Like I would start this live-blog without a picture of Kyle Orton drunk. That’s just how we roll. Got it? You may also start your Peyton Puffery meter from Al and John now; we will go with an over/under of 12 obvious on-air BJs. I will also be praising the elder Manning if he makes a habit of throwing it to Dallas Clark tonight, say, on the order of two or three touchdowns, because I’m 20+ down to The Starter Wife in the Channel 4 News League.

You know how this works. I take the best of your comments and post them throughout.

The NBC desk is now HUGE. It’s still not big enough to fit all four of those egos up there. Not that I don’t like Patrick, Olbermann, and Collinsworth, but it’s too damn much. (Bob Costas can go somewhere cramped and smelly as far as I’m concerned.)

Faith Hill’s grown on me as far as a theme. Dumb and cheesy, but a better dumb and cheesy than the other networks.

John’s inflated a little over the offseason — he looks weightier than he does in the Madden ads where he’s ridiculing video gamers who throw Hail Marys on 4th down.

The Sunday Night Football Cookbook? Um, no. I’m sure some of us out there can make better recipes on our own or know someone who can. But, if someone buys it, let us know if there’s a turducken recipe in it.

Do we really care if Danica Patrick finished 10th in some Indy race?

Robbie Gould kicks off to Courtney Roby, who bobbles and then gets it to the 30 for a start. Here comes Pey-Pey. Incomplete dump-off to Robinson on first down. Pitch to Joseph Addai, hits the outside for 5 yards. Lance Briggs already knocked up and on the sideline. Peyton to Anthony Gonzalez for a first down.

Addai gets whacked while rushing on the next first down, loses three. 2nd down pass gets knocked down. 3rd and 13, and Gonzalez should have caught that. Punt team coming on, and I don’t believe Dungy is dumb, so he’s not gonna kick to Devin Hester — wait, what? Hester got tripped up at the 30, thankfully, as Hunter Smith kind of botched the kick order.

“They can either come in that position…” – John Madden (via Gangsta D)

That’s just nasty. Here comes the Neckbeard…and it’s a botched play with a false start. Your 2008 Chicago Bears. Excuse me, an illegal snap. Matt Forte gets 2 yards, then six more on the 2nd down play. 3rd and 8 results in a deflection, and we get a three and out. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of that from the Bears’ offense.

Maynard’s punt bounces all the way to the Indy 19.

Bud Light Lime: If the shitty taste wasn’t bad enough for you, we’re going to mask it up with artificial lime flavor! Addai goes for 4 yards on 1st. Manning tosses to Marvin Harrison near the sideline for a first down, and goes back to Marvin once again across midfield.

Addai for a couple more, and Madden talked about possible problems with Peyton’s footwork. I trust John did not see his acting work; he’s got good moves. Manning hails one up to Dallas Clark, and we’re gonna get a PI flag or a roughing the passer flag — it’s roughing on Urlacher, and I hate calls that are that close. If you’re going to call that a split-second after the QB throws, put the quarterbacks in red “no contact” jerseys or a dress.

Manning goes to Gonzalez on the next play and it’s another first. After an incompletion, Addai goes around to the left side and grabs about 12 for a first and goal. Manning doesn’t like the set-up, and he calls time out. Tommie Harris comes up and stuffs Addai for a five-yard loss.

“If the Colts can get their running game going with Peyton Manning and the passing game, they are just about unbeatable.” – John Madden (via SSReporters)

This is what passes for analysis these days. Fascinating, huh? And Peyton has to blow yet another time out. He’s out of rhythm with his line. 3rd and goal turns into even more difficult, as they get called for a false start and are now at the 16.

OK, now this is really bad. The Colts do not get called for delay of game. EVER. The third down pass is incomplete, and Adam Vinatieri is coming on to kick a field goal.

Kick is good, 3-0, Colts — but that’s not looking good if Indy’s gonna play like that.

If you’d like a short game break and would like some schadenfreude, here’s video of that Tom Brady hit from earlier today:


Andrea Kremer tells us about Lucas Oil Stadium’s retractable roof, and I can only think about the millions it cost and how much of it is taxpayer-funded. The kickoff is handled by a non-Hester, since it’s a squibber, and the Bears start at about the 30. Orton’s 2nd down pass gets tipped, and while John and Al are talking about Orton somehow getting a starting job again — oh, shit….Matt Forte just busted it 50 yards for the touchdown! Nice run.

Gould’s kick is good, 7-3, Bears.

Courtney Roby flubs the kickoff, but the ref says he was down on the kickoff. Can Lovie Smith review that or is that just a ref’s judgment call? Apparently you can, and Smith is going to.

No Andrea Kramer, you are not allowed to call my beautiful new stadium, “the Luke.” Get out of my sight. – jfreak

Aw, you know every media member has to come up with a catchy name for a stadium!

Tony Romo gives the dumbest smile ever at the end of that Lemon Pepsi commercial. Why can’t they show Brian Dawkins hitting him hard at the end?

Romo may have doubled his size but his dick remains as tiny as the pepsi bottle. – Anon

+1, sir.

The play stands as called. Manning to Clark for 7 or 8 due to poor tackling by the Bears. Addai stretches for a first down. Next pass is too high for Reggie Wayne. Wayne took a hit from Charles Tillman trying to catch the third down pass, and Hunter Smith will be on his way out again.

Punt is downed by the Colts at their own 17.

Referring to the graphic about leading passer, rusher, and receiver — when all three of them kind of suck (save Berrian, but who would throw to him?), you can’t blame an organization for getting rid of them. Forte gets 9 yards on the carry and you might have the right to start asking questions early about the Colts’ defense. Usually Bob Sanders is there and able to help with run stuffing.

