Illinois has severely cramped its chances to make it to the Motor City Bowl this year with a craptacular 33-0 drubbing at Rutgers (Rutgers?!) and Ron Zook is talking about employing more of the “rugby punt” as a “secret weapon” (I wish that was a joke). The White Sox pitching staff continues to get shelled in the late innings of ballgames while messing up a golden opportunity to gain some ground with the Twins and Tigers beating up on each other.
So why is it that I woke up this morning feeling more than satisifed with my sports weekend? Well, the Bears completely maimed the Packers, that’s why. After more than a decade of Brett Favre slicing up the Bears defense with his gunslinger mentality, father time has finally caught up to him and Green Bay is paying the price. The Bears defense throttled him so much that he suffered the first shutout in his career.
What I was really happy about, however, was that for the first time since probably the Erik Kramer “era”, the Bears put together a complete game on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Rex Grossman was sharp and accurate, Mushin Muhammad caught more difficult passes in this game than all of last season, the offense figured out that the tight end and fullback can actually be incorporated into the game plan as opposed to being statues, the running game was solid, the Bernard Berrian touchdown play puts NFL defenses on notice that they can’t stack 11 guys in the box against the Bears anymore, the defensive line ran ramshod over the Green Bay offensive front, the secondary blanketed everyone outside of Favre’s crutch in Donald Driver, Devin Hester has shown that he’s electrifying on special teams (after I ripped on the Bears’ draft this past April, I have to give a ton of credit to Jerry Angelo for that pick), and our kicking and punting games were flawless.
There are a couple of things that the Bears need to improve upon, particularly converting touchdowns in the red zone. However, it’s a huge turning point in that we can go into Lambeau Field again with a sense of confidence and the Favre bogey man has been fully eradicated. The Bears just beat their biggest and most hated rival on the road on opening day with a 26-0 shutout. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
(Image from Chicago Tribune)