Chicago Bears Week 14 Report Card

The Chicago Bears played to win the game for three quarters on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, but once they let up and tried playing to “not lose,” it was over.  The Bears defense was schemed perfectly to shut down Tim Tebow, holding his offense to six punts, an interception and a missed field goal until the fourth quarter.  Then, the defense changed their style and Tebow took what he was given.  The madness that is Tim Tebow continues.

This game is one that is going to be remembered by Bears fans for a long time.  Two 50+ yard field goals, Marion Barber’s fumble and inability to stay in bounds, and poor coaching decisions all led to a Tebow-ner of a game.  The Mile High Moses got credit for another underwhelming win at the expense of the Bears playoff hopes.  Let get these grades over with and not speak of 12-11-11 again anytime soon.

Mike Martz – Maybe Martz was on to something last year when he showed a lack of confidence in Hanie as the No. 2 quarterback.  That being said, Hanie is the guy now and Martz still isn’t letting him be the quarterback.  The Bears didn’t attempt a pass on their final three drives (nine plays) of the fourth quarter.  I know Hanie hasn’t been the most reliable passer and the Bears were trying to protect a lead, but when you play to “not lose” the game, it’s hard to win.  Showing your quarterback that you don’t trust him isn’t going to make him better.
Grade: D+

DT Stephen Paea – One of the many bright spots on the defense, Paea had two sacks including one in OT.  I think he is going to develop into a good lineman, a position that the Bears really need help in.  Hopefully, he won’t turn out to be another draft bust for the Angelo regime.
Grade: B+

Lovie Smith – He can be great at coming up with a gameplan to stop an opponent, but somewhere along the line, he sabotages himself.  His defense played a perfect game against Tebow for three quarters, holding him to zero points and allowing less than 10 yards on six of their nine drives.  Then he stopped bringing pressure and threw in a prevent defense and backup DBs.  I don’t understand why he thought that what worked all game wouldn’t work in the end.  Sometimes I really question his common sense.
Grade: D

Marion Barber – It’s very easy to look at Barber’s stat line of two catches for 32 yards and 27 rushes for 108 yards, one fumble and one touchdown and say he had a decent game.  But his decision to try and get extra yards near the end of regulation instead of trying to stay in bounds was completely unacceptable.  Add to that his illegal formation last week and not having two hands on the ball leading to a fumble in OT this week, and you have to question this guy’s football IQ. And he avoided the media after the game (which is the norm for him).  However, by doing this on Sunday, he threw his teammates to the journalistic wolves, having to try to explain what went wrong. For these reasons, Barber is not a guy I would want on my team.
Grade: F+

S Craig Steltz – I’m normally not a fan of Steltz but he played a solid game filling in for the injured Major Wright.  He recorded five tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble, his second FF in as many games.  While I don’t want to see him starting in the future, he does a good job on special teams and he knows how to tackle.
Grade: A

CB Zack Bowman – There is a reason he lost his starting job a long time ago. This is another reason that the Jerry Angelo regime needs to go.  If the Bears had a better option they would have gone to it.  On the Broncos late touchdown, Bowman did as good of a job covering Broncos WR Thomas as the fans in the first row of the stands did. He better not be back next year.
Grade: F

QB Caleb Hanie – It’s hard to believe that Hanie is going to come around as quarterback.  He once again showed that he can’t make accurate throws and can’t feel the pressure in the pocket.  It makes you wonder who, if anyone, has been preparing this guy to play in an NFL game.  His receivers haven’t been helping him out much either.  While 12-for-19 for 115 yards isn’t terrible, it’s hard to win games with those numbers.  It’s encouraging that he didn’t turn the ball over but he didn’t make plays when he needed to.  He is 2-for-26 on third downs in the last two games and has led the offense to 13 total points. That’s just bad enough to keep the Bears winless in his starts.  I know the Bears playoff chances are slim, but the only way they have a chance is if Hanie steps up and makes plays.
Grade: C

  • flowermike

    Good post Deez, spot on.

    Imagine a season where we bring in 3 ex cowboys and pay them all well and leave Forte out to dry? Well, you don’t have to imagine that.

    Rwilliams is a disaster. Marion B is a disaster. The other dude is invisible. So much for free agency, eh Jerry?

  • BearGogglesOn

    I think you’re being generous to Hanie with a C. That grade implies average while Hanie is so far below average, he can’t see average from where he is.

