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This thread is for discussion of action on the field before, during, and after Week 6 Monday Night Football between Chicago and Arizona, a.k.a. "Funny, I never got hit like this at USC."
James was in the grasp!!
ok .... so much for my preseason futures bet of chicago pick'em over arizona :-(
Of for the love of F(*K!
Die, or win, but stop this craziness.
Can you challenge forward progress being stopped?
And it was all a clever ploy so that the Bears defense could score. Brilliant strategy!
Mark Anderson showed Matrix-like stealth lining that far outside. Was the RT aware that there is normally someone rushing the blind side of your left-handed QB?
Well, the Texans are to be faulted for passing on Bush, not Leinert. Green Bay should have traded Favre for more picks, picked Leinert, and fed Rodgers to the wolves for a year. If he surprised and played well, the Pack would have more qb talent to get more picks/players with, and if he didn't, so what? Al Davis and Matt Millen were just dumb. Big surprise. Bud Adams may end up getting lucky someday in regards to Vince Young, but I can't tell yet.
Erm oops on the hour late comment.
Bears are going to have to go back to last years gameplan: just run the ball into the line 3 times and let the D make plays
then again .....
Well, apparently you can't...
edge wouldn't have lost that ball if he was wearing white shoes
There is absosulte no reason to have forward progress, if it doesn't get called there.
It's 2005 all over again.
Edge, welcome to Arizona. You fit in just fine.
Lovie: "Ok guys, here's the deal. We're going to play to our strengths. Rex, you throw a long interception like a punt. Defense, you wait for the Cardinals to self-destruct, and then get a touchdown."
This is the stupidest football game ever.
Maybe the Cards should punt on first down and put Grossman back on the field.
NOW can we have Brian Griese?
Sheesh, if the Bears win this it'll be as bad (or worse, given the turnover diff) as the Vikings win over the Giants last year.
And in other news, Arizona State has been proclaimed the most professional team in the state.
And Tirico gives a random Bob Dylan quote.
lovie wants his d to punch it in, not just get the ball
and good thing. a normal d will pick up the ball and dance around or jump out of bounds or something, but the bears d has the direction that they'll continue with the ball to the house
cripes, jj arrington should actually do something before he gets a taunting penalty
Cutler is going to be the best QB out of this draft.
Please baby jesus let the bears lose so the media can stop with the 85 comparisons!!!!!
the Cardinals need to fold up the tent and open a Pizza Haven.
Did Kornheiser just compare last year's Notre Dame defense to the Bears?
To be fair, if the Bears do come back and win this, I think the three and out on the drive just before has to be seen as significant as this fumble recovery for a TD.
Basically, all that ARI had to do was kill the clock, and their running game is so p.ss poor that they can't even do that. Edge got what, -1 yards and a fumble on four carries? I don't remember which FO author asked if the Colts can erase that trade, but I agree. I wonder if the Cards would accept and Addai for Edge trade at this point.
Worst result of the Bears maybe winning: If Grossman throws the winning TD, he will be lauded tomorrow for his performance. Ahhh!
if the Cards O-Line was as good as their D-Line .... Edge might still be good
The 85 comparisons wont stop until the Bears lose 2
I loathe both of these teams.
Geeze, I hope the Bears pull it off; Denny Green will stop talking to the media like he did in Minnesota, and start releasing self-made hostage tapes.
Wow, my decision to play Kitna over Grossman in my fantasy league looks pretty good right now.
And thanks to Boldin for singlehandedly bringing me back from a 20 point deficit tonight.
So, theisman likes them throwing the ball and stopping the clock vs running out the clock huh... my, how brilliant.
Theismman can't make up his mind, does he want the Cardinals to run out the clock or not go conservative and air it out?
Vikings over Giants 2.0!!!!!
theismann is mr. flip-flop
rex grossman has to change his m.o. right now.
he MUST start throwing to white uni... holy crap. never mind. he can stay on the bench.
Grats to the bears, who don't actually require an offense.
Oh. My. God.
The Cards are just doomed.
AAAAAAAAA! The Buzzsaw strikes again!
Holy fucking shit
this is unreal
Damn it to hell
This has to be the most pathetic football game I've seen in a long, long time.
And Lovie Smith ahs told his D and special teams, Rex has gone bye-bye, no more QB for this game, it's up to you guys.
way to keep the O off the field Bears
Holy high hell.
Cardinals fans, we feel your pain...but, please, step slowly away from the ledge.
That was either good blocking or really, really, really horrible coverage.
Bears defense and special teams barely edges out Bears offensive incompetence and takes the lead.
So, what's the worst turnover differiential victory even anyway?
When was the last time a game was won with the QB throwing 4 INTs?
I don't understand the "Hester as a CB" talk. He didn't play on offense or defense in college because he was incompetent, not because Miami felt like keeping a freak of nature off the field.
why weren't the bears penalized 15 yards for guys running on the field after the td
So THIS is why the Chicago D were "overcelebrating" early on when they were losing.
theres additional gravity, because of the existance of direct deposit
Yeah, as an Eagles fan I know what it feels like, the Giants game was excrutiating to watch. Hell, this week's game was pretty crappy as well.
That kickoff coverage sucked.
Over/Under: No. of throws before Lienart throws a INT: 2
It is quite obvious that the Bears are never so vulnerable, and less dangerous, than when Grossman is on the field. This has grand implications for game-planning that I can't quite pin down.
Hell, there's till time for the Bears to cover, as long as the Cardinals have the ball!
"He's right. That's what he does."
Shakespear. Hemingway. Thiesman
I can't wait to see the DVOA from this game. The computers might explode.
