Monday, November 13, 2006

While watching the first part of the game last night I found myself thinking, "wow, the Giants really schemed the first part of the game incredibly well, I just hope that once the Bears adjust they turn out to be enough better than the Giants to win," which, I guess turned out to be kinda right. It made me wonder a little bit, though, if the Bears ever actually do work out specific schemes or game plans for each game, and how smart/dumb of a strategy that is. They always talk about how they don't really cater their system to specific opponents, but I think I've always kind of figured they were just blowing smoke, but it does sort of seemt that Lovie's brilliance lies in his scheme and general strategy. He doesn't appear to expend much energy on creating specific plans for specific teams. I don't know too much about Coughlin, but he seems more like the opposite kind of guy. I know from various media reports that he's absurdly anal and a total control freak, and that type of person would probably want to script as much of a game as he possibly could, which could never be more than very much of the first quarter, and then his ability to deal with what's happening in front of him would kind of fall apart as the game progressed, which is pretty obviously what happened last night. Although I don't know if it applies to any of his other games this season. It's hard to really tell how good the Bears are at half-time adjustments and things like that. They fell apart after the first half of the Miami game when they didn't have to and would have been served better by just focusing on what they normally do and continuing to do it, which is what they seemed to do last night. But in the Arizona game it seemed like they came out in the second half and, at least the defense/special teams, really went after a win. Pretty much the rest of the games this season they've been so far ahead at halftime that there wasn't anythign to adjust to.

Mainly, though, I wonder if the overall shape of last night's game (and last week's game) is something we should get used to for the second half of the season. It's been pretty obvious that the way to beat the Bears is to go all crazy at the beginning of the game and freak out their O-line and make Rex panic, which results in turnovers galore, so any team with a non-comatose coaching staff is going to come out doing exactly that. It won't matter, though, if Rex manages to reign himself in or calm down or whatever, like he did yesterday, and play like the good version of himself. But can he do that every game? And did he really manage to calm down yesterday or is it just that when Madison got injured the Giants' didn't feel they could keep blitzing because they didn't trust their nickel? I think, after the giddy first half of the season, it's going to become obvious again that what wins games for the Bears is their defense, since it's going to be up to Defense to play extremely well while Rex figures out each game if he's going to spiral downwards that day or if he's going to focus and make the defense really beat him instead of just scare him. We already know that the defense can win some games all by itself, so it's not so much of a worry to realize that Grossman's got some king-size flaws, but I can't imagine we're going to keep seeing the type of win we saw so many times in the first half of the season.

In other news, how funny is it that the 49ers just beat other NFC North teams two weeks in a row? Seriously, the Bears might have enough wins already to make it to the playoffs...

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