If your family is anything like mine, then the phenomenon of the substance abuser finding Jesus won’t be new to you. This is where years of struggle with demon rum or Colombian marching powder finally are brought to a halt only after a holy epiphany. While the act of trading one addiction for another may not do much to reduce the net tension at Thanksgiving dinner, what the swap lacks in closure can be made up in terms of paychecks or foregone auto body work.
Or on-field production. In a way, the Bears are experiencing the same transition, at least at the RB position. After leading his ten-point underdog team to a 29-13 upset of the Colts, Tulane rookie RB Matt Forte made sure the TV audience knew who his lord and savior was. And unlike 2005’s troubled draft pick RB Cedric Benson, Forte did not name his own lawyer. The long-legged back went 123 yards on 23 carries including a 50-yard TD run and displayed a ferret’s touch for finding the holes.
Forte had 100 yards by the half and the Bears were up 15-6. Manning looked lighter and jumpier than his old self, harrassed by a reconstituted blitzing Bears defense for two sacks. But the next (and last) Colts score was set up by Devin Hester’s unlearned lesson: indulgence is the mother of disaster. Receiving the kickoff, Hester loitered nonchalantly in the endzone a quarter second too long before starting his run and got tripped up by Melvin Bullet at the Bears 2. A 3-and-out and a Robbie Gould punt to the 50 put Manning back in the no-huddle driver’s seat and he finished the drive by hitting Reggie Wayne for his only TD pass of the evening.
Kyle Orton went 13/21 with 150 yards – perhaps nothing to write home about but nonetheless including receptions to every receiver in a white jersey, including three to Forte. Orton forced nothing, and looked unrattled in the pocket despite a crummy St. Clair vs. Freeney matchup at left tackle.
Healthy D? Suckless passing? A running game? It looks to this reporter like a 7-9 season may actually turn out closer to 9-7. Unless of course, He smiles upon the Bears further.