Week 15: The Bears
What more can be done to heap injury to a once proud fan base, owners of the bragging rights to three Superbowl victories by our team. Since the 1993 season we have ridden this wave of pain with our team, and another breaker just crashed over us on this long and dreary night called the 2003 season. There was some bright spots of play – Hasselbeck coming back from a rough start, Coles getting his legs under him this game, good defensive play from a couple of hopefuls. The bright spots keep getting brighter to the fans now as the team slowly slips into the lower draft picks, the eyes turning towards the new horizon taking shape.
As said above, a rough start, followed by a very well put together second quarter. Hasselbeck at one point had gone 11 for 11 with two touchdown passes, and almost a touchdown reception. L.C. was the lone bright spot on the receiving corps, getting the Hog Nose for the game in the passing attack, though Morton and McCants both had a couple of good catches. Once again, however, after the one good burst, the ole ball coach’s game plan seemed discombobulated, never seeming to be able to put more than a couple of good plays together before derailing.
Rock Cartwright had a difficult game, trying to evade the fast pursuing, hard tackling Bears front 7 today. In a stuttering, stammering game plan, the running game never seemed to get used today with any sort of efficiency. It was used more as an afterthought after Rock got stopped the first couple of times. He managed 13 rushes for 42 yards while Chad Morton only rushed twice and lost two yards.
It couldn’t stop the run, to no one’s great surprise. Once again, the commentators talked about the misuse of the linebackers in attacking offenses, and it showed as the A – Train got rolling for the 4th time this year. Thomas had, amazingly, one of his best games this year against the defense everyone wants to stay with for next year. On top of that, there was almost no pass rush, little or no blitzing and the Bears rookie Grossman with only his second start of his NFL career threw for 247 yards, 59.4% completions and got his first two touchdowns as well. Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey got burned in a footrace with Marty Booker down the sideline for 59 yards showing once again why he feels he is worth 5 million dollars a year. All in all, a less than stellar day for the defense, again.
The kick and punt return teams did well in coverage, and average in returning the ball. The punting wasn’t spectacular, but it did look like Bryan Barker finally learned how to kick into the wind. While Azumah and McQuarters did have some nice returns, they were contained on the most part fairly well for as dangerous as they can be. The kicking. Let’s not mention the kicking shall we? Between Hall and Edinger, they were a miserable 3 of 6 – not that it was truly their faults. It looked as if the balls were being remotely controlled by some drunken madman when they were kicked, and the final winning kick by Edinger was kicked way left for the wind to bring back to the right. Not a day to be a kicker.
This article was released on 2003-12-22.
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