Welcome to the Chicago Bears Week 4 Report Card after a 40-32 beating at the hands of the now-first-place Detroit Lions.
This one goes out to all of you who wanted to see Jay Cutler with a 300 yard game. Sure, Cutty threw for 317 yards with a pair of touchdowns, but at the expense of a three picks and a lost fumble. The Bears are 3-5 in games in which Cutler throws for 300 yards.
Cutler’s ball security took a big step backwards in Week 4. Marc Trestman could see the flaws – and called him out on them in the post-game comments – without having to “look at the tape.” Cutler’s mechanics were not sound; he wasn’t setting his feet, costing him accuracy. When the offense goes 1/13 on third down, a lot of that falls on the quarterback.
Running Back (B)
I’ve scaled this back from Running Backs to Running Back, because Michael Bush didn’t figure into the action. Forte had a sweet 53-yard rushing touchdown when it still mattered to give the Bears a second quarter lead before the wheels fell off. Forte ended the day with 14 carries for 95 yards, most coming on the big hitter. Forte added 5 catches, but only for 22 yards, not quite the impact you’d hope. When you go down big in the second quarter, game plans and a rushing attack go out the window, so we’ll adjust our grade accordingly.
Wide Receivers (B-)
We all love Brandon Marshall, but this was not his best game. Marshall was targeted 14 times, but only managed 7 catches for 79 yards and a 2-point conversion including a couple of flat out drops.
The breakout star in this game was Alshon Jeffery, who had 5 catches for 107 yards with a TD and a 2 point grab of his own. Even with the 5 catches came 6 targets on which he didn’t cash, including a drop in the end zone. He also couldn’t quite compose himself late in the first half to get the ball into the end zone on a perfectly thrown ball from Cutler that should have gotten into the end zone. The Bears had to settle for a field goal and the rest is history.
Big kudos to both Marshall and Jeffery for fantastic downfield blocking to set up the Forte TD run.
Tight Ends (B)
Martellus Bennett led the Bears with 8 catches for 90 yards, but a lot of that came in garbage time when the Lions had dropped into a prevent defense and let the Bears move the ball underneath. It’s nice to see Bennett get some cheap yards, but I’d like to see more production when it counts.
Offensive Line (B-)
We all knew this was going to be a tough one. The Lions have one of the top D-lines in the league, which only gets a boost playing inside the raucous Ford Field. When the Lions were able to open up a lead, it allowed Suh and Co. to pin their ears back and attack.
The offensive line gave up 3 sacks and committed a couple of penalties but still held their own in a tough environment against a tough opponent. They’ll learn from this one and continue to improve.