It was another tough loss for the Chicago Bears, this week at the hands of the undefeated New Orleans Saints. It’s hard to call a team that was 10-6 last season up-and-coming or developing, but let’s face it, that’s what the Bears are right now. The offense under Marc Trestman continues to learn and grow while the defense tries to piece together a line decimated by injuries and at least slow teams down. On to the grades…
As we expected, Jay Cutler posted a solid bounceback performance. Going into Sunday, the Bears were 5-1 in games following a game in which Cutler had thrown 3 or more interceptions. Jay held up his end of the bargain, passing for 358 yards and 2 TD’s with no interceptions, good for a QB rating of 128.1. Another costly fumble and some critical drops tarnished an otherwise solid outing
Running Back (B-)
Matt Forte rushed 12 times for 55 yards and added four catches for 40 yards. Michael Bush actually saw some time, getting a couple of carries for 12 yards. Forte’s costly fumble, mishandling a pitch on the Bears’ first play from scrimmage, set the tone for a rough first quarter for the Bears offense, allowing the Saints to get off to a 13-0 lead. The Bears never recovered.
Wide Receivers (B-)
Alshon Jeffery had a record-setting day for the Bears, catching 10 balls for 218 yards and a touchdown. It’s really nice watching last year’s second round pick come into his own before our very eyes. Brandon Marshall added 4 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, but his post-game pouting left a sour taste in my mouth. Earl Bennett’s crucial drop and 4th and 2 all but killed any chance for a late comeback.
Tight End (C+)
Martellus Bennett had 5 catches for 56 yards but had to come out in spells presumably with his sore shoulder. Steve Maneri was inactive and offensive lineman Eben Britton reported eligible several times, so I’m not sure if I should add Britton to the TE group. Dante Rosario had a drop on a tough but catchable ball.
Offensive Line (C)
Early communication problems or a difficulty identifying some of Rob Ryan’s blitzes really put the Bears in an early hole. The offensive line gave up three sacks (with Matt Forte’s help), and committed a couple of costly penalties, none more damaging than Kyle Long’s ineligible man downfield call on 1st and goal inside the 5.