Chicago Finishes Sunday 1-1, But There Were No Winners
The Bears won by 24 points, right? Because I've never seen such a negative reaction after a win this decisive. No one is happy after this Browns beat-down: not the blogs, the newspapers, or the fans. Check out all the negative headlines on the front page of Tribune's sports section.
Perhaps the best quote after the game came from Tommie Harris who said, "It felt like a preseason game". It felt that way on TV, too.
Yeah, this win had more to do with how bad Cleveland is than anything else. The Browns qualify as a legitimately Bad Team. Everyone knows this. If they're not the worst team in football, they are right there with the Rams, Lions, and Bucs. So, I ask you: how come Eric Mangini still seems to carry himself with all that Patriots smugness? He's someone I'd really like to see get punched in the face.
This was just an unsatisfying win all around. The Bears couldn't run the ball against the league's second worst unit at defending the run. Cutler missed a bunch of passes and got drilled throughout the game. The o-line cemented its status as a flat-out F. The offense squandered more red zone opportunities, something that's becoming a bit of a running theme this season. Sure, the defense forced four turnovers and held Browns quarterback Derek Anderson to a Grossman-like quarterback rating of 10.5, but, again, it came against the Browns and Derek Anderson. These performances come with an asterisk for going against a hopeless team.
Oh well. At least they won. And this picture did make me a feel a little better.
Next four games: Cardinals, at the 49ers, Eagles, at the Vikings. Not an easy game in there. If the Bears played the way they did Sunday, I'm not sure if they can beat any of those teams. Hopefully all the negative press after such a lopsided win will only fuel them to get better.
This was the first game where not having Ben Gordon really hurt. Of course, letting go of Gordon was going to come back to haunt the Bulls at some point this season. It's not like letting him go for free was a short-term move. But yeah: the Bulls could have used Ben Gordon in this one. They hung with the Heat for three quarters, but couldn't keep up in the fourth. Bulls lose 95-87.
There were some positives, though.
- Three games is a dangerous small sample size, but I'm damn close to saying "Luol Deng is back". He was great on Sunday. Going against a clearly inferior player in Quentin Richardson, Deng scored 26 points on 11-of-20 shooting. He even got to the foul line five times (remember, free throws = the basketball equivalent of taking a walk).
One thing that is very underrated about Deng is his rebounding. He pulled down eight boards against the Heat. With his return and the departure of BG, the Bulls actually have a normal sized team now. Deng-Tyrus-Noah-Miller is actually a better-than-average rebounding front line, which is a nice change of pace. It's great that "going small" is an option this year, not a necessity.
Still, this was a tough loss. Next up is Scott Skiles and Bucks who come to town on Tuesday.