitive and it's better if we win head to head than by default.

If Olsen is such a great reciever, why is it every game I've seen that he has at least 2 drops that are RIGHT there in his hands or the bread-basket?

Why is everyone bashing Orton ? he played hard and represented Chicago well and for that he deserves our respect and who cares what he does as long as its in the other conference ?

That Dallas loss could help us come playoff time.

The Broncos coach chose the bears deal because he liked Orton over the other Qbs they had available to them.

WTF while typing this I took a glance at Ortons numbers and he has the numbers of a top ten QB.

back to the Bears I would really love to see us improve on 3rd downs and to do that we need to do a better job of getting forte involved and some of that falls on Jay. He needs to start looking short and getting Forte a few catches to get him going because we are going to need Forte when the weather changes.

Where would we be without Knox ?

Paging Greg Olsen ..please report to the football field .

and to top it off the games once thought to be easy like the Bengals and the 49ers now look like traps

all things have a way of evening out in the end though so

Go Bears !!

Good to see some of the negativity subsiding after 3 wins. And it's also good to know that this year's Bears can actually dominate a weaker opponent when they're fired up, even if only for a half.

But credit is due to Stafford and C. Johnson. Johnson of course is a probowl caliber WR, no questions asked, but Stafford has a strong arm, and I was impressed by his poise in the pocket. His erratic control will improve somewhat with experience, although I don't see him turning into a machine like Peyton Manning (thank goodness). But he can make plays, and I think he's going to be tough for years to come.

Briggs is simply awesome. And Roach looks like he's gaining more confidence. I can't wait to see Tinoisamoa back with this group. That's going to be fun.

Knox's return was great, and I suppose I need to watch more film, but after the Steelers game it looks like teams really are paying more attention to him as a WR; he's mostly only getting open on those 5 yard crossing routes. He also dropped a couple of catchable passes. He's still a rookie; let's not put too much faith and pressure on the guy. (And I still think D. Manning is the better KO returner.)

We lost Knox and Hester (who are not your most durable guys on the field to begin with) to injury during the game, and were left with R. Davis and Bennett, and the passing game just became very weak. We need some help (wink, wink).

I thinkg the O-line has improved a little bit again. I still don't see much push up the middle, but even Omiyale looked steadier. I saw fewer instances where the linemen acted surprised and were just blown into the backfield on run plays, and the sacks on Cutler were more a matter of WRs not being able to get open and Cutler refusing (or forgetting) to check off to Forte and Wolfe in the flat. Everybody likes his "I'm going down the field" attitude, but you also wish he would learn to play it safer at times without becoming conservative.

I'm also kind of wondering what Wolfe has to do (other than grow 5 inches and 30 pounds) to satisfy some of you. His long run where he showed his speed and reversed field was negated by a questionable penalty, but he did well on the screen play, he carried it up the middle (granted, against a less than fired up Lions defense) for good gains, and he scored a rushing TD showing quickness and shiftiness through the hole. I'm starting to think he's a pretty good backup. I like what he's been doing on the field and I like that his confidence seems to be growing with every game. If Peterson can't go, obviously you're going to add a guy, but don't take Wolfe out. He's showing some good stuff; we're just comparing him to the wrong guys.

There is such a thing as a win-win trade. After things turned sour, the Broncos needed to unload Cutler. With the trade, the Bears got a top notch QB that most of us could only dream about. In return the Broncos got an unspectacular yet winning QB who has to this point been mistake free, who will not get in the way of other guys winning the game for them, and who will at least be a steady presence for the near future or until they find a better QB prospect, not to mention some quality draft picks. I fail to see a loser in this senario.

"Moreover, a successful challenge would have meant the Bears had the ball first-and-goal at the one."

Actually, the ball rolled into the end zone after Knox dropped therefore it would have been ruled a fumble and a touchback. the Lions get the ball on the 20. OUCH! Luckily there were no camera angles to overturn this.


1) The Broncos did not need to unload Cutler. They could have taken his threats with a grain of salt, and entered the season with their franchise QB in hand.

That's what the Bears did with Briggs, and that situation was just as bad -- just not as well publicized. Where is Briggs now? For that matter, they handled the Thomas Jones situation in a similar fashion.