Diane, I know Edge still has some good left in him; that's why I suggested the Addai-Edge swap. Since ARI's O-line is so bad, I don't think they would notice the difference, and I think Indy really misses Edge ( I know I do).
ummm .... guys .... a little defense please?
If Arizona loses this game, any reporter who blames it on Matt Leinart should have his sportswriting license revoked.
Also, what's the worst QB DPAR ever? Cause I'm thinking 14/37, 4 INTs, & 2 fumbles has to come close.
OK, so how far can Rackers kick it?
"So, Dennis, what happened out there?"
"Well, we felt bad that we were playing better football than the favorite. So we decided to stop playing football and just let them win."
The only way the cardinals are going to win this one is to get into a shootout with Bears offense - not their defense or special teams
this could happen in the same weekend where jake plummer passes for 102 yards (50 of them on one play) and his team wins
The answer to the question.. 'what happens when two offenses try to throw the game away simultaneously?'
can we declare Theisman an enemy combatant?
I hate this announcing crew so freaking much.
Not only does Grossman have 4 interceptions and 2 fumbles, he's done this against the "vaunted" Cardinals defense! So we get a really bad VOA adjusted even further down.
If the Bears win, this game needs a name, a la The Miracle at the Meadowlands. Punt Return at the Pink Taco maybe?
Wow. And Leinart brings 'em close. He looks like a beast. How can the Bears adjust so well before this and then give up so much afterwards?
This game...I've given up. Anything might happen.
Quick, kick the FG and get the Bear's offense back out there.
Arizona over Dallas in the playoffs is bigger I think.
Gameday says ARI took a timeout.
ESPN says CHI took a timeout.
Leinert's really good, and I am really insightful.
Go for it, Denny. Fortune favors the bold.
Chicago should really let the time run out (well, I guess they'd want the kick return attempt), cause otherwise, they might lose by more than 2.
i would've kept throwing it to the sidelines myself
Josh Brown > Neil Rackers
That is all.
I kinda figured.
Actually, I'm pretty sure it was tipped.
JESUS CHRIST ON EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT
It's the River City Relay all over again.
How could he do that? How!?
oh come on... is this the most ridiculous game ever?
its not over yet, grossman remains a threat for a turnover
What a nutty football game.
Someone needs to be fired for the playcalling in this game.
Well Cards fans, as a Pats fan since 1976, I have sympathy for you. That's the kind of loss the Pats experienced for decades.
He should have gone for it.
I say again: zomg.
They're still the same old Cards
aaron: what ails the arizona running game? when i last checked, Edge was a pro-bowl RB and he is having a lot of negative yard runs, 1 yds and 2 yds runs.
how much can one fault the arizona o-line and how much blame is to be laid on Edge's shoulder?
That whole last quarter just made me sad for football in general.
My god. Somebody better have a camera crew in the Arizona locker room.
Rex Grossman led the Bears to victory over Matt Leinart and the Cardinals.
Once again, OMFG.
Rackers misses a game winner. Rackers may not make it out of the stadium.
Honestly, I'm crushed. Not that I care that much about the Cardinals, but... you know.
I know that this site eschews conventional wisdom, but you run to win. The Cards can't run. Their last drive where Edge couldn't get 4 yards on 2 carries shows the problem right there.
Go with a running game that can't gain yards against a top defense rather than kick from 40? No, the Cards should learn to make the FG.
Leinart can't be blamed for that loss. But it's still 3 games in a row (including college) where he's blown a 2TD lead.
I don't believe what I just saw.
Who calls the plays for Arizona?
lienart: welcome to cards.
The Cardinals need to fire whoever kept calling Edgerrin James runs
Oh, criminy! I oppose the abusive use of eminent domain, but the citizens of AZ should condemn the Arizona Cardinals Football Club, and just transfer ownership from the Bidwells to Matt Leinert, which would only be fair at this point.
I feel lucky to root for a young franchise that has not yet experienced a soul-crushing loss of this magnitude. Zomg indeed.
My god... the Rackers blows it two weeks in a row.
I almost turned this one off after Grossman's last INT.
418: Running is why they lost. They should have continued to workt he short passing game and they didn't. Horrible playcalling.
Leinart wants to light himself on fire.
Rex Grossman led the Bears to victory over Matt Leinart and the Cardinals.
If anyone was wondering why win-loss records are quite possibly the worst way to measure a QB's skill...wow.
Congrats to Leinart's coming out, and as big a bears fan I am, I'm ashamed. That should've been the Cards. Wow.
Edge only had 55 yards on 36 carries??
I wonder what the record is for fewest years with 30+ carries.
418: they could've passed.
that's all that was working.
bad, bad, marty-against-the-ravens-bad playcalling.
Seriously, commenter 420 is getting banned from the site. You've got to be kidding me. How the hell did LEINART blow that lead? Edge, the line, the head coach, the punt coverage team, and the kicker blew that lead. Leinart was AWESOME.
I don't even like the Cardinals, but watching them continue to run the ball into the line again and again made me sick. Are they really that stupid in Arizona?
We just won a game when our QB committed 6 turnovers. As impressive as that is, it's time to start Griese.
Well, hopefully that will cure the Bears of their obvious overconfidence. And hopefully Rex will learn from this game.
Rex Grossman is a winner. His stats may not be pretty, but he wins games.
Matt Leinart is a choker. How did he blow a 23 point lead?
420: maybe lienart should also play in the special teams as well as find a way of playing qb and o-line at the same time.
it is a shame that a 2 TD QB loses to a 4 INT QB.
