That wasn't the prettiest win in Bears history, but it certainly was a huge win. Trailing the Vikings by a game and knowing the tiebreaker is in Minnesota's favor, the Bears pretty much had to win Thursday night. Here are some thoughts on the game:
Danieal Manning took care of any doubters as to his kick returning ability about five seconds into the game when he was already past the Saints coverage team. The blocking was also great on that return. That's right Devin, great blocking on the kick return.
What is it with the Bears when the ball is inside the two yard-line recently? If they could just play the game on 96 yards of the field, that would be best. Something strange happens when the ball gets inside the two. Last night it was a fumbled snap leading to the Saints first touchdown.
Hester is not a refined receiver, but his value is unmistakable. He accounted for a lot of penalty yards last night, including a pass interference call setting up the game winning kick. That's what his speed can do, and the more he gets accustomed to playing wide receiver the more dangerous he becomes. Muahahaha. Plus, if he returned a punt for a few yards, I'm sure Bears fans wouldn't mind that either.
Some more play-calling issues for both teams last night. I know Forte was a little dinged up and somehow the Bears running game was struggling against the Saints, yeah the New Orleans Saints, but when they got the fourth down stop, up four with around five minutes to play, it wasn't time to air it out. First a throw to Davis, who seemed to be thrown to every time they replaced the football with a bar of wet soap, which he predictably dropped. Then, the interception. I get it, the run game isn't working and you want to get a drive going, but even if that ball falls incomplete, you have to pass on third down. Now you've milked about 15 seconds off the clock and you're possibly punting. It actually looked like Orton checked in to that pass play on the pick, so maybe it wasn't that awful, but Orton should be docked his weekly Jack Daniels allowance if that was the case.
And Holy Ditka, what the hell was going on at the end of regulation? You run a play with seven seconds left when you need a field goal to tie? And it's the same play you just ran six seconds ago? Looked like the Saints were a little prepared for the pump and go to Olsen. Then Orton takes the sack?! That would have capped a very duechey night for the Neckbeard. Hey, duechey didn't show up on the spell check!
With the Vikings remaining schedule, a division championship actually looks possible. The Bears have the Pack at home and the Texans away to finish the year, while the Vikes are at Arizona, then get Atlanta and the Giants at home. Three very losable games there. Still, the Bears will need to play much better if they want to win their last two.
Bottom line, the Bears got the job done Thursday night and still have a shot at the postseason.