Sunday, November 8, 2009
Halftime: Cardinals 31, Bears 7
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
CHICAGO -- Stop reading now if you want to see something -- anything -- nice about the Bears. They played a terrible half in all three phases of the game and have been jeered loudly in their home stadium. Arizona leads 31-7 -- yes, that’s right -- and here are my halftime thoughts:
- The Bears have been a step behind the Cardinals’ offense, both physically and from a scheme perspective, all game. Their front four has gotten almost no push, and their blitzes have been wholly ineffective. The Cardinals are running out of passing formations and passing out of run formations, clearly confusing the Bears and again calling into question their ability to make in-game adjustments.
- I don’t consider the loss of defensive tackle Tommie Harris to be significant given his production this season. But if nothing else, his ejection has left some of the Bears’ other defensive tackles winded while rushing Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.
- The Cardinals have compiled a full game’s worth of statistics in one half: 296 total offensive yards and 20 first downs. Warner has four touchdown passes and has completed 17 of 22 passes.
- The Bears opened the game throwing and I don’t think we’ll see much of Matt Forte in the second half with this deficit. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw on 11 of the Bears’ first 13 plays. His 42-yard pass to Devin Hester set up a 33-yard scoring strike to tight end Greg Olsen, but since then, Cutler has had trouble moving the Bears down the field.
- Even the Bears’ usually-strong special teams have failed them. Robbie Gould’s 48-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter was partially blocked, and Antrel Rolle’s 59-yard return set up the Cardinals’ final score before halftime.
- The Bears finished the half without two of their four starting defensive backs: Cornerback Charles Tillman and safety Al Afalava, both of whom had shoulder injuries.
- The boo birds have been out early and often in this game. I’ll be very curious to see how fans react if the Bears roll over in the second half.