Dennis Green: Maybe it is time to fire your o-line. Cards O-line is even more pathetic than Oakland 2006 or the Texans 2005
That should be fewest YARDS on 30+ carries.
its like the bears found a wallet full of cash on a friday
Someone explain to me why forward progress is not challengable?
Also, how come the QBs get "In the grasp"...isn't it the same rule basically!?
Sorry for the double post...
Stupid Dennis Green, not throwing in the end.
Man, you think it's hard watching espn now?! The Bears hyperbole machine is going to be out of this universe
Rex plays at level/
Flukey plays make bad game close/
Why oh why the run
seriously, I guess this game answers the question of whether James was more a product of the offnsive line or vise-versa. what a sad pathetic game for the cardinals
Worst play calling ever! After they were ahead by 20, all the Cardinals had to do was run the clock, yet they persisted in passing on far too many downs. I'm not trying to sound like TMQ here, but Leinart shouldn't even have been passing on the down on which he fumbled (when it was returned for a touchdown.) Then, at the end of the game, yes, your kicker should hit from 40 yards, but don't assume anything. Two nothing runs into the middle of the line that gained no yards--I could see the missed FG coming a mile away! (And I'm a Steelers fan, I don't have any rooting interest in this game whatsoever.) They should have been running Edge into the middle of the line and gaining no yards back when they had a big lead!
438: Maybe they should fire Green.
That was Michigan State-esque. Unbelievable.
# 440. Snort!
437: maybe when you play in a team like cardinals with the o-line they have, the only way for lienart to win is to have a 30/40, 450 yds, 6 TDs
20 carries, 120 yds, 2 TD game.
How many false starts/procedure penalties did AZ have? I know they had two on one post-turnover drive in the first half that forced a 52 yd FG attempt. At home, that's pretty much inexcusable.
Arizona should start running the Texas Tech offense. At least then they would be entertaining.
Serious question: Have you ever seen playcalling this bad before?
Re: 449 - Isn't that what he had tonight? My god, the Cardinals are horrible... if Leinert stays with them, he has Archie Manning written all over him. Poor guy.
Re 375: The reporter should be given a fair trial, then taken out and shot. Leinart looks like the real deal. But this is the Cardinals... Grossman needs to do something really, really nice for the defense this week.
re: 441 -
In the grasp is for protecting the team's investments. Running backs are disposable, quarterbacks are not.
i think leinart would rather be in oakland right now .,,,,
I want to see an EPC for Edgerrin James, please.
Why did they keep running the ball into the middle of the line? I don't think I saw any stretch plays, just repeated smashes into Brian Urlacher.
#433 : Bad phrasing I'll admit. I'm still stunned the Bears won that.
458: Apparently whoever calls the plays in Arizona is an idiot.
Well, this game proved more interesting than advertised.
I feel bad for the Cardinals. I really do. I'm a Cubs fan, I know how this feels.
Back-to-back games with "game-winning" drives by Leinart, both losses. That's just wrong.
445: That's retarded. Leinart gave up the fumble TD at the end of the THIRD QUARTER. Arizona shouldn't be passing when they're averaging less than TWO yards per rush and they have an entire quarter to go? That's a recipe for success.
Just to be clear, I don't know who this new "Peter" is who's been popping up, but I eschew all relation to him. Leinart is the man.
428- That's my point. They couldn't run the ball at all and it killed them. I'm not saying you have to run 70% of the time, but if you can't run at all in situations where you need to take time off the clock, goofy things like this game happen.
And FWIW, I would have called passes there at the end, mainly because I had zero faith in their running game to get the job done. It's kinda sad that after watching Edge be so reliable that I have no faith in him to get 1 freaking yard.
What a ridiculous turn of events. I'm not a fan of either team playing tonight, and I just felt sick to my stomach when I saw that kick sail wide. I'm waiting for one of the Bears players to whip out the "No one thought we had a chance in this game" card. Good grief.
Grossman: 14/37, 148 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT, 10.7 QBR
Leinart: 24/42, 232 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 88.6 QBR
I want to see the difference in DVOA and DPAR when you factor in the fumbles and the defenses involved.
So, will Leinart be this generation's Jake Plummer -- a pretty good QB whose career seems snakebit, poisoned by the miasma of suck the Cardinals franchise produces?
on the one hand, urlacher sounds totally ridiculous with the 'we knew we'd block the kick' thing.
on the other i admire his restraint in not throwing grossman under the bus.
This was my first, and probably only, stint as a Cardinals fan. I am devastated. I never even followed the team at all before, but I am absolutely devastated. If this had happened to my Broncos I would have broken more than one valuable appliance. All I can say is...
THAT's what I should have called my Loser League team ...
Miasma of Suck
451- I was thinking they should run the Eagles offense, and just throw to Edge out of the backfield instead of running. They've got the receivers to make it work.
453: I am too upset with the cards o-line and i have no issues with the way lienart played today.
i was just responding to 437 that the only way lienart will get a win is to have a perfect game and anything less, the coach and the o-line will give it away.
i think the singular blame for the game is to be the run blocking. when you are up by 20 points and your o-line can't give space to the RB to run out the clock, this is what happens
on the brighter side - the QB class of 2006 had redemmed themselves this week (even with lienart losing)
On the brighter side, no more talks of 16-0 for bears
Hey,look on the positive side everyone... with that pathetic performance, maybe we won't have to listen to the schmuck talking-heads talk about how CHI is going to run the table... oh wait, they won and showed "swagger" on defense/ST... ^%$#!
For all of those who say that they should not have passed - the Arizona passing game was far better at ball control than the running game, especially with those flanker screens and smoke routes. Those were money for the first two quarters, when they tripled the Bears in plays and TOP.