    The Bears think so highly of him that he was allowed to throw exactly 1 pass in the entire fourth quarter, when the Bears had 4 possessions, going 3-and-out on all 4 of those possessions. Just one first down and the Barber stupidity wouldn’t have mattered. I hope Hanie got his degree out of Colorado State, because he’s going to need it in whatever he does when he’s out of football a year from now.

    I was a big supporter of Hanie and he’s really let me down not because he’s had bad games but because he’s regressed in each of his three starts. He’s overthrown wide open targets badly (see Earl Bennett vs the Chiefs and Marion Barber yesterday against the Broncos) and failed to convert crucial third downs at an alarming rate.

  • flowermike

    @BearGogglesOn I’m bummed with Hanie too Boom, but he doesn’t call the plays. We were playing not to lose once we posted one score.

    And why is Hanie so incapable?

    I’ve hammered away at this for 3 years here… The Bears do not develop talent. IF they are good enough to learn by osmosis, fine. If it takes grooming and nuturing, it won’t happen. And our schemes work against us too often.

    Hanie has missed throws and held the ball too long. Always looking for the short route or taking a sack instead of throwing it away. Does he lack instincts or is he literally thrown to the wolves… bronco’s.?

  • flowermike

    Good post Deez, spot on.

    Imagine a season where we bring in 3 ex cowboys and pay them all well and leave Forte out to dry? Well, you don’t have to imagine that.

    Rwilliams is a disaster. Marion B is a disaster. The other dude is invisible. So much for free agency, eh Jerry?

  • BearGogglesOn

    I think you’re being generous to Hanie with a C. That grade implies average while Hanie is so far below average, he can’t see average from where he is.

    The Bears think so highly of him that he was allowed to throw exactly 1 pass in the entire fourth quarter, when the Bears had 4 possessions, going 3-and-out on all 4 of those possessions. Just one first down and the Barber stupidity wouldn’t have mattered. I hope Hanie got his degree out of Colorado State, because he’s going to need it in whatever he does when he’s out of football a year from now.

    I was a big supporter of Hanie and he’s really let me down not because he’s had bad games but because he’s regressed in each of his three starts. He’s overthrown wide open targets badly (see Earl Bennett vs the Chiefs and Marion Barber yesterday against the Broncos) and failed to convert crucial third downs at an alarming rate.

  • flowermike

    @BearGogglesOn I’m bummed with Hanie too Boom, but he doesn’t call the plays. We were playing not to lose once we posted one score.

    And why is Hanie so incapable?

    I’ve hammered away at this for 3 years here… The Bears do not develop talent. IF they are good enough to learn by osmosis, fine. If it takes grooming and nuturing, it won’t happen. And our schemes work against us too often.

    Hanie has missed throws and held the ball too long. Always looking for the short route or taking a sack instead of throwing it away. Does he lack instincts or is he literally thrown to the wolves… bronco’s.?

  • City

    Hi Guys:

    How disappointing! A couple grades that I would have loved to see your take on that weren’t included. Roy Williams made an unbelieveable catch in that game. And had some great blocks on the edge. For once, I would have graded him above a C. And the defense. Despite the horrible prevent D in the 4th quarter, the Bears defense man-handled a pretty darn good offensive line, blocked a punt, forced Tebow’s first interception in 6 games (what an incredible catch that was by Peanut!) and held this team to 10 points. Across the entire season, this has to be one of the best defenses in the league in terms of fewest points allowed. And I think Urlacher, Peppers, Briggs, and Marinelli should be given some huge props for their performance this season.

    Can you imagine what they would have been like in the last 3 games if we had an offense?

    City

  • City

    “blocked a field goal” sorry, not punt.

  • City

    Sheesh… not finishing any thoughts today “and held this team to 10 points in regulation”

  • flowermike

    @City Sorry City, but Roy Williams should be retired…. kicked out of school for failing grades.

    The defense played well until it mattered.. then it fell apart once the plays broke down into Chaos. Never seen so many wide open receivers and we KNEW that they had to aim for the sidelines to stop the clock.

    Love your optimism though.

    We played three easy games on our schedule and kept poor offenses to low scores and still lost. Who amongst us didn’t count the AFC west games a sweep once we got passed SD?

