Chicago Bears Week 12 Report Card: Epic Defensive Failure

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Nov 24, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (12) looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have tire marks on their backs after they were run over by the St Louis Rams in a devastating 42-21 loss that cost the Bears a chance to take sole possession of first place in the NFC North.  There were failures at many levels on offense, defense, special teams and coaching.  This was, as they say, a total team loss.  Let’s look at the individual groups and see how they graded out.

Quarterback (B+)

Josh McCown set a Chicago Bears record for completions with 36, going for 352 yards and 2 TD’s.  He also committed his first two turnovers of the season, throwing an Interception and coughing up a fumble that was returned for a touchdown,  the cherry on top of the Rams’ win.  For all the good that McCown has done while backing up Jay Cutler, he’s struggled in the red zone, where you can see he lacks the right touch or zip on the ball to throw it in confined spaces.  Nevertheless, McCown put on a pretty impressive performance against a very aggressive Rams defensive front.

Running Backs (B-)

This should really get graded out separately, with individual grades to go to Matt Forte and Michael Bush.  Let’s get the easy grade knocked out first – Michael Bush = F.  Bush is horrible and needs to be let go after the season.  He’s averaging 1.6 yards per carry this season.  Despite his bigger size, he is not a short yardage back.  He’s been horrible in that role.

Now on to Matt Forte.  Forte got off to a rough start, with the fumble on his first carry leading directly to points for the Rams to open up a 14-0 lead.  Forte came out strong after the fumble and ran tough.  He finished the day with 77 yards rushing and added 40 yards receiving on 7 catches.

Wide Receivers (B+)

Nov 24, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Marshall is a BEAST!  He pulled in 10 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.  He did have a costly drop at a crucial point when the Bears needed a conversion.  Earl Bennett was welcomed back to the fold with 8 catches on 8 targets for 58 yards.  Alshon Jeffery had a relatively quiet day with only 4 catches for 42 yards.  His signature end around would have gone for 26 yards had it not been for a holding penalty.

Tight End (A-)

Martellus Bennett had a decent game picking up 62 yards on 4 catches, including a touchdown.

Offensive Line (B-)

The offensive line didn’t have their best outing on Sunday.  Even though Josh McCown was only sacked once, Jermon Bushrod struggled with Robert Quinn all day.  Kyle Long can thank his brother for saving his skin and likely keeping him from getting ejected from the game for attempting to kick a Rams player during a wild fracas after a poor job of officiating.  When it takes 8 plays to score from goal-to-go, a large part of that is on the offensive line.

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