Why does the title say Panthers autopsy instead of Bears autopsy? It’s simple. The Bears are ALIVE!! No thanks to a ball-hawking, opportunistic rookie safety named Eddie Jackson and middle linebackers Danny Trevaithan and Christian Jones. Jones played the game of his life against Carolina, and in my opinion, the best game by a Bears linebacker in years. He was all over the field making tackles and defending against the pass. Trevaithan continued his sledgehammer play, which has been his calling card throughout his career.
This season we are finally witnessing the plan put together by General Manager Ryan Pace and the defensive minded John Fox, in constructing a defense that has a certain “Monsters of the Midway” attitude. This is the toughest defense the Bears have had since Urlacher, Briggs and a safety named Mike Brown, patrolled Soldier Field. That group created havoc as well as turnovers, and sometimes scored more than the offense. That kind of effort echoed off the columns to the delight of Bears nation every time the Bears defense sent Cam Newton back to the sidelines. That the Bears offense was so pathetic and hardly mattered was of little consequence to the fans. Whenever the Bears defense came back on the field, after so many 3 and out’s, it was like an encore at a rock concert. The fans getting louder and louder as the game progressed anticipating that next soul-crushing hit of Cam Newton or a Carolina receiver and possibly the next score by the dynamic safety.
Cam Newton and the Panthers offense didn’t know what hit them. The Bears knocked out offensive linemen, the brother’s Kalil, and by the time the 4th quarter rolled around, it seemed no offensive player wanted to go back on the field. It was like they were collectively praying on the sideline that the Bears would pick up just one first down, so they wouldn’t have to go back on the field so soon. Give Carolina’s defense credit though. I said last week that head coach Ron Rivera would be ready and that running up the middle would be tough. It was. The Bears averaged only 2.6 yards per carry, and the running game only managed 3 first downs.
If you’ve been reading this blog this season, then you know my disdain for offensive coordinator Dowel Loggains is growing by the week. It matters not one I oda how the Bears offense performed last week. It’s over. They won. They are 3-4 and have won two in a row. All that matters is how they perform going forward, with an opportunity to get back to .500 at 4-4, coming up against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints defense is improved behind their new defensive coordinator, and an in season adjustment already to their scheme after they opened the season with two losses. But they are not the Panther’s and even though the Bears are going on the road, this is a very winnable opportunity for them. For more about how I believe that game will shake out, check out the next Crystal Ball.