My blood pressure has come down to only slightly elevated levels after the Chicago Bears’ 21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions. Actually, I’m still pretty pissed about this frustrating loss. I hope I don’t let it affect my grading too much. Oh, who am I kidding. Of course it will. Sorry these are a day late, but the news about Cutler’s latest injury and Tillman heading to IR pulled me away from the grades yesterday.
This grade gets a boost from Jay Cutler’s first drive and Josh McCown on the last drive. Everything else, for the most part, was not great for the quarterback grade.
This game was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t for Cutler. Stay in while hurt or pull yourself from the game; either way it’s a no win situation. I don’t put full blame on the quarterback play on Cutler, but he has to have some culpability. He had to recognize that he couldn’t move around enough to make plays.
Running Back (D)
This is a rare bad grade for the running backs. Matt Forte didn’t get the job done with a 17 carry, 33 yard performance. I don’t want to put it all on Forte or the offensive line either; both were certainly contributors. The play calling didn’t do them any favors. Forte’s best play of the day was negated with a Matt Slauson holding call. The 2-point conversion was just bad on all levels.
Wide Receivers (B)
I was poised to give the wide receivers an “A” for the day, but something held me back. Then I looked at the game book. Alshon Jeffery had nice catches, but he was targeted 18 times. He’s got to haul in more of the passes headed in his direction. None more important than the two he couldn’t pull in in the end zone. The good news is that the Bears had a pair of wide receivers go over 100 yards, which doesn’t happen all that often. The last time? Marty Booker and Dez White accomplished the feat in November 2002.
Tight End (C+)
This was not a stellar game for Martellus Bennett. He managed to pull in a four catches for 29 yards, but was unspectacular in his blocking. Bennett was the target for Cutler’s pass that was deflected and intercepted at the end of the first half.
Offensive Line (C)
A C grade might be a little kind for the offensive line following the loss to the Lions. Even though Cutler was only sacked once, he got the living bejesus pounded out of him. When you average under 2 yards per carry with your top running back, that’s not a formula for success.