  • City

    Hi Guys:

    How disappointing! A couple grades that I would have loved to see your take on that weren’t included. Roy Williams made an unbelieveable catch in that game. And had some great blocks on the edge. For once, I would have graded him above a C. And the defense. Despite the horrible prevent D in the 4th quarter, the Bears defense man-handled a pretty darn good offensive line, blocked a punt, forced Tebow’s first interception in 6 games (what an incredible catch that was by Peanut!) and held this team to 10 points. Across the entire season, this has to be one of the best defenses in the league in terms of fewest points allowed. And I think Urlacher, Peppers, Briggs, and Marinelli should be given some huge props for their performance this season.

    Can you imagine what they would have been like in the last 3 games if we had an offense?

    City

  • City

    “blocked a field goal” sorry, not punt.

  • City

    Sheesh… not finishing any thoughts today “and held this team to 10 points in regulation”

  • Deez

    @BearGogglesOn I agree that Hanie didn’t play great but he only threw 19 passes and went 3-4 for 39 yards in the OT drive. I blame the play calling for not giving him a chance. He needs to roll out more since the o-line is terrible. I still can’t believe that Martz doesn’t call the one step drop/quick slant pass. It was worked so many times and gets a couple yards when the DBs aren’t pressing the WRs. I am losing hope in Hanie but if he doesn’t have a chance to throw a deep ball, the offense will continue to be stagnant.

  • Deez

    @flowermike@City Roy did make one hell of a catch but I don’t think I can ever give him a good grade. One catch does not a receiver make.

    The defense did play really well. I could have give all of the starters an A. I just thought I would point out the guys who were unexpectedly good/bad.

  • flowermike

    @City Sorry City, but Roy Williams should be retired…. kicked out of school for failing grades.

    The defense played well until it mattered.. then it fell apart once the plays broke down into Chaos. Never seen so many wide open receivers and we KNEW that they had to aim for the sidelines to stop the clock.

    Love your optimism though.

    We played three easy games on our schedule and kept poor offenses to low scores and still lost. Who amongst us didn’t count the AFC west games a sweep once we got passed SD?

  • flowermike

    @Deez@City Yeah Deez, but that one catch doesn’t make up for a season of drops and consider that everytime you see RWilliams on the field, Knox is on the sideline. I think Knox has a future if he was developed.

    The defense played well, yes, but fell apart in the end. I’m no fan of the Retreat 2, so take my thought with a grain of salt. That soft zone killed us again. And remember, the kid can kick a 60 yarder no problem…. we had no yardage to “give”.

    I place the blame on the coaches. Three kneels wins the game and we’re calling run plays toward the sidelines. Belicheck would’nt of called that play or allowed it to be run.

    Sorry I’m so pissed about this. When Hanie is your qb, you can’t make mistakes like that, you just can’t.

    I can’t make mistakes in my job. I have to have my team on the same program, the same notes, the same mindset. Especially when the job is essentially over.

    Urrrrgggghhhhhhhh……..

  • Deez

    @BearGogglesOn I agree that Hanie didn’t play great but he only threw 19 passes and went 3-4 for 39 yards in the OT drive. I blame the play calling for not giving him a chance. He needs to roll out more since the o-line is terrible. I still can’t believe that Martz doesn’t call the one step drop/quick slant pass. It was worked so many times and gets a couple yards when the DBs aren’t pressing the WRs. I am losing hope in Hanie but if he doesn’t have a chance to throw a deep ball, the offense will continue to be stagnant.

  • Deez

    @flowermike@City Roy did make one hell of a catch but I don’t think I can ever give him a good grade. One catch does not a receiver make.

    The defense did play really well. I could have give all of the starters an A. I just thought I would point out the guys who were unexpectedly good/bad.

  • flowermike

    @Deez@City Yeah Deez, but that one catch doesn’t make up for a season of drops and consider that everytime you see RWilliams on the field, Knox is on the sideline. I think Knox has a future if he was developed.

    The defense played well, yes, but fell apart in the end. I’m no fan of the Retreat 2, so take my thought with a grain of salt. That soft zone killed us again. And remember, the kid can kick a 60 yarder no problem…. we had no yardage to “give”.

    I place the blame on the coaches. Three kneels wins the game and we’re calling run plays toward the sidelines. Belicheck would’nt of called that play or allowed it to be run.

    Sorry I’m so pissed about this. When Hanie is your qb, you can’t make mistakes like that, you just can’t.

    I can’t make mistakes in my job. I have to have my team on the same program, the same notes, the same mindset. Especially when the job is essentially over.

    Urrrrgggghhhhhhhh……..