2) If you think getting a dink-and-dunk QB for a franchise type players does not make you a loser, your dreaming. While the young players are helping some, Cutler would have been lights out in that offense.

See where the Broncos are in four weeks. They are playing the Patriots, Ravens, Chargers and Steelers.

3) Cutler is not refusing to check off. The team has had to keep the RB in the backfield to help protect, due to the blitzers. Which leads to point 4.

4), Yes, Wolfe has to grown to be a decent option. Sorry, I'm not impressed by a performance against a gassed team during junk time. And the fact you have to get excited over such a performance is enough of a sign regarding Wolfe's inconsistency.

My biggest issue with Wolfe is his absolute inability to pass protect. Cutler's second fumble was cause by lil Wolfe getting ran over by a DE. He is absolutely worthless as a blocker, and will get Cutler killed.

That, combined with his inability to gain yards consistently in the middle, makes me think the Bears wink wink, need to add another RB. You want to keep him as a ST player and 3rd down guy. Fine. But he cannot serve as a backup RB.

Hey guys, dont talk bad about the OL. According to Matt, if we are not happy with the OL performance that makes us closet packer fans. Again the OL, was barely ok in this game. Outside of Forte's 2 big runs, we were getting hammered at the line. The OL did well in the 4th, but the lions were out of it mentally. Chris Williams looked better I will say. And Tommie Harris just does not have it anymore. He was getting mauled. He rarely gets a push anymore. His whole game was speed/quickness. Since that hamstring injury in '06 and the knee problems at the end of '07, he has not been the same. I feel bad for him, but he just cannot do it anymore. I would rather have Toenia in there at the 3 spot. Hes healthy and can anchor. Last thing, we need a solid veteran RB to backup Forte. AP is out at least 3 weeks and Wolfe is not near big enough to hold the line as a #2 RB. Hope Lovie and JA make some calls quick.

Hey Idc,

1) Obviously the Broncos thought otherwise.
2) My opinion is based on 1). Of course, if they could've kept Cutler that would've been the best for them, but since they couldn't, they got the next best thing available; a winning QB (with no ego I might add) and good draft picks. So far so good.
3) No, perhaps you should see the game again. Wolfe is in the flat for his 2nd sack; Cutler never looked his way. On the 1st sack (I stand corrected) Cutler has an open WR on a short out which I mistook for a RB in the flat, which he doesn't look at.
4) You should also take into consideration his performance against Seattle and GB. What inconsistency are you talking about? Is Forte gaining consistent yardage up the middle?

I can agree with you that he has an obvious disadvantage in pass blocking (not "absolute inability"), although I disagree that Cutler's 1st fumble was caused by Wolfe being run over which is an exaggeration (I think the 2nd fumble happened with Forte in there when Kreutz stepped on Cutler's foot). Yes, Wolfe could've done a better job, but he did get the DE on the ground before the DE popped back up and got to Cutler, and the ball should've been out by then; Cutler tried to throw it, brought it back down, moved toward the DE, tried to recock and got hit. I'd like to see what percentage of halfbacks around the league would do any better with a DE. That's what I meant by "comparing him to the wrong guys." You're probably comparing him to Forte and saying he's not good enough. Good luck finding anybody off the street that good. The sack Wolfe gave up when the LB jumped over him in GB, that was on him, although credit is due to the LB also.

What does your winking imply? Who do you want the Bears to pick up?

Just watched Orton vs Dallas and I thought he played pretty good. The Cowboys are not a pushover by any means, but Orton game managed very good which is what he does. He did a credible job here as well. No way you compare a Pro Bowl qb to Orton but still Orton is alot better than alot of QB's that have been in this league. I have seen game managers win the SB. He does a good job with what he has, not a bad thing. Guess who Da Bears QB would have been if we kept Orton? Denver feels he is good enough to start which says alot about his abilities. A good D and Orton is fine, which the Broncs have.
We all know we got the better deal, by far, but still Denver has a pretty good QB that yes, I feel can take them to the SB.

LOL trap games here we come, for real. Niners will be a good one! and Ced, Tank.. some guys that will want to beat us for sure along with Mike. :)

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 5, 2009 12:29 AM.

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