Passing is not by default a poor ball control scheme. Running the ball for 1-2 yards is a horrible ball control scheme.
That game was awesome. Thanks to both teams for the comedy. Seriously. That was creamsicle buccaneeresque. Amazing. Hilarious. Perfect.
471-That might actually work. I'd be interested in seeing someone like Reid or Martz down in the desert calling plays.
wow .... Edge has 36 carries for 55 yards, with a long of 12.
that means that 35 of his carries totalled 43 yards!!!!
(1.2 per carry)
472- You beat me to our shared thought... of course, I'm less inclined to believe we can shut up the idiots in the booth/studio...
#472: Are you insane? They rose to adversity and played tough and hung in there and found a way to win. Duh.
465: why does everyone think you have to run to control the clock? a short passing game where the receivers stay in bounds is fine, as long as you are moving the ball. sure, with a grossman-type qb it doesn't work because of the turnovers, but with leinart i'll do it all week and twice on sundays and monday night, especially considering how good edge and hte run blocking has been this year.
clock doesn't stop on a completion. short passes can burn it just fine.
479-And don't forget Grossman's clutch performance on the kneeldown.
474- Agreed, but it seemed like the Cards went away from that and were throwing downfield more in the 2nd half. Maybe my memory is off, but they were going to flanker screens less, esp. once the defense woke up and started hitting Leinart. It would be odd to see a team abandon what had worked so well, if Denny Green weren't running the show.
The big question that I was debating with a friend- are the Bears a team of destiny blessed by God to win it all, or did they burn all of their good karma in one game?
NONE of this would have happened if Suzy Kolber had been on the sidelines!
I think audibles at the line needs to be appended with the FO thoughts on this game. I've laughed so hard at some of the comments during this game I just want to hear what they were saying during the game (not to mention the dvoa FOX comments).
This is possibly odder than that IND TB game from a few years ago....my best football buddy and I were nearly orgasmic at the crazy comedy of errors and miscues. particualrly since I needed the bears defense to have a good game for fantasy and he needed grossman to stink and he is a chi fan.
Whose bandwagon breaks down as a result of this game? Really, I want to know.
486: who's afraid of the bears offense now?
the whole squad just jumped in the wayback machine one year. fear the chargers. don't fear the bears--at least, not their offense.
wow .... as of right now, the cards are 3 point favorites at oakland ....
wonder where THAT line will end up
#440: Don't start hablaing espanol on us, buddy.
cid i bet that's el cid right?
wheres my wallet? i'm afraid to post next to you.
469: You got to miss them giving away a 14 point lead to the Chefs by basically doing exactly the same things (except the Chefs scored on offense) and to the Rams by fumbling away a snap in field goal range.
The franchise should probably be banned from acquiring new fans until the ownership changes. It'd be like keeping people away from a radioactive site.
487: "Don't fear the grossman, don't fear the grossman, don't fear the grossman..."
Also, someone asked, and its official: Edgerrin James holds the new NFL record for least yards with 36 carries at 55 yards.
don't fear the grossman?
you know what this needs .... it needs .... more cowbell!
#482: Yeah, that's what I saw too - that they went away from the shorter passes on 1st and 2nd and instead went to the horrible rushes, and then had to throw for long. Some of those were fine. Some were not. None were as effective as setting up future plays as the shorter passes were. My only point was that the short passing game was keeping the Bears off the field, it was working just great as a ball control system, and saying 'you should just run' when your team rushes for something like 40 times for 80 yards is just idiotic.
The best ball control offense is the one that makes methodical first downs, not methodical running plays. Denny Green should be run out on a rail.
I think Aaron's computer will break down and cry when it calculate's Edge's DPAR.
Re 463: Thanks on behalf of all the Downs' syndrome kids I work with for your classy description of my post. Of course, you are right--Leinart should definitely have been passing deep in his own territory with a 20 point lead, just as you suggest. After all, the proof is how well it worked out. If that's your definition of a "recipe for success," I don't think you belong in the kitchen.
DPAR the night ... belongs to runners ...
I cant even go to sleep now, I'm sick to my stomach, and I'm not even a a Cardinal's fan!!
The "Edge" is the most overrated running back of the decade. Agree or Disagree?
Man, I thought Denny Green was going to grab the podium and smash it down on one of the reports in the press conference.
Total DVOA for this game:
I'm not sure, but I think that's the biggest spread ever where the team where the higher DVOA for the game lost.
I like this too:
ARI OFF pass 48.0%
ARI OFF rush -51.5%
by that reasoning the cardinals shouldn't have attempted a fg at the end
#496: Running magically helps you run out the clock? They tried that and they failed miserably. In fact, an insistence on running (especially on the last series) after driving into FG range with the short pass probably cost them the game.
But you know, whatever. Cliches and all that.
498: disagree =) the colts stretch plays never opened up any Denver sized holes and edge was still able to pick up 4. In this game he didn't even have a chance to cutback
Can we see Edge's and Grossman's individual DPARs? It would be like looking at photos of a train wreck.
My lord, that's freaking huge.
"Also, someone asked, and its official: Edgerrin James holds the new NFL record for least yards with 36 carries at 55 yards."
The truly fascinating thing is that if he continues to carry at that pace, James would be expected to take a major hit to his production next year. 1 hit for being over 370 carries and another for being over 30. What does a major statistical hit look like for a guy who averages 1.5 YPC? Retirement?
498: As has been stated many, many times, it is the O-Line, not the RB who has caused such a stat line (mostly).
do the Cards EVER run off tackle?
this HAS to be the single most interesting game from an analysis perspective in a LONG time...so many angles.
