Shea McLellin: Like everyone else who covers the Bears, I’ve been hard on Shea McClellin this season. Since his sack in week 1, McClellin has been a non-factor rushing the QB and a liability in the run game. If he can’t rush the passer and can’t stop the run, what is he doing out there? McClellin has looked like a total bust as the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft, but he was a force to be reckoned with Monday night. He finished the night with 3 sacks and two QB hurries. His first sack put Rodgers out for the game and his 3rd sack came on the last play of regulation when the Packers were a hail-mary away from tying the game. McClellin struggled in the run game again (-3.6 grade), but that is easier to live with when you get three sacks. Let’s see how he finishes the season before giving up on McClellin.
Brandon Marshall: Not only did Marshall lead the team in catches and receiving yards (7-107-1), but he was also had the second highest run blocking grade (1.9) behind only Matt Slausen (4.9). B-Marsh is a complete player and having a hell of year for the Bears.
Left side of the O-line: I just mentioned Matt Slausen’s solid game but Jermon Bushrod and Roberto Garza deserve some praise as well as they all graded out positively overall and eliminated almost all pressure from the right side of the Packers defense (2 hurries, 1 hit). As a whole the line did a good job keeping McCown clean and giving him enough time in the pocket to find an open receiver.
Bears Safeties: Yeesh. I don’t have much to complain about this week, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention how bad the safety play was again. It’s not a good sign that Chris Conte cringes when he sees a RB coming at him. I would probably do the same if Eddie Lacy was coming at me, but I don’t play football for a living. From a fan’s perspective Conte’s incompetence seems to stand out more, but Major Wright has actually graded out worse the last two games and overall is the Bears lowest rated defensive starter. I hate to say it, but I’ve given up on both and I think the Bears need to do something at the trading deadline or bring in a free agent vet. I’ll post some options later this week. Stay by the phone, Kerry Rhodes!
Hope: It’s crazy what one game (and a Rodgers injury) can do for a fan’s mindset. The Bears are back atop a wide open the NFC North with reinforcements coming soon and a soft schedule the rest of the way (30-38 combined record). The Bears are back!