The Chicago Bears fell to the New Orleans Saints 20-12 on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It was a sad day for Chicago as fan favorite TE #86 Zach Miller suffered a serious knee injury on what should have been a TD catch. Forget about the horrible overturn of the TD by the instant replay officials. Instead, focus on the horrific, probable end to Miller’s career. It is very sad but sometimes in life, you gotta move on. At least that’s what Coach Ditka would’ve said.
Let me be honest with you readers. The “Dutch Lion” didn’t watch the game yet. I was driving back home from attending the Nebraska/Purdue game in West Lafayette, Indiana. Therefore, I listened to the Bears game on the radio. It was fun for a change to hear the voices of the Bears, Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM. Without having seen all the video as of press time, it sounds like the Bears were hosed several times throughout the course of Sunday afternoon. Several times, Thayer mentioned that the referees weren’t calling it both ways in regards to holding calls. He said the Saints offensive line was holding Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd, and Pernell McPhee on many occasions yet the refs never called anything. When we look at the stats, New Orleans was penalized 7 times for 51 yards while Chicago was only penalized 4 times for 31 yards. So I’m definitely interested to watch and see if Thayer was correct or if he was just frustrated with a couple or three replay overturns on top of the devastating injury to one of the truly great guys on the team. Former NFL officiating chiefs Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino can’t even fathom these calls this year! Check out this story via ESPN.com about the instant replay system and the drastic amount of overturns this season.
WR #18 Tre McBride – He caught 3 passes for 92 yards on 5 targets from QB #10 Mitch Trubisky. He had a 45 yard reception and looks like he’s starting to develop some chemistry with the rookie QB. Look for McBride to continue improving in the 2nd half of the season.
LB #59 Danny Trevathan – Danny boy is awesome! I love Danny. This dude led the ferocious Bears defense with 13 tackles on Sunday, along with 1 TFL. He’s a team leader. He’s a tackling machine. He’s a stud! Trevathan deserves a ‘Game Ball’ almost every week.
DE #90 Jonathan Bullard – Bullard is starting to get more and more playing time gradually as the season progresses. He’s not bad. He totaled 3 tackles including 1 TFL against the Saints. More importantly, he forced a fumble by New Orleans RB Mark Ingram.
S #38 Adrian Amos – This 3rd year safety continues to impress. This week he was responsible for 6 tackles, 2 TFL’s, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
Player of the Game
TE #86 Zach Miller – Zach Miller didn’t officially record a catch in this game, but we all know he DID in fact catch a touchdown. With his tragic injury requiring an emergency vascular surgery to hopefully save his leg, it is likely that Miller’s career on the gridiron is now over. That’s ok. Life, and living a healthy life, is more important than extending a pro football career past the age of 32. (This sounds like Coach Ditka again. Some things “in life” stay with me forever.)
Miller’s season is certainly over after recording 20 catches for 236 yards and 2 TD’s in ’17. But Miller was never about the stats. His game, his persona, his leadership was always much more important than the numbers. Miller is a fantastic community relations guy too. He recently appeared at Stevenson High School for its annual “Touchdowns for Troops” charity night football game to help support military veterans. Overall, Miller is just a great person. I’ve never heard a bad word about him. He’s from Omaha, Nebraska which the “Dutch Lion” appreciates as a gigantic Nebraska fan.
Miller’s career was injury filled but he left his mark on all his teammates and fans. When the Bears first acquired him, my son and I took to calling him “The Future” even though he was a back up to Martellus Bennett at the time. Now that “The Future” is over, watch for Miller to impact the game in other ways. He’ll be a successful broadcaster, or coach, or mentor, or whatever he wants to do. To my son and I, he’ll always be “The Future”. You know what, we’re gonna call the new rookie TE Adam Shaheen “The Future” too. It’s a big nickname to live up to. Is Shaheen up for it? So here’s to you Zach! Your last (probably) “Player of the Week” Award. Congratulations and Godbless!
The Bears head into their bye week, finishing the first half of the season at 3-5. Looking at the second half, this team could make waves with an easy schedule. Quickly eyeballing and spitballing, I’ll predict Chicago to go 5-3 or even 6-2. That would put the Bears at 8-8 or even 9-7. As Jim Mora would say, “Playoffs?……Playoffs?” It’s possible but not probable. Nevertheless, it’s gonna be fun to watch this ever-improving defense and this young quarterback develop.