It's rare in football -- well, any sport, really -- that both teams can come out of matchup feeling good. Sunday's bout between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins may have been one of those rare instances. The Redskins won 45-41 at home in a much-needed win for a team that had high expectations coming off a late run to the playoffs last season. The Bears, meanwhile, hung in tough on the road while dealing with a slew of injuries that would have crippled most teams.
First, the Redskins. Ken Meringolo at Redskins blog Hogs Haven says that the 2013 team felt little like the 2012 version on Sunday. Robert Griffin III seemingly got back on track with a 298 yards passing and 84 yards rushing, and the defense made big plays at pivotal moments.
Even though every talking head and analyst tried to beat this point over the head last night, the truth is that yesterday's win did smack of the same kind of vibe from the end of last season. The feeling inside FedEx, the way the Redskins gutted out an extremely late victory, the confidence this team put on display in the closing minutes of a tight game...it was all there. I won't go so far as to predict the same kind of run we had last year, but what I think is extremely important is that we got back to that feeling.
Meanwhile, Steven Schweickert at Bears blog Windy City Gridiron is still trying to figure out what to make of the proceedings. Sure the Bears lost, but they also lost their starting quarterback in the first half, not to mention Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman going down on top of an absent Henry Melton. All things considered, maybe the four-point loss wasn't so bad ...
... let me try to summarize what just happened yesterday: The Bears struggled offensively and defensively and let the Redskins run roughshod all over them in the first half, they lost their starting quarterback and put in Josh McCown, then in the second half briefly lost Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, as well as Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman, flubbed up a surprise onside kick, and still fought back in a shootout to eventually take a lead before losing in the last minute. It was either one of the best games I've seen or the worst best game I've ever seen. And as of 5:40 AM on Monday morning, I still have no freaking idea what I just watched yesterday.