When the Chicago Bears only score three points and lose to the injury-riddled Kansas City Chiefs, 10-3, things aren’t looking good in Chicago. Caleb Hanie looked as mediocre as he did last week, something many Bears fans were hoping would change. The loss of Matt Forte for 2-6 weeks rounded out a Sunday to forget.
A game where you get beat by a better team is acceptable, but when you lose because of a hail mary right before the half, one that you tipped into the opponents hands, it is hard to take. Martz and Lovie have a lot of things to work on after this debacle. I don’t even know what to expect next week against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. But before we go there, let’s hand out some grades for yesterday’s stinker at Soldier Field.
QB Caleb Hanie – The highlights were few and far between against the Chiefs for Hanie who was 11-24 for 133 yards with 3 INTs. His throws were often off the mark and he couldn’t convert a third down (0-11). His receivers didn’t help him, namely Roy Williams and his “big brown thing” excuse. I don’t blame all the INTs on Hanie. There was the tipped/dropped pass by Williams, Knox could have done more to prevent the pass to him from being intercepted and the final one was a desperation heave at the end of the game. All in all he should have had at least two TD passes, if it weren’t for the mistakes of others. That being said, Hanie often overthrew his receivers and allowed himself to be sacked seven times (six in the second half). And where was the mobility and running we saw from him last week? I’ll give him one more chance, because I still think he is the only available guy who knows this offense.
Mike Martz – Where’s the quick slants across the middle, Mike? Just hike the ball and throw. The Bears used that play multiple times this year and it got them three to five yards. I didn’t see it at all on Sunday. His play calling was about even run/pass, but I don’t think he called them at the right times. The fourth-and-one pass call that ended up incomplete was questionable. It didn’t look like Bennett would have even gotten the first down had he caught it and didn’t we get Marion Barber for these exact situations?
RB Marion Barber – His mental mistake cost the Bears the game. It’s basic football knowledge and Barber should have known better. He had a few nice runs after Forte went out but no one is going to remember any of those. His illegal formation was huge. He needs to play a lot smarter moving forward with Forte being out. Period.
DE Israel Idonije – He had a really nice game, racking up two QB hits, one sack, six tackles (three for a loss) and got into the Chiefs backfield often. We all know that he is capable of playing this well every week, so let’s hope he keeps playing at as high a level as he played this Sunday.
T Lance Louis – I went back and looked at all seven sacks on Caleb Hanie and Lance Louis was partially responsible for all of them. He was also called for a holding penalty that was almost in the end zone, which could have given the Chiefs a safety. Overall, he had a terrible day, but you have to expect this type of game occasionally from a backup guard playing tackle. I hope Mike Tice can work his magic on Louis quickly.
WR Johnny Knox – He finished the day with five catches for 53 yards and actually made a few tough catches down the stretch. The pass to him that was underthrown and intercepted was a little confusing. Knox seemed like he saw the ball the whole way but overran it. Then he let the defender box him out and make the catch. In Knox’s defense, I think that was the timing of the play call (the Bears just got the ball at their own 40 and needed at least a field goal to get some momentum) was bad. Hanie and Martz were to blame there too. Knox does look to be Hanie’s favorite target and isn’t dropping passes, so there’s that.
S Major Wright – As much as I enjoyed Tyler Palko against the Bears defense, I would have loved to see Kyle Orton for more than one play. Wright dislocated Orton’s finger on a blitz and he was out. Palko came back in and connected on a hail mary at the end of the quarter, a throw I don’t think Orton could make. Everything just went majorly wrong for the Bears, starting with Major Wright’s hit. C’est la vie.
Lovie Smith – I still don’t think the guy is a great coach, but at least he has figured out when to use a challenge flag. Also, the timeout to set up the Barber almost TD was well used. However, his fourth down choices have been a little questionable recently. The only way I will believe in him is if he can get this derailing train back on track. He didn’t show much against KC and I won’t be putting too much faith in his leadership ability for the rest of the season. I imagine that the players will be doing it on their own.