I'm not exactly sure how we're going to bring you "official" FO analysis of this game, but there will be something, whether it is a separate article or an extended DVOA commentary. One more tidbit, and I'll save the rest for tomorrow. After Week 6, the gap in DVOA between #20 ATL and #21 BUF is larger than the gap in DVOA between #20 ATL and #9 STL.
I'm betting Grossman's DPAR is -16 or worse.
Bears one of top socring defenses all time?
Bears special teams amazing
Rackers not clutch (jk, perhpas too many years of meaningless fgs?)?
Arizona not being able to run at all and still not giving up sacks vs best defense in league
grossman turning in one of worst qb performances ever
edge nearing complete distruction
Even better, while the fumble was caused by Leinart throwing (kinda...it was actually because the RT totally blew his assignment), the two big TDs after that were from running - Edge fumbled deep in their territory (so clearly they shouldn't have run) and then they had to punt after failing to run (so clearly, they shouldn't have run).
Leinart took one sack in 43 attempts. He gained 232 yards and stopped the clock 18 times, turning it over once. By comparison, Edge ran 36 times, stopping the clock only a few times, but only gaining 55 yards and turning it over once.
What would you rather do consistently? If you say you'd rather rush the ball for 1.6 yards a carry than throw it for 5 yards a pass?
Also, that DVOA is insane. And it happily tells us what we know. Seriously, how can the week be about anything other than this game?
That was an astounding game. I have a friend who is a lifelong Cardinals fan. His dad is a native Chicagoan and a Bears fan. I am pretty sure that my friend won't hear the end of the nagging about this one until January.
matt lienart looks like he wants to kill somebody
Yes please cover the Bears all week with the goal of trying to compare them to the 85 Bears and Grossman to Favre as many times as possible in one article.
I think if Lienart gunned down the entire rest of his team, as a juror I would let him off for the justice of it.
"matt lienart looks like he wants to kill somebody"
Well it can't be Grossman. Poor guy did everything he could to help Arizona win.
Actually, after the first 2 drives, Leinart didn't play that well (or maybe he played fine but the Bears decided to start tackling). 6 freaking turnovers should have probably turned into a few more points.
Wow. Crazy game. What a collapse by the Cards. Truly a gift win for the Bears.
While not entirely responsible for the loss, the conservative playcalling and offensive performance for the Cards following first half turnovers played a big part in deciding the game.(Disclaimer: It's my opinion only).
The inability of the Cards to run the ball with any sucess was an even bigger factor in the outcome(again, my opinion only, I don't want to be sued by FOutsiders).
This game reminded me of the 1993 Oilers-Bills playoff game, where a team could perform brilliantly yet be utterly incompentent in the same game. Seems to defy all logic. That's why I no longer bet on football.
lets remember that one pick was on fourth down and the return was basically to the LOS so its really more like 5 turnovers. Big difference
save some of that outrage for yourself, coach. playcalling on that last drive was pathetic.
OK, thanks for all the responses. I just never saw enough Colts games to know what all the Edge fuss was about.
I personally believe a running back is only as good as his offensive line, and with the Arizona line being historial bad Edge's stats tonight aren't so shocking to me.
But for a guy who was bitching in public about getting the ball in the fourth quarter, to fumble (which led to a score) and not getting one yard at the end of the game, man, talk about egg on your face!
Long time, first time. Aaron, major thanks for the DVOA info for the game. I was waiting for that.
As to the post-game press conferences. Leinart was very composed. I loved what I saw form him after the game. This kid is special. I thought so after the Notre Dame comeback, and the way he played tonight proved that he is very much the real deal. The Cardinals need to get their act together and get him an OL. This Cardinals team can really go places. Also, I think this game can actually galvanize the Cardinals if Denny Green doesn't lose his mind and uses it the right way. Unfortunately, based on Denny Green's press conference, I wouldn't bank on it. I hope Denny Green sees how Leinart took the loss and realizes that this is the type of game that will finally convince everyone that the Cards can hang with the best of them.
As for the Bears...teach Grossman how to sustain drives. It seems its all or nothing with Grossman. Bears didn't really impress me with their victory tonight either. When it mattered the most, they still allowed Leinart to lead his team into position to hit the GW field goal. That tells me Leinart is the real deal and that the Bears are beatable. I gotta a funny feeling this game will have the reverse effect...Cardinals will never forget this game and play better while opposing teams will no longer be afraid of the Bears and play them tougher. That's just my two cents.
Regardless what the fallout actually is, tonight's game was great theater. The NFL is doing well.
524: this whole game told you the bears are beatable. it was written all over everyone's tvs. in purple crayon.
"Yes please cover the Bears all week with the goal of trying to compare them to the 85 Bears and Grossman to Favre as many times as possible in one article."
Any way you can work the phrases "windy city" and "blue collar" in a bunch of times as well? And maybe a few shots of some deep dish "Chicago Style" pizza?
As a Bears fan from Chicago I'm tired of:
1) The '85 Bears and comparisons to them. yes, they were great. 20. Years. Ago. No more Ditka, no more Fridge, no more Super Bowl Shuffle, and for god's sake, no more Jim McMahon. The Super Fans references can stay because those were actually funny.
2) B list celebrities who mug for cameras and proudly claim Chicago every time a Chicago team gets good. I'm looking at you, Jim Belushi,John Cusack, Jim Belushi, Bernie Mac, Jim Belushi, Billy Corgan, Jim Belushi... Jim Belushi.
3) References to Chicago and its fans as "blue collar." The stockyards closed almost half a century ago, and a real "blue collar" person probably couldn't afford the cost of PSLs + season tickets for the Bears anyway.
