After last week’s impressive effort from the Bears rookies, they came out and played their worst game collectively against the Rams. When you are forced to play rookies in critical roles, you are going to get some inconsistent play. That’s pretty normal with rookies as they adapt to life in the NFL. Unfortunately they all decided to play their worst game of the season in the same week. Ouch. I covered Bostic & Greene in my takeaways, so some of this may sound familiar to you.
Kyle Long RG: Most of his press from Sunday is for his attempt to kick a Rams lineman in the face while he was on the ground. That is going to cost Long some money in fines from the NFL. Judging by how fast his brother ran on the field to pull Long away, this isn’t the first time Kyle has let his temper get the best of him. Luckily he didn’t make contact or he would have been ejected and perhaps suspended for a game or two. He was allowed to keep playing and honestly the Bears may have been better off without him. Long played his worst game since week 4 against N’Damukong Suh. He was actually decent in pass protection only allowing 2 hurries, but really struggled in the run game which is usually his strength. 6 of Michael Bush’s 7 runs were to the right side of the line and Long continually got beat by Rams DTs, Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford. Long wasn’t able to generate any push and was driven backwards on the majority of the Bears short yardage runs. That’s the first time all year I have seen Long consistently out-muscled in the run game.
Jordan Mills RT: Jermon Bushrod was so bad Sunday that he drew most of the negative criticism, but Mills wasn’t much better. His -6.1 grade was his worst since the week 4 Detroit game as well. Mills gave up 4 QB hurries and 2 hits on McCown. In Mills defense, Chris Long is a pretty good DE. I already mentioned the right side of the line struggling, but Mills actually had the lowest run blocking grade on the whole o-line. I’m not sure why the Bears kept rushing right (16 of 26 runs) when both Long & Mills were clearly struggling Sunday.
Jon Bostic MLB: After three consecutive solid games, Bostic took a serious step back on Sunday with the worst overall grade on the Bears defense (-5.2). He did collect 5 tackles, but 3 of them were down field after significant yardage and he gave up 3 catches on the day, one of them a touchdown to Jared Cook. Bostic did seem to get hurt in the first half, so his poor play could have been due to trying to play through an injury. He’s been good lately, so hopefully Sunday was just a fluke.
Khaseem Greene OLB: Don’t let the fact that Greene led the team in tackles fool you, he had a terrible game. The left side of the run defense (McClellin / Greene) was repeatedly gashed for long runs and on the Rams last TD drive, when the Bears needed a stop for a chance to win, Greene was tossed around like a rag doll by the Rams O-line. In Greene’s defense he probably isn’t ready to be playing this much, but he’s getting dominated so thoroughly that it makes me wonder if he ever will be.
David Bass DE: With Shea McClellin back, Bass only got 16 snaps on Sunday and actually didn’t play that bad compared to the rest of the D-line. Bass had the Bears only sack of the game and had a tackle on Zac Stacy near the line of scrimmage, which didn’t happen often. Bass did miss a tackle, but for the day had better stats than McClellin despite playing 28 less snaps on defense. I know the Bears are going to give McClellin every chance to succeed, but I would like to see Bass given more snaps next week as he’s been productive for two weeks in a row.
Marquees Wilson WR: For the second week in a row, Wilson only played 3 snaps. The Bears made a point to get Earl Bennett involved Sunday, so I guess Earl is in no danger of losing his spot to Wilson. I still want to see Wilson get a few balls thrown his way to see what he can do before the end of the season. It’s not like Earl is dominating.
Michael Ford RB: With Michael Bush’s struggles this year, I’m holding out hope the Bears give Ford a chance at some point this season. He looked great in the preseason and his low center of gravity (5’10) might work better on short runs, then Bush’s plodding upright style.