Monday’s suck in general, but they are so much worse after a Bears loss. I’ve been getting used to strolling into work on Monday morning being proud of my Bears and ready to talk smack with fans of other elite NFL squads. It’s been over 9 months since the Bears lost and I forgot how bad it feels. I’m basically hiding in my office right now and pretending I’m on the phone anytime a Lions, Packers, or Vikings fan walks by. I’ve spent the morning looking for a silver lining to the Bears 40-32 loss on Sunday, but there is very little to feel good about. The Bears struggled in all aspects the game. The only thing that makes me feel any better is that if someone would have told me before the season that the Bears would be going into week 5 with a 3-1 record, I would be pretty happy. It’s not like I expected the Bears to go 16-0. Here are my takeaways from the game:
Jay Cutler: After 3 weeks of solid play and all the Mr. 4th Quarter rhetoric that I fully bought into, I had almost forgotten about “Bad Jay”. When he walked off the field with his shoulders slumped after his 1st pick of the day, all the bad Jay memories came crashing back. The first pick was a nice play by safety Louis Delmas as he basically ripped it out of Alshon Jeffery’s hands. Hard to pin that one on Jay, but the other two picks and fumble-6 were Jay’s fault. A underthrown deep ball , a throw about a mile above his intended receiver, and holding the ball about 3 seconds longer than he should have… All mistakes Bears fans have seen before, but not this year. It was a harsh reminder that Trestman hasn’t “fixed” Jay Cutler quite yet and Cutler’s bad habits (and body language) are still very much a part who he is as a QB. Let’s hope this was an aberration and we see “Game Manager Jay” in week 5. It’s being reported today that Cutler wasn’t 100% yesterday and needed IV-fluids before the game. Whatever.
Julius Peppers: That’s two weeks in a row that Peppers has made an impact and alleviates most concerns I had about Julius maybe being washed up (he is 33). In his defense he was sick the first two weeks of the season and has been his usual productive self (sack, FF, TFL) the last two weeks.
Rest of D-Line: Reggie Bush’s post game quote: “I didn’t really get touched a whole lot until I got to the secondary” pretty much sums up the game for the D-Line. Was Henry Melton really that good? Without him the vaunted Bears run defense looked like they were playing a man short. Lions RB Reggie Bush had massive holes to run through on his way to 139 yards on the ground (7.7 YPC). Most of those holes were up the middle, but there plenty off tackle as well. No one on the D-line is without blame, but at least Peppers & Wooten made a play or two in the backfield. New starting DT Nate Collins didn’t look any worse than the rest of the guys on the line, but didn’t make any positive plays either. New DT Landon Cohen was on the active roster, but a non-factor.
Alshon Jeffery: The only bright spot I saw was the play of WR Alshon Jeffery, who has 5 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. The last two weeks Jeffery has become an integral part of the offense. As good as his game was, he could of easily had two more touchdowns. Jeffery couldn’t stay in bounds on a deep catch right before the half and dropped a catchable ball in the end zone on a crucial third down early in the 3rd quarter. Either of those catches make this a closer game and possibly changes the outcome. Overall I am happy with how Jeffery has played the last two weeks and was impressed with his blocking on Forte’s touchdown run.
Martellus Bennett: Speaking of dropped TD passes, Bennett lost one in the back of the end zone for the 2nd week in a row. His game stats (9-80) don’t tell the whole story as those were picked up in garbage time against the Lions prevent defense. Bennett also had a first half drop on a 3rd down play. He’s still a major upgrade over the Bears TEs since Olsen, but I would like to see a little more consistency catching the ball.