4) Referencing the moniker "The Windy City" in relation to the weather. It's called the Windy City because of the politics, not the weather. Just like it's called the Second City, not because of New York, but because it burned to the ground once, and was rebuilt. It's fine not to know the history, but don't make reference to in on national television and look like a complete idiot.
5) Comparisons of Grossman to Favre. I have watched Favre dominate my favorite team for a decade, his reign of terror only ending in the past two years. I *WISH* Grossman was Favre, but until he wins a Super Bowl or two, or just manages to start every game in a single season, it's a little premature.
after watching it again that was a VERY nice punt return, some excellent cuts by the runner and solid blocking.
519: He played well, relatively speaking. One can only pass so well against an excellent defense while averaging less than 2 yards per rush. If he'd had Fitzgerald in I'd have expected more from him, but Boldin alone isn't enough to compensate.
Has there ever ben a better weekend of football to watch? Probably half of the games were highly dramatic.
re 525. I agree with you, but others could look at this game and conclude that the Bears found a way to rise up and still win the game without an offense. It is an impressive accomplishment. No team in NFL history ever came back from a 20 point deficit without scoring an offensive touchdown. That does say something about the quality of the Bears' defense and special teams.
However, while the defense looked awesome for most of the 2nd half they allowed Leinart to lead the Cardinals deep into Bear territory to set up for the GW field goal. I find that drive quite telling. It is a shame Rackers missed the kick. Had he made the kick, many people would be talking not just about Grossman's poor play. They would be talking about the Bears' defense giving up that last drive as well. I just wanted to point out that the Cardinals didn't roll over and die at the end of that game. Maybe its just me being silly, but I think that means something. Many other teams would have been so shell shocked that they wouldn't have been able to put anything together. Furthermore, the Cards weren't putting anything together for much of the 2nd half so I was impressed that they did get into position to win that game. I feel really bad for the Cardinals. They really outplayed the Bears. Oh well.
"519: He played well, relatively speaking. One can only pass so well against an excellent defense while averaging less than 2 yards per rush. If heâ€™d had Fitzgerald in Iâ€™d have expected more from him, but Boldin alone isnâ€™t enough to compensate."
Well, if I have to assign blame, I certainly wouldn't assign it to Leinart. He moved his team dynamically on the first 2 drives, and was at least efficient the rest of the night. I don't necessarily expect much more than that from any QB, unless they claim to be a Hall of Famer, and I don't think Leinart is making any such claims in his second ever NFL start.
530: Unless the Bears can get Green to coach the opposing team every week, they're gonna run into a few more losses.
530: "That does say something about the quality of the Bearsâ€™ defense and special teams."
What else needs to be said about that? Everyone knows their d is great. Their special teams have been solid all year. Did anyone else really need any convincing on those fronts?
People had been referring to this team as a different beast altogether because they'll maul you on both sides of the ball. I'm really expecting those storylines to change. Anyone who chalks this up to some sort of magical "they're great because the rest of the squad does just enough to win when half the team is suckstarting a snowblower" event is nuts.
Yes, there were some decent blocks on the return, and Hester was good. There was also inexcusably bad punt coverage.
In a whirlwhind of ineptitude, however, what stuck out for me was James' fumble. For him not have two arms on the ball in that situation is just an inexcusable mental error. Yes, many zebras would have blown the whistle prior to the strip, but James can't make that assumption. When he gets into a scrum like that, in that situation, he MUST wrap the ball with two arms.
As a baseball fan, the 'is beatable' thing bothers the hell out of me. Every team is beatable. A team that eventually goes 16-0 is beatable. USC was beatable when they won 33 in a row or whatever.
Winning streaks are the result of good play AND luck. The fact that the Bears were bad tonight is not actually that predictive as to whether or not they can continue to win all their games.
This game could prove to be a complete aberration - a momentary relapse, a day everything went wrong. Or it could go the other way and the first 5 weeks will be seen as that.
The fact that the bears were shitty tonight doesn't change their odds of going undefeated: slim, they're always slim.
I would consider it more likely they return to playing at least moderately well on offense rather than remaining a disaster or even sub-average. Best offense in the league is overstating it, but I wouldnt be surprised if they are between 11th-14th overall in offense from this point forward.
re:519, Cid, you're right. Leinart was playing against the best defense ever to play the game. They were/are so awesome they compelled many of the AZ players to simply stop trying for touchdowns and settle for field goals (/attempts) after those turnovers, and of course the awesomeness of the sure-to-be-undefeated Bears matriculated into Green's and Rowen's heads so much they decided to plow James into a stacked line a few times to prove Leinart's incompetence.
Stupid internet lexicon warning: full disclosure, I'm neither a Cardinal nor Bear fan...
Click my name for Denny Green's post game conference. I imagine by this time 12 hours from now it'll be legendary.
I've never seen a coach so pissed off in my entire life.
479: Please stop the adversity talk. Some special plays are needed for anyone to use the "adversity" talk(like both sides in Rams Seahawks game where both teams made plays).
The only "special" play was the punt return - Bears got lucky on both fumble returns being TDs. Imagine having had RG to move 40 yds in the EJ's fumble.
I would have given the game to the bears defense if they had stopped ML in the last drive (see my post#369 where i was sure the bears were going to pick ML in the last drive). Since they did nothing of that sort and ML set up a NR 40 Yd FD attempt, the bears defense will be over-hyped for winning the game.
This is the classic case of a team losing than its oppenents winning!
He's dead right, too. I think I like Denny Green a lot more having seen that.
