I'm trying to rush out of the New Meadowlands Stadium, and get a little sleep before a morning flight back to Chi-town. But here are a few thoughts from tonight:
1) The Bears didn't get have any serious injuries.
That's significant, in light of the fact that the Giants lost arguably their top cornerback, Terrell Thomas. Another backup cornerback got hurt, too, so the Giants will be scrambling to bolster one of the game's most important positions. That's not an enviable position for any club in August.
2) The Bears offensive line did protect better.
In fact, you could argue that the lone sack of Jay Cutler was one he could have avoided, by rolling left and throwing the ball out of bounds. But, it's hard to argue the fact that he slid, as a linebacker was barreling toward him. The greater concern, though, is the fact that they could only muster 2.9 yards per carry in the first half, with the longest run once again coming from Marion Barber. Yes, the Bears can hang their hat on the explosive plays to Devin Hester and Matt Forte. But three-and-outs on three of the first four offensive drives, on the road, is just not a good recipe for a winning football team.
3) Where is the heat?
The Bears defense has racked up a whopping one sack in two preseason games. I swear to you that the defensive line has looked very good at training camp, but they obviously aren't producing anywhere at the same level in practice. And you can make fun of the offensive line all you want but that unit did play well against a very talented Giants defensive line. So what gives? Frankly, I'm puzzled. Other than Julius Peppers flashing something once in a while, the other defensive linemen just haven't done much to stand out. Only Nick Reed, among the undrafted players, made a few decent rushes.
4) Don't fret about the special teams.
Dave Toub definitely was experimenting with some different young players on Monday. And, by the look of it, they collectively didn't do too well. Robbie Gould wasn't banging it nine yards deep, because they are trying to evaluate their young players. It's the right thing to do. It should pay off in the regular season, if they can identify a player or two who can improve the unit.
5) Are the Bears going to be any better in short-yardage?
The good news: the Bears got into the red zone five times. The bad news: they only scored one touchdown, right at the end of the game. Marion Barber had a couple of short yardage chances, and he didn't convert either one. Earlier in his career, he was automatic in those situations. But, he struggled last season, which is one of the reasons the Dallas Cowboys dumped him. Barber has done many positive things so far but short yardage isn't among them.