Five things we learned in Week 2
September, 19, 2010
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Here are five things we learned following the Bears' 27-20 victory in Dallas.
1. Bears tough to beat when they protect the ball: After three fumbles and an interception in Week 1 against the Lions, the Bears' offense didn't cough up the football versus the Cowboys. Give Jay Cutler credit for securing the ball early in the game when Dallas blitzers came off the edge virtually unblocked. Twice in the second half the Bears began drives inside their own 20-yard line, and a turnover in those situations could have pumped life back into the dead Cowboys. But the Bears kept their concentration and composure, and eventually closed the game out in with roughly five minutes left on the clock.
2. D.J. Moore is an opportunistic defender: One thing about Moore; the guy is ultra-confident. The former fourth-round pick never doubted his ability, and neither did Bears coach Lovie Smith, the man charged with teaching Moore the nickel position. Good things occurred Sunday when Moore was around the football, and while he was in the right spot and the right time for those two picks, the defensive back's ability to run with the ball was impressive. Given the high caliber of quarterbacks the Bears will face this season, Moore is sure to experience his share of growing pains. But he proved in Week 2 that he potentially could be a consistent playmaker.
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireD.J. Moore didn't back down from the challenge of covering Miles Austin, intercepting Tony Romo twice on Sunday.
3. Mike Martz can adjust on the fly: After the Dallas defense brought the heat early in the game, Martz began to tailor his play-calling to compensate for the Cowboys' aggressive approach. Cutler began to get rid of the football quicker, with lethal accuracy, completing 18 of 21 passes that traveled 10 or fewer yards. That was good enough for a quarterback rating of 143.8 in those short-pass situations, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Martz also scaled back the number of receivers sent out on patterns, leaving extra blockers to help handle the Dallas pressure. But the Bears still took a few shots down the field, the most notable being the 59-yard bomb to Johnny Knox in the second quarter. It was an excellent day for the quarterback, but also the offensive coordinator.
4. Devin Aromashodu may be in the doghouse: It's one thing to trumpet the fact a different receiver is capable of stepping up every week in this defense, but to watch Aromashodu go from leading the team in targets (10) in Week 1 to hardly seeing the field in Week 2 is puzzling. The only explanation is the Bears were not happy with the amount of drops Aromashodu had against the Lions. Earl Bennett was also active for the first time in 2010, but Aromashodu has always clicked with Cutler. Maybe next week Knox doesn't play and Rashied Davis leads the team in receptions. Just kidding.
5. Somebody is going to pay in Dallas: The sky is falling in these parts. Cowboys Nation did not expect an 0-2 start, and the rabid fan base is anticipating some sort of public execution. Will it be head coach Wade Phillips? Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett? David Buehler, the kicker who missed the late field goal? Jerry Jones is never shy to react, and the Cowboys look to be in full-blown panic mode after this latest lackluster performance. Unlike Phillips, Smith can enjoy a week where people aren't calling for his job. At least, I think people won't be calling for him to be fired after a 2-0 start. But in the NFL, you never know.