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Windy City Sports Report – 12/3/12

04 Dec

Hello sports fans, Carlos here back after a little break for family business. In today’s report, how did the Bears’ defense handle Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, how did the Bulls do, Derrick Rose releases final “The Return” video, and will the Blackhawks ever play this season?

On Sunday, the Bears faced the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. It marked the third straight season the Seahawks came into Chicago to play the Bears. They have won the previous two so the Bears were looking to end that streak. The Seahawks came in and left with a 23-17 overtime victory.

Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall hooked up all game long. Marshall had 10 catches for 165 yards. Cutler finished the game 17-26 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. For a change this season, the offense did its job, including bailing out the defense after Wilson, who threw for 293 yards and ran for 71 more, led his offense on a 12-play, 97 yard drive that gave Seattle the lead with 23 seconds remaining. Cutler and Marshall connected on a 56 yard bomb that got the Bears into field goal range and Robbie Gould kicked the ball through the uprights.

Lynch

The Bears defense was gassed, however, especially right after the long Seattle drive. The Seahawks won the coin toss, so the defense had to go right back. Wilson torched them on an 80 yard drive that ended with a 12 yard touchdown throw to Sidney Rice. Rice was knocked unconscious by Major Wright as he lunged into the end zone, and he lost the ball, but the officials ruled correctly that the ball crossed the goal line before he lost it and that was game.

After the game head coach Lovie Smith was furious, but more at himself than in any of his players. “That hasn’t happened to us very often around here,” Smith said. “Terrible job I did getting our football team ready. I thought we were ready to go. Some decisions I made really hurt us early on.”

One decision he regretted was to go for it on a 4th and 1 when the Bears had a 7-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter. Instead of going for the points and padding the lead, Michael Bush failed to get the 1st down and it was turning point in the game. After that, the Seahawks ran off 10 points to take a 10-7 lead.

The Bears also are getting bitten hard by the injury bug. Devin Hester was ruled out because of a concussion and Lance Louis, the best offensive lineman on the roster, was lost for the season after a dirty hit by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jared Allen. They then lost Earl Bennett to a concussion early in the game, which left them with only 3 wide receivers playing. Add in Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and Tim Jennings (shoulder) out on the game winning drive, and this was one shorthanded crew.

The loss dropped the Bears to 8-4 and into a tie for the NFC North lead with the Green Bay Packers, but since the Packers already beat them earlier in the year, they own the tiebreaker as of now. The two teams play in Chicago in two weeks so that should be a huge game.

Next up for the Bears is a rematch with the Vikings. That should be an interesting game considering Jared Allen ended Lance Louis’ season. Allen was fined for the hit, and we will see if the Bears linemen remember that hit on Sunday.

The Bulls had 3 games last week. On Monday, they did not start the week off on the right foot. They owned a 27-point lead against the Milwaukee Bucks, who had a 9 game losing streak against Chicago, but shockingly lost it and ultimately lost the game 93-92. Coach Tom Thibodeau was not happy after the game. “It can happen fast,” he said. “You can lose 10 points in an NBA game in a minute. Everyone says that doesn’t happen, but you see it all the time. If you don’t play tough with a lead, this is what happens.”

On Thursday, Thibodeau’s bunch showed how upset he must have been. They took on the Dallas Mavericks and absolutely blasted them in a 101-78 victory. This time, they took a big lead and never took the foot off the accelerator. They had a lead as big as 29 points and did not have it go below 17.

Luol Deng led the Bulls with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Joakim Noah pitched in 13 points and 10 rebounds. It was the bench that played big time, though, scoring 50 points. Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 13 points and Nate Robinson had 14 points and 6 assists to lead the reserves.

Fellow reserve Taj Gibson summed it up perfectly in explaining the turnaround. “It was good to come out and forget that last loss and move forward as a team. We understand we have a long season. There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road, but we’re sticking together.”

After splitting the first two games in the week, the Bulls faced the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Yes, the same 76ers team that was fortunate to face the Bulls in last year’s playoffs when they lost Derrick Rose and Noah.

It came several months too late, but the Bulls had a hard-fought 93-88 victory. Deng once again led the Bulls, scoring 25 points (8 big ones down the stretch to ice the win) and dishing out 7 assists. Rip Hamilton put in 15 points, though he went down in the third quarter with plantar fasciitis. He did return and hit some key free throws late in the game, but it appears he will miss some time. Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 12 rebounds, marking the 6th time in the last eight games that he’s had a double-double.

After winning two of the three games for the week, the Bulls have an 8-7 record and now stand in a first place tie in the Central Division with the Milwaukee Bucks. This week they will be busy, playing two back to back games. On Tuesday they host the Indiana Pacers and Wednesday they travel to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers. Then after an off day, they go to Detroit to face the Pistons on Friday before they host the New York Knicks on Saturday.

Derrick Rose released the final of his and Adidas’ “The Return” videos documenting the work he’s put in to come back from the torn ACL injury he suffered last season. In it he talks about how he is thankful to the fans for their support and how he has inspired him with his videos. You can see the videos here.

In hockey news, NOPE, still not playing…

Until next week, enjoy a stroll on the Mag Mile and see the wonderful decorations and lights for the season.

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