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Final thoughts on MNF game: Bears at Cardinals

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Both hands on the ball, Edge! Photo: NFL.com
I felt the need to post another entry about this game because, in many ways, this game affected Colts fans. Maybe it's because we all saw so many ex-Colts playing for the Cardinals: Edgerrin James, Troy Walters, and David Macklin. Maybe it's because the Cardinals run a similar offense and defense to Indy's. Maybe it's because Rex Grossman is a Hoosier boy. For some reason, this game resonated with Colts fans.

Probably the biggest reason was Edgerrin James and his awful play, capped by a late game fumble that resulted in 6 points for the Bears. Moreso than any other mistake, that one was the biggest. If you all recall, several morons had written off the Colts this year because Bill Polian decided to let Edgerrin James walk in free agency. Edge signed with the Arizona Cardinals for an insane amount of money. As this season progressed, and it became painly obvious that the Carinals' offensive line stinks, James complained he wasn't getting the ball enough at the end of games. He stated that if he had the ball at the end of the game, he'd close the deal.

Well, last night, Edge got the ball at the end, and promptly fumbled away the game and, most likely, Arizona's season. All the talk of Edge giving Arizona "instant credibility" flew away in the desert wind with that fumble. James carried that ball 36 times for 55 yards, averaging 1.5 yards a carry. He had no touchdowns. He had only one catch. They were pulling him out on third downs.

Edge, quite simply, looked bad and he cost Arizona the game. His performance prompted Stampede Blue's Payton Manning to say:

If you can't convert on 2nd and short, and then you fail on 3rd and short, then maybe you shouldn't be talking about getting the ball late in the game.

Payton Manning makes a good point. Edge whined and complained that he wasn't getting the ball. When he did get the ball, with the game on the line, he fumbled it away. And the fumble wasn't the result of a strong hit. It was textbook stuff, basic fundamentals. In a pile up like that, runnngbacks are told to put BOTH HANDS ON THE BALL. If you don't, guys like Brian Urlacher are going to strip it. We Colts fans know all too well that Edge can be a bit lax with football protection. He fumbled away a week one game against New England two years ago. Now, I still like Edge and I still think he's an elite running back. However, he should apologize to his team for his performance.

Imagine if someone like Peyton Manning demanded the ball late, like Edge did, and then went out there and turned the ball and cost his team a win. The media would crucify him. Will Edgerrin receive similar treatment? Doubtful. It's for the same reason people won't bash Grossman or the Bears for their performance the way they did Indy when they beat the Titans. Corporate media like ESPN has an agenda.

My final thought on this game is going to upset folks like Chad: the Bears are very, very beatable and they're not as good as advertised. Their offense can't run the ball, and their passing games lives and dies with big plays. Take away those big plays, and Rex Grossman will throw interceptions. My hat is off to Chicago's defense and special teams. They are amazing. However, their offense is not that good, and all this moronic talk about the Bears being "balanced" was silly talk. They most certainly are not a balanced team. The only thing worse than Edgerrin James running last night was the Bears rushing attack. They gained only 36 yards on 16 carries for 2.1 a carry. This was against the Cardinals defense mind you, who was giving up 4.5 a carry coming in. When the Bears start playing good teams, those teams will not make the kinds of mistakes Arizona made last night.