It seems like injuries have yet again put the Bears in a sticky situation as the season dies down and the crucial final games approach. As the injuries pile high, our playoff hopes begin to dwindle. Chicago was forced to place the most reliable player on their team, Robbie Gould, on injured reserve Tuesday after he suffered a left calf muscle injury during the pregame warm-up against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Since the Bears are battling it out for the top spot in the NFC North this is not the time for a season-ending injury. Bah, humbug I say.
16-year veteran, Olindo Mare was signed by the Bears after he won a tryout at Halas Hall Tuesday. Mare has some big shoes to fill as Gould is the fourth-most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history at 85.6 percent. Mare has moved around quite a bit in his career playing for the Carolina Panthers last season, as well as the Seahawks, Saints and Dolphins. He’s not a terrible kicker, with an 81.2 percent rating over the last 15 seasons, but as we know our Bears offense can sometime struggle with the whole “touchdown” idea and we heavily rely on our kicker to produce field goals from 35-50 yard range.
The injuries are really racking up for the Bears as the season winds down. We lost the heart and soul of the defense when middle linebacker Brian Urlacher tore his hamstring. Cornerback Tim Jennings is still recovering from a dislocated right shoulder he suffered against the Seahawks, but he’s optimistic about the Green Bay Packers game this weekend. The list doesn’t end there, defensive tackle Stephen Paea has an injured foot, defensive tackle Henry Melton injured his shoulder against the Vikes, defensive end Shea McClellin suffered a sprained MCL in the loss to the Vikings as well, but hopes to return soon. Just a few more to go, reserve safety Craig Steltz has a chest injury and cornerback Sherrick McManis injured his knee. Both Steltz and McManis are joining Robbie on the IR. *Fun fact: When placed on injured reserve a player must remain there for eight weeks before returning. Thus, none of the Bears players will be returning this year since their injuries happened too late in the season.
Basically, the Bears special teams and defense are in shambles heading into week 15 against the Packers. Hopefully Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman can hold down the fort against the Pack.
Hootie-whoo! Keep the defensive madness rolling! Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 9 after his impressive performance against the Tennessee Titans.
In a single game the veteran racked up a 46-yard Pick-6, seven tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. I think he’s feeling healthy again :-).
Urlacher is the second Bear to win the weekly award this season, he joins Charles Tillman, who has locked it up twice thus far in 2012.
Just throw a cherry to the top of that success cake, cornerback Sherrick McManis nabbed NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 9. His blocked punt during the first quarter led to defensive end Corey Wootton’s five yard touchdown (he scooped up that loose ball and brought it in for a TD).
There’s is nothing like a Chicago Bears romping in Nashville to start your week off right. I swear when the Bears play well I begin the week in a better mood. Plain and simple, the Titans got their “asks” kicked (please watch this adorable youtube video to understand the reference). The Bears have now won six consecutive games in a row; this hasn’t happened since 2006, and may actually be considered a contender heading into the difficult part of their schedule (Texans and 49ers woowee). If you missed the Bears Titan mauling, below you will find a quick recap.
Who Needs an offense when you have the Bears defense?
Cornerback Charles Tillman’s ball-punching hands forced a career-high four fumbles. Peanut has been a recognized player in the league for many years, but this year something set the man on fire. He’s absolutely in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. The infamous linebacker Brian Urlacher trotted (it wasn’t as speedy as Tillman or Jennings sprinting down the field, but hey he still got there) his way into the end zone after the team’s seventh interception return touchdown of the season. 7 defensive touchdowns is more than most teams score all season, let alone in 8 games – animals I tell you. If all the critical pieces to the Bears defensive puzzle can stay healthy, this may be the year Bears fans have been waiting for.
Special teams got down and dirty:
They couldn’t let the defense have all the fun! It all started when Sherrick McManis blocked a punt (I mean when does that even happen?!) that Corey Wootton returned for a 5 yard touchdown. THEN Devin Hester got in on the action with a 44-yard punt return that set up a one-play scoring drive. Yup – love it.
The offensive spark was delayed, but things heated up in the end:
Counting on your defense to score first isn’t going to cut it further down the road for the Bears, but Jay Cutler and his boys woke up in the second half. Cutty eventually threw three touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall. Matt Forte deserves some recognition as well, his rugby style rushing touchdown was the first positive offensive play the Bears had during the game. Forte was also effective in the passing game, his 47 yard reception off of a screen pass was something to be reckoned with.
Bears fans are the BEST fans:
I don’t know what you heard, but LP Field sure sounded like a Bears home game with all that hootin-n-hollerin going on. I can’t imagine it hurts a team’s morale to know their fans are willing to pack their bags and head anywhere to cheer on their monsters of the midway.