You know what I find funny? That people were all shocked when the Cardinals were so competitive. I admit, I didn't know Grossman would be so awful, but am I the only one who's been paying attention to the NFC West for the last five seasons or so?
I knew they'd be competitive. I picked them every place I could to cover the huge spread (which kept rising; ended up at 14 before the game).
One of my basic betting tricks is based around the NFC West. And still, no one else has caught on.
If the game was in Chicago, yeah, the Bears would've rolled. But it was in the desert on MNF. And it wasn't Warner under center.
Yay my +14 was money in the bank. But what was wierd was that the runnning game worked for Arizona on the first drive and then never did anything the rest of the game.
Is your betting trick "Always take the NFC West home team and the points"?
I would've loved to lay money on that +14 line. Easy money.
Hell yes, that's a big part of the NFC West idea.
536: I have no idea what you're trying to say.
You're obviously upset and sarcastic, but in regard to what, exactly? The Cardinals scored early because the Bears couldn't tackle them when they caught short passes. If you're going to give Leinart credit for what his receivers did or the defense didn't do, then you also have to give him some of the blame when they continued to stall on numerous drives that started with great field position and turned into either no points or just field goals.
That's not a rip of Leinart. he didn't cause the Cardinals to lose. He also didn't cause them to win, despite having opportunities to do so.
Okay, so for all Indy's flaws and all Chi's early dominance, everyone assumed there was a WIDE gap between the two unbeatens. That is, until.... holy cow.
If only my six year-old didn't have a stomach bug I could have seen more than the first quarter, but following via the discussion thread was almost as good.
Before this week, and after this week, I still believe that San Diego is the scariest team in the NFL.
I wonder if tonight's discusion thread set a FO record: most posts in one minute. There were 16 posts at 11:51 p.m., most of them immediately after Hester's punt return TD, and most of them hilarious.
Wow. That has to be the most soul-crushing defeat I've ever seen. That's worse than any miracle comeback we're used to because in those, the defense usually breaks down and lets the opponent they had kept under wraps to suddenly score a bunch of points. Nothing like that happened here. The Cardinals defense was superb to the end. Instead, one whiny man, Edgerrin James, played the worst game of running the football I've ever seen.
A few points everyone seems to be missing.
This is now the second time that Dennis Green has destroyed this supposedly vaunted Bears squad with the lowly Cardinals. Dennis mentioned this in his angry press conference, but no one seems to have picked up on it here. Not only did he have them up 23-3 here before they coughed it up tonight, he also had his starters up 20-6 in Week 3 of the preseason before the Bears threw in the towel and pulled the starters. I don't think either result is an accident. Smart Coaches are going to study these tapes and beat the Bears.
Additionally, the Cardinals do have a running game - its done by a man named JJ Arrington. In the Week 3 Preseason game vs. Bears he had 44 yards on 10 carries. Tonight he had 2 carries for 11 yards.
Edgerrin James, on the other hand, is just slow and seems not only to not find the hole, but to purposefully cut away from the hole just to plow into the line. If you watched the game, you saw numerous times where he steered away from the potential to gain several yards out to the linebackers (and then possibly make them miss) and just ran into his blockers and the D-line. The smart thing to do with him and his whiny ass at this point would be to release him tomorrow stating that the action is being taken because of his inability to play football at an NFL level both physically and mentally, and have the Cardinals cut their losses. He isn't the future, and he certainly isn't the present either unless Arizona is searching for a 2-14 record. He just plain sucks. He SUCKS! There is nothing to be gained by keeping James and not playing Arrington. The Cardinals would even do better just signing some random scrub off a practice squad somewhere, like Bruce Perry.
My condolences to all Cardinals fans.
Thatâ€™s not a rip of Leinart. he didnâ€™t cause the Cardinals to lose. He also didnâ€™t cause them to win, despite having opportunities to do so.
When given the opportunity by the play-calling, Leinart put his team in a position to win. Leinart didn't make Rackers miss twice and he didn't line up in illegal formations. When told to handoff to the pathetic running back standing behind him, he was left unable to prevent them from losing.
I'll give Dennis Green a ton of credit because he certainly has been able to attack the offense and defense of the Bears twice now and take them apart (though once was still, YES, preseason).
That having been said, he got too sedentary against a good team and it cost him in the 4th quarter.
As a Bears fan... I take a lot of solace in the upcoming bye week. I will say that Grossman just seemed to tighten up after that first incompletion. Otherwise, the weakness is what it always was. Attack Grossman with a rush up the middle and 1) he can't survey the field and throws into bad coverage and 2) he throws rainbows that are easy to see coming and pick off.
He's still probably the best QB on the team. Sigh.
Is it just me, or was Bears #35 holding on the punt return TD?
Because I don't understand how he could be downfield in the middle of the field blocking a Cardinals player and force that player to run away from the punt returner just as he was coming upon him unless he had a good tug going on his jersey.
Andrew, I picked up on that too, I just didn't comment on it. Dennis Green was so angry because his team clearly outplayed the Bears, after having done the same in the preseason, only to have his team have one of the biggest meltdowns in NFL history.
During the whole week leading up to this game, the Bears dismissed the preseason game against Arizona, calling it "a glorified practice" and basically suggesting that they didn't gameplan at all for that game because they didn't want to show anything for this game. They said things would be different this time, they would throw diferent defenses at Leinart (who played really well in the preseason game), and their offense would be more efficient. But this game looked a lot like the preseason game, other than 3 touchdowns by the Bears defense and special teams. Dennis Green was pissed because his team was thoroughly disrespected by the Bears, his team was clearly more prepared than the Bears and basically kicked the Bears' collective ass, yet his team still lost.
