Things could not have gone much worse for the Bears in their 14-9 loss to the Arizona Cardinals to drop to 0-3 in the preseason. In the setup of the Open Thread, I outlined three main points for the Bears to follow for me to deem this game a success, regardless of the final score. None of them went according to plan:
Protect Cutler: FAIL
Cutler and the offense were out of sync all day. Cutty was dropped 4 more times and picked off twice for good measure. This O-line is brutal!!! Do you think Jay misses Josh McDaniels yet? I bet he would have gladly swallowed his pride and stayed in Denver if he had known he’d be protected by this revolving door of a offensive line.
Defense must get off the field: FAIL
The first string defense was bad. They allowed Arizona to convert 57% of their 3rd downs and most concerning were more 3rd and longs that were converted. And this was with Cardinals All-World receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the sidelines and Kurt Warner comfortably in a rocking chair enjoying retirement. This was Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart carving up your defense.
Get out healthy: FAIL
Lance Briggs left the game with an ankle injury. I even pointed to the linebacker position as getting thin. I think I put some bad mojo on them! I’m not overly concerned about the Briggs injury, but it’s these little sprains that can drag on and impair performance for weeks.
Now it wasn’t all bad. There were a few peanuts to be found in the turds.
- Julius Peppers is an absolute BEAST. That guy is just a man among boys. I’m not saying anyone is worth the $90+ million that he got, but this guy makes me think again.
- Johnny Knox is a baller. He had a few nice catches hooking up with Cutler.
- Chester Taylor had a couple of nice plays and dare I say that the Bears might have finally figured out how to run a screen pass? The way the line has been protecting, this could be the secret weapon to slow that rush down. If we get nothing else out of the Mike Martz experience, if we FINALLY learn how to properly execute a screen pass, it will have all been worthwhile.
Don’t count on seeing too much from the starting units on Thursday night in Cleveland, so what you’ve seen so far from the starters is what you’ll get for the preseason.