Orton to Hester for eight or nine, and one more tackle missed and he’d have been free for 20. Forte busts through for six or seven and a first — and Bob Sanders pretty much saved a touchdown. First quarter’s over.

Is Neckbeard going to complete pass in the first half? Odds? – Anon

Anon, already done, and he’s smart if he’s just going to go for checkdown-type stuff. No reason to pull a Sex Cannon if Forte’s gonna run like that all night. Orton to Rashied Davis.

And John and Al are already onto the Brady injury — rumors that they’re going to bring in Chris Simms for a tryout. Opinions on this? Anyone’s better than Matt Cassel, obviously.

A draw fails on 3rd and 5, and Maynard kicks it away, it’s fair caught at the 18. Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars” for the bump? Are they from that area? I’ve not heard that song in a long, long time (and that may be a good thing.)

Regarding Brady’s Knee:

Yahoo! Sports and PFT are saying the ACL is torn, and Adam SChefter of NFLN reported around 8:30 that the MCL is torn also.

Just passing along the info. – JG

That’s painful. How many of you just got screwed in your fantasy league because of Brady’s injury?

You still have Favra’s dick to suck Madden, don’t be too downtrodden. – jfreak

You think Madden’s out of sorts? Peter King is crying in the corner of the studio right now. Manning hits Wayne for 18 yards and a first. Crap, crap, crap — Dallas Clark is out with an injury; Manning hits Harrison in Bears territory. Gonzalez catches a pass and gets nice yardage post-catch by spinning towards the sideline.

Reunite the Culpepper & Moss! – Anon

I am so in favor of this, you have no idea. Manning hurls one to Wayne, but he can’t quite lay out for it in the end zone. Peyton gets another pass tipped. 3rd and 10 is a swingout to Dominic Rhodes, but that’s going to be short, and here comes Vinatieri again.

Dr. John Madden, evaluating just how much weight Peyton’s lost.

FG kick is good, 7-6, Bears.

“That suit not fitting him the way it normally would, see him walking out…”- AM
“I’ve known Peyton Manning for a long time, and that’s not the confident Peyton we’re used to seeing.” – JM

Danyel Manning brings the kickoff up to the 34. Forte up to the 37. Now, could you imagine if Chicago actually invested in a decent quarterback with their field position average, since no one wants to kick to Hester, they wind up being the benefit of squibs? Hell, they might actually get back to the Super Bowl. But, the Halas family is ridiculously cheap.

Bob Sanders just smacked up Forte and he’s sitting on the sidelines. Time out, Chicago.

Think the Manning parents rode out on the Madden Cruiser ? – JG

Not high class enough for Archie and Olivia. Besides, Madden probably never shuts up. He’s that dude you remember from the road trips you took during college who got baked in the backseat, ate all the time, and never, ever shut up. Had to talk about something all the time.

Clearly Manning is distracted with his important doubles match against the Williams brothers in the oreo cookie league of double stuffed whatever. – SSReporters


“That’s [Forte’s] welcome to the NFL moment, huh?” – AM

Orton throws into double coverage for Desmond Clark while getting hit. Oddly Rexy of him.

It seems wrong that Dwight Freeney is rocking a Yankees hat in his profile picture. Not because of the team, but because he’s wearing a hat. I didn’t think that was allowed, but I’m not gonna be the guy to tell Dwight Freeney he can’t wear a cap.

I would fire an RPG at Frank Caliendo through my TV if I could. Clark on the bike, Hayden poked in the eye, and Orton hits Clark over the middle for 19.

“This crowd has not been a problem for the Bears offense.” – AM

The Colts’ staff forgot to move the crowd noise tapes when they moved stuff out of the RCA Dome.

Kelvin Hayden should have had that pick. That was a high, rushed throw by Orton (thanks to Freeney), and that was a turnover waiting to happen. 3rd and 13.

Kyle Orton scampering downfield for yardage is really not a pretty thing to watch, and neither was the hit. Robbie Gould from 41 yards is good. 10-6, Chicago.

“It makes the RCA Dome look like a pimple!” – AM, on Lucas Oil Stadium

Gould kicks off to Roby, who gets out to the 21 — but it’s coming back, flags on kickoffs are almost always on the receiving team. Block in the back, Manning will start at his own 11. Marcus Harrison just put Peyton on the ground back at the 1 yard line. Handoff to the RB — and Ogunleye tackles him in the end zone for a SAFETY. 12-6, Chicago.

Indy’s challenging it, but I’m with our boys in the booth — this didn’t get out far enough. Call stands, and the Colts will punt it back to the Bears. Hester picks it up and takes it out to the 38. Offensive holding drives ’em back to the 28. 1st and 20 for Forte ain’t much — but Orton hits Brandon Lloyd to move the sticks. (Yes, that Brandon Lloyd, the one whom Redskins fans cannot say the name of without adding a choice swear word in the middle somewhere.)

Two minute warning is here.

Madden : You cant tell its a stadium from the outside.

Except for the giant lettering on the outside saying it is. Al and John must have hit happy hour before the game. – JG

Any reports of Brent Musberger tailing along for that one?

The Bears get a first down from an encroachment penalty, then Orton gets about 600 pounds of muscle falling on him as he’s sacked. Forte cracks the 100 yard mark with that three yard gain.

Orton hits Greg Olsen on third and 15, and now using that last time out looks really bad, because they’re forced to kick for the points rather than take a shot at the end zone. 25-yarder for Gould, and it’s good. 15-6, Bears, and that’s the half. Shoot the shit about the halftime show in the comments, and I’ll be back in a few with our second half post.