Yesterday’s game in St. Louis had it all, though none of it good for Chicago and its playoff chances. The outcome was set on the first play of the game as Tavon Austin took a reverse for 65 yards and a touchdown. On the ensuing series of downs, Matt Forte fumbled to set up the Rams’ second score of the game. Chicago found themselves in a 14-point deficit before I’d even adjusted to my preferred couch pillow configuration.
Chicago appeared to keep the game close by making plays on both sides of the ball and eventually even cut the deficit to a single possession. But the Bear’s defense wouldn’t control Rams’ backup RB Ben Cunningham, who single-handedly closed the game out by taking the Rams on a 7-play, 80-yard drive to put the game away. Not only did the score reinforce the out-of-reach-ness of the game, but the drive’s time of possession summed it up nicely as well. The Bears’ defense was on the field for 4:10.
The Rams finished the smack-down with a Robert Quinn 31-yard scoop-6 from his own sack.
Chicago lost by three touchdowns. They knew the run was coming yet the Rams’ offensive line dominated when it mattered most. The Bears’ defense was tired by the end of the game and it showed as Cunningham continuously broke runs for first down. On the game’s deciding drive Cunningham had 61 of the 80 yards. While seemingly the pivotal point of the game, the initial two-touchdown spotting was the bigger culprit.
The Bears loss was also part of a wider embarrassment for the NFC North, none whose teams won an inter-division game yesterday. The Vikings-Packers tie was thoroughly apropos. Arizona lambasted the Colts to push the Bears even deeper into their own playoffs’ hole. The Lions’s loss is almost hilarious insofar as it keeps everyone in God’s gift to pathetic hunts.
Notwithstanding the NFC North, the NFC is far superior to the AFC and it’s looking more and more like ten wins will be the golden ticket to a Wild-Card. This implies that a really good NFC team will miss the playoffs while a far less good AFC team will make it. Arizona, Carolina and San Francisco are all very good teams and one of them is going to be the odd-man out. The only way Chicago can get in is by winning the division, which could still happen if their division mates keep up their losing momentum.
Additional Notes: Martellus Bennet was a shining light for the Bears offensively, a big play in the game was when a Devin Hester Punt Return for a score was called back by a holding call. Chicago travels to Minnesota for a must-win game next weekend.