Whew! There is no reason this game should have been nearly as close as it was. The Chicago Bears should have run the New York Giants out of the stadium, but instead, they let off the accelerator and let them hang around, needing a Tim Jennings interception to hold on for the win. Full disclosure – I was at the game and haven’t had a chance to watch the recording, so these grades are based on what my eyeballs saw from way back in Section 447 Row 29.
I thought Jay Cutler was particularly sharp in the first half of the game. He went 13 of 18 for 179 and 2 TD’s with a stellar passer rating of 140.7. Sweet Cutty!
He finished up the day with a passer rating of 106.5, throwing for 262 yards while completing 67% of his passes, including a pair of touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall. What was encouraging was that Jay generally made good decisions and protected the damn ball. He missed a couple of long throws, but otherwise was very productive.
Running Back (B)
I really liked what I saw out of Matt Forte last night. I would have liked to have seen some better play calling and of course he needs to get into the end zone, but generally they deployed Forte well. He rushed for 67 yard and added 6 catches on 6 targets for another 44 yards. Michael Bush continues to under-perform, but hey look Tony Fiammetta had a huge catch and run after the catch.
Wide Receivers (B+)
Brandon Marshall and his green spikes came out on fire in the first half. He caught 6 balls on 8 targets for 65 yards and 2 TD’s. He ended up with 9 catches on 11 targets for 87 yards. Alshon Jeffery was thisclose to have another monster game. He and Cutler couldn’t quite connect on some long throws, so he only ended the game with 1 catch for 27 yards and he is still working that end around effectively. Earl Bennett missed out on both of his pass attempts, including another drop on a key third down conversion.
Tight End (B)
Martellus Bennett had himself a nice game against his former team, racking up 6 catches on 7 targets for 68 yards. Isn’t it nice to have a tight end who can actually catch the ball and… get this… can run with it once he catches it?
Offensive Line (B)
Jay Cutler got through the game clean and was not sacked, though he did have to scramble around quite a bit. The rushing game averaged 3.8 yards per carry, which isn’t good enough. Part of it goes to the play calling, part of it goes on the line. I’ll have to watch the game to get a better sense for how they did, but my initial reaction was a solid performance.