Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans: Five Things We Learned
The Chicago Bears (7-1) dominated the Tennessee Titans (3-6) in all phases of the game Sunday afternoon in Nashville. The Titans were never able to get any kind of momentum from their very first play from scrimmage when wide receiver Kenny Britt was stripped by Charles Tillman and the Bears recovered.
This was one of those games where the Bears could seemingly do nothing wrong, whereas the Titans could not seem to get out of it's own way. So what did we learn from this game?
1. The Bears' defense is historically good
With Brian Urlacher's first quarter 46-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Bears seventh interception return for a touchdown on the season. The NFL Record is 9, leaving the Bears just 2 shy with 8 games to go.
Charles Tillman of the Bears has been on fire to this point in the NFL season with two NFC defensive player of the week awards and the October NFC defensive player of the month award. Tillman continued his amazing season with four forced fumbles in Sundays game setting an NFL record for most forced fumbles in a single game. Watching this Bears defense may be watching history with the things they are doing, but will it be enough to lead to Chicago's second super bowl title? Only time will tell...
2. The Titans need more out Chris Johnson early
Take away Johnson's fourth quarter 80-yard touchdown run, Johnson was nearly a non factor especially in the first half. The Titans are not without offensive weapons with players such as Kenny Britt, Chris Johnson, and rookie Kendall Wright on the offensive side of the ball, however Johnson needs to get going for those other players to be successful.
The Bears keyed on Chris Johnson early on and took him out of the game, while at the same time shutting down the Titans wide receivers. If Johnson could get it going the Bears would have kept cheating up on the line of scrimmage allowing Titans' quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to go over the top. That is what you need to get an offense going strong.
3. The Bears' offense may have found its identity
The past couple of games the Bears' offense has really struggled to find its way, and many attributed this to a lack of offensive identity. Though the defense and special teams started the scoring Sunday afternoon, the Bears' offense got in the action quite a bit as well. Being spotted a 14 point lead early on gave the Bears an opportunity to try some different looks on offense, and it worked.
Between establishing the run game and getting the short passing game the Bears were able to get into an offensive rhythm, moving the ball down the field several times and into the end zone.
4. The Titans' defensive backs have to be better in coverage
Tennessee's defensive backs were down right embarrassing for the most part in this game. They allowed Bears' wide receiver Brandon Marshall to score three touchdowns, with two of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Yes, it may have been garbage time, but you can not allow a wide receiver to just torch you like that. The Titans' backfield is a young very inexperienced group that was exposed Sunday afternoon. If the Titans look to improve and become a solid defensive unit they are going to need to shore up that defensive backfield.
5. Special Teams are key
The first score in this game came from the Bears punt block team early in the first quarter when defensive end Corey Wooton returned a block punt for a touchdown.
The Bears are a team that has not only prided itself on defensive tradition, but also special teams successs. It is plays like these that lead to winning football when it counts the most. Many fans tend to overlook special teams, but if you do, you are only kidding yourself. Some of the most spectacular highlights you see after a day of football action is plays that come out of these special teams units. If you want to see your team win you need to have your special teams playing strong, smart, and aware.