I don't care if the Lions go 0-16 -- and they probably will. There is no way they are worse than the St. Louis Rams. The Chicago Bears dominated every facet of the game this week, but the Rams are getting pretty used to being embarrassed, as this is the third straight week they've faced a deficit of at least 21 points at halftime. The score could have been much worse, but the Bears completely shut it down in the second half.
I believe the overall futility of the team was nicely summed up at the 11:15 mark of the fourth quarter. The Rams were trailing by 24 points, and faced a 4th-and-2 from the Bears' 28-yard line. It would have done very little to impact the game if they tacked on three points. Regardless, Jim Haslett sent out the field goal unit. The crowd booed quite loudly -- it was actually the most noise made by Rams' fans all game -- so Haslett reacted and sent the offense back out on the field. Only now they didn't have enough time on the play clock to run a play, so they had to use a timeout.
After the timeout, the Rams did gain the first down, but then threw an interception a few plays later.
That happened a few times, actually, as Trent Green was picked off four times by the Bears. Yeah, Green. Not Marc Bulger, who left the game injured after only one unsuccessful series. Not Brock Berlin, who didn't come into the game until it was definitely out of hand. I'm still not understanding the Rams' insistence on not finding out if this kid can play. Either way, it was a team effort in futility. Interceptions were dropped, miscommunications on pass routes happened with regularity, tackles were missed, and the offensive line was abused by the Bears defense.
From the Bears side of things, it was a nice bounce-back from a debacle last week in Lambeau Field. The defense took the ball away from the Rams four times, and sacked the quarterback five times (two each for Tommie Harris and Adewale Ogunleye). The run defense was back to its old tricks, allowed a paltry 14 yards on 19 carries. Kyle Orton was efficient yet unspectacular. Devin Hester was constantly involved in the first half gameplan, as he ended up with 89 total yards on two carries and five catches. He even ran the wildcat formation a few times.
Speaking of Hester, it's interesting to note the implications of the opening sequence. Danieal Manning returned the opening kickoff all the way into Rams territory. On the Bears first offensive play, Hester took an end-around for 20 yards. This could easily signal the end of Hester on kickoff return duties and the beginning of the Bears making sure to get him at least 10 touches, while being creative in doing so.
Finally, the star of the game was rookie running back Matt Forte. Just looking at the stat-line is impressive enough -- 132 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries -- but you had to watch him run to understand how great a player he is at this point in his career. Making guys miss, carrying defenders with him over the line to gain, and breakaway speed; he had all of the above this game. He truly showed his talent and desire on a third down in the second half. The Bears were standing with their heels against the Rams end zone, and Kyle Orton desperately flipped the ball to Forte to avoid a sack. Forte dodged a few would-be tacklers, kept himself upright by putting down his hand to maintain balanced, and dragged two defenders past the first down line.
The Bears will be in a tie with at least Minnesota atop the NFC North. Coincidentally, the Vikings are their opponent next week in a pivotal road game.
As for the Rams, well, they can't get any worse.
Bears 27, Rams 3: The Embarrassment Continues in St. Louis originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sun, 23 Nov 2008 16:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.