Defensive Line (C)
I’m grading on a bit of a curve because this group has a lot to overcome. Still reeling from the absence of franchise player Henry Melton and DT Stephen Paea missing the game with a turf toe, the Bears have been forced to use some square pegs in round holes. Landon Cohen, who was on the street 10 days ago, was pressing into action. As a whole, the group is not providing enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but they helped hold Brees under 300 yards for the first time in 10 games.
Lance Briggs was on pace for one of those Brian Urlacher put-the-team-on-your-back games like Urlacher’s gem on MNF against the Cardinals back in ’06. Then he got duped by the oldest trick in the book, getting drawn offsides on a 4th and 1 which allowed the Saints to keep marching and killing the Bears chances for a late game comeback. James Anderson and DJ Williams held their own, limit Darren Sproles but allowing Pierre Thomas to get the best of them.
Charles Tillman lined up against Jimmy Graham a few times, but that’s a tough assignment for anyone. Tim Jennings had a couple of nice passes defended. The Saints appeared to be content to challenge mismatches elsewhere.
Chris Conte and Major Wright had their hands full with Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas and largely failed to live up to expectations. If the Bears defense is going to pull together, they need better play at the back end.
Special Teams (C)
Adam Podlesh was better, Robbie Gould still can’t kick an onsides kick. Devin Hester made better decisions when fielding kickoffs, but continues to not be a factor.
I have been really pleased with the job the coaching staff has done so far this season, but felt that the staff had their worst game on Sunday. Marc Trestman has been able to make adjustments offensively, but it’s way to slow and the Bears often find themselves in a big hole. Mel Tucker needs to wash the Jacksonville stank that he brought with him off and get more imaginative to compensate for injuries and players who are out of position.
What do you think? What grades would you hand out? Let’s see your Comments.