Iâ€™m not sure, but I think thatâ€™s the biggest spread ever where the team where the higher DVOA for the game lost.
You note a 108.8% spread for this game. This beats out the Dallas-Eagles Week 10 game from 05 (Eagles 40.4%, Dallas -41.4%) and the Seahawks-Giants Week 12 from 05 (Seahawks -23.2%, Giants 54.7%). But it does not beat the Eagles-Rams Week 15 game from 05 (Eagles -69.8%, Rams 46.3%).
I have a burning desire to see Edge's DPAR... although I think the opponent adjustment will ruin some of the fun.
I think Mr. green was right on. I would be easily that pissed as well. I really think this has to be put 80% on edge and the o-line. Not sure the split there...
Tonight's game, and in fact the whole slat of games this weekend, gave me new appreciation for Belichick's emphasis on situational football. Understanding the score, the clock, and the things that can cost you a win in certain situations.
All the Cardinals had to do in the fourth quarter is make sure they force the Bears to work for everything they got. A fumble return for TD and a punt return for TD were the only things that could cost them the game.
I blame those types of meltdowns on coaching, starting with day one of training camp. Situational football is something that has to be taught.
3rd down right before the fumble would've been a good time for a quick kick... there was some discussion about it on the IRC channel.
On a night like this, it would seem reasonable.
Itâ€™s still early, but donâ€™t tell me the Bears are flashing back to their playoff game against the Panthers and the whole â€œwe should win this game going awayâ€? lack of effort.
That was more of a "We're stubborn jackasses so we won't adjust our straight Cover-2 defense even though we're playing Jake Delhomme who's got a permanent lock on Steve Smith" kind of game.
3rd down right before the fumble wouldâ€™ve been a good time for a quick kickâ€¦
Heck no. With a 20 point lead, all the Cardinals had to do to win the game was:
a) Keep the clock running
b) Don't give up cheap points.
Since he couldn't gain a yard anyway, just tell James to take the handoff and fall down. At least you run 25 seconds off the clock or force the Bears to use their timeouts.
Punt the ball out of bounds.
Make the other team beat you with that kind of lead.
"Punt the ball out of bounds."
To me, that was the truly inexcusable part. Why the hell were they punting to the center of the field? Why tempt fate like that? If your coverage is good, you might get an extra 10 yards out of it as opposed to going sideline. 20 if it is perfect. Is 10-20 yards worth risking one of the few outcomes (punt return TD) that can cause a loss? Especially when the Bears O was showing no ability, at all, to move on your defense?
Why the hell were they punting to the center of the field? Why tempt fate like that?
I've heard Belichick several times after a game explain why he went for it on 4th and 1 instead of kicking a field goal or whatever with a lead. He's explained by saying that he's asking himself "what are the scenarios that could throw this game away?" Blocked field goal. Yes. Running more time off the clock, maybe picking up the first down, or worst case just handing them the ball right here? No.
I've seen him routinely punt the ball to the sidelines with a late lead, just to take away the chance of an 80 yard return for TD.
At a certain point in the game, the lead and the clock makes it impossible to lose unless you give up cheap instant points. So at that point, your only goal has to be avoiding cheap points. And - DOH - you have to tell your team!
I really think this has to be put 80% on edge and the o-line.
Watch the game again if you can. There were often holes and cutback lanes available. Edge just didn't take them. Otherwise, Arrington wouldn't have been able to have a couple of good runs.
Re, the "why did he punt centerfield" questions. Well, I can't say I predicted an 83 yard punt return ahead of time, but I have wondered the same thing. I remember in the 2003 season, KC's Dante Hall returned punts for touchdowns in 3 of the first 4 games (or something like that, I didn't look it up) so teams just started punting out of bounds instead of kicking to him. I always wondered why teams didn't do that with every punt returner.
Thoughts from a Bears fan:
(I still need to rewatch the game, so these first impressions maybe be off.)
1) Someone needs to show Grossman how to checkdown. Looked like he was trying to get 13-15 yard chunks all night.
2) ARI showed how to attack the Bear-2. Quick passes, quick drops. The Bears DL didn't have time to get pressure and the secondary played too loose. Once the LBs started crashing the passing lanes on the LOS, they started batting passes down and ARI slowed. (Until that last drive that is.)
3) Two fumble returns for TD and a punt return, how much random luck was that?
4) I still believe Grossman has one if not two more games like this left. Pray for us.
5) Does anyone have a data base they use for game charting? I made on up, but I still don't really know what I'm doing.
jeffcrain1 at juno.com
No team in NFL history ever came back from a 20 point deficit without scoring an offensive touchdown.
That's only because the Cardinals rarely get 20 point leads to begin with.
"At a certain point in the game, the lead and the clock makes it impossible to lose unless you give up cheap instant points."
And being up 20 points with just a few ticks left in the third period is awfully close to that point.
And the Cards gave up 21 cheap instant points. And they missed an easy field goal. And they hamstrung themselves running out the clock with many stupid penalties of the "illegal formation" variety.
There was almost no way for the Cards to lose the game.
A truly impressive display of suckitude and chokiness.
Ya think every D coordinator in the league will be analyzing this game? It looks like a NFC team with good pressure - the Giants or Carolina spring to mind - could slam the door on this offense, and neither of those teams are going to allow two D and a ST TD to lose a game, unless the Bears *are* the luckiest team this century...
pretty funny that several people declared the game over before the Bears defensive TD. Then everyone is like "Oh wait..."
If Denny Green wasn't a moron, the comeback would not have been successful.
Guest columnist Zachary O. Binney looks the effects of the removal of the "Probable" designation from the NFL's official injury reports.
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