Defensive Line: D+
Chicago police put out an APB for Julius Peppers and Henry Melton on Sunday. Did either of those guys suit up? Same goes for Corey Wootton. Peppers was going against a backup left tackle, which should have been a field day. Andy Dalton had all day to survey the field while the front four danced the afternoon away. Stephen Paea’s consistent play and Shea McClellin’s sack keep this group from a failing grade.
It was nice to see newcomer James Anderson make an impact. He played well, particularly in pass coverage. He batted down a ball late in the game on a crucial third down play. Lance Briggs had a nice tackle for loss of the Law Firm, but got trucked a few times with arm tackles and a high pad level. DJ Williams didn’t stand out either way as he gets his conditioning back from missing the preseason with a calf injury.
Peanut Tillman had an up-and-down day. Of course he had the two interceptions and a nice return on one of them, but when AJ Green ends the day with 162 yards and 2 TD’s, it’s hard to give him a high grade. Tim Jennings wasn’t great in coverage, but poked a couple of balls loose. He kicked one out of bounds, but managed to recover another at a key moment when the Bengals were driving.
The safeties didn’t really stand out except that it looked like Major Wright bit on a pump fake to allow AJ Green to haul in a long TD pass behind Tim Jennings. I expect more of this group.
Special Teams: A-
I think Adam Podlesh was the unsung hero of the game. He kept the Bears in the game with some great punts, pinning the Bengals in deep twice, only to have the defense allow 97 and 91 yard TD drives. Robbie Gould nailed a career long 58 yard field goal, which was the difference in the game. Devin Hester was largely neutralized, but his presence helped the Bears get the field position they needed to kick that bomb before the end of the first half.
Marc Trestman earns his first NFL head coaching victory. The offense had no pre-snap penalties, which goes in part to the coaching staff. A ballsy call on the 4th and 1 and deciding to kick a 58 yard field goal should be credited to the coaching staff as well. Isn’t it nice to see some halftime adjustments and a comeback win?
What do you think? What grades would you hand out? Were my grades a little too harsh? I was the guy in college who said “C’s get degrees,” so take everything with a grain of salt.
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