As a whole the Bears rookies bounced back nicely from their worst game of the season against the Rams. It’s hard to be happy with anything Bears related after such a painful loss, but I feel better about the rookies after the way they played against the Vikings and feel like the Rams game was just a fluke. Here is a breakdown of how they did in week 13:
Kyle Long RG: Long is having a strange year. For the first half of the season he was a borderline dominant run blocker who has mediocre in pass pro. Over the last three weeks, Long’s pass blocking has improved, but he is struggling as a run blocker. His run blocking grade the last two weeks (-2.4 both games) has been the worst on the o-line. Forte is still averaging over 5 YPC the last two weeks, but most of his success lately has come running left or outside. Over the first 6 weeks of the season, Forte had a better YPC running behind Long than any other spot in the line. It could be Long is just wearing down, he did only start 5 games at Oregon last year. Or it could be defensive linemen have more tape on Long now and have spotted some weakness in his technique. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on the rest of the season.
Jordan Mills RT: After a stretch of truly bad play mid-season, Mills has leveled off a little and is now just below average instead of terrible. Like most weeks, he earned the lowest grade on the line from PFF and was actually the only Bear lineman with a negative grade (-2). He’s still the lowest graded RT in the NFL, but over the last three games he has improved. He’s only averaging 3 hurries allowed per game over the last 3 compared to 7 per game in weeks 7-10. Mills did allow a sack on Sunday, but on the bright side he played penalty free football as he has most of the year (only 2 penalties this season).
Jon Bostic MLB: Coming off the worst game of his young career, Bostic bounced back with a solid performance Sunday. He got nabbed for a costly taunting penalty (BS!) and got caught up in blocks too often which is becoming a weekly problem for Bostic. He was second on the defense with 9 total tackles, and led the team in stops with 7. Bostic was solid in coverage again and only gave up 1 catch for 2 yards. Overall it was a good game and makes last week’s disaster look like a fluke.
Khaseem Greene OLB: Green also bounced back from his worst game a Bear with a strong performance Sunday. He had 6 tackles (3 stops), a pass deflection, and a clutch interception in the red zone which kept Viking points off the board. It was an easy catch on a deflection, but it’s not like we haven’t seen Bears drop those before (looking at you, Major Wright). Most importantly to me, Greene did a better job holding his ground in the run game than last week. The Rams o-line demolished Greene on their last drive, but he held up better this week and looked like he made an adjustment to take on blockers at an angle instead of head-on which wasn’t going well verse the Rams.
David Bass DE: Like last week Bass only played about 20% of the defensive snaps. I’m not sure why, as he was played well when on the field the last three weeks. Sunday he just missed a sack (QB hurry) and had a tackle on Peterson. With Shea McClellin really struggling, I don’t’ know why Bass isn’t playing more. Outside of one bad game (week 10, DET) he has made plays when given the chance.
Marquees Wilson WR: Only played 5 snaps Sunday and didn’t get any targets in the passing game. Sigh.
* All grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus