Bears Best Browns 30-6, but Concerns Remain
The Bears beat up on the Cleveland Browns30-6 but concerns still loomed large at Soldier Field. I can’t remember the last time the Bears won by such a sizable margin and I was left so dissatisfied. Check out NFL.com’s highlight package here.
Let’s get all the cards on the table. First and foremost, with as little disrespect as possible to our opponents, the Browns are awful. Their offense makes the Jonathan Quinn era here in Chicago look like the old Run and Shoot. I don’t know what’s worse, Derek Anderson or the fact that Brady Quinncan’t outplay this guy to get the nod as the starter. Anderson’s QB rating for the first half – 0.0. Anderson is walking among bumbling quarterback legends like Cade McNown and Rex Grossman to post such numbers at Soldier Field.
With that said, the Bears defense got to beat up on a weaker kid on Sunday, notching 5 takeaways. Actually, it was probably more like 5 giveaways by the Browns. Danieal Manning had himself a heck of a nice ballgame with a great diving interception and also pouncing on a loose ball. Peanut Tillman scored a defensive touchdown with an interception return for a touchdown too. I’m left to wonder if the defense was that sharp or if the Browns were that bad. Moving on to the Bears offense. Josh Beekman started at left guard in place of Frank Turnstiyale Omiyale and it appeared to this observer that the running game seemed to do a little better, especially running left. Matt Forte tallied 2 TD runs as he went for 90 yards on 26 carries for a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry. That average has got to improve. Garrett Wolfe came in late a hit a big 35 yard run in garbage time to boost his running average. He ran hard and moves a few piles late, but it was maddening to see him getting some carries up the middle again. It doesn’t work.
But my biggest concern from Sunday is Jay Cutler and the Bears passing attack. Jay Cutler must have thought he was Jigsaw’s latest victim in the Saw series as he was running for his life for the better part of the day. If he can’t get some pass protection, he’s not going to be able to get a life insurance policy – he’s too big of a risk.
Jay will spend a significant amount of time in the hot tub the next couple of nights trying to heal up from the many bumps and bruises he took throughout the game on Sunday. The worst was a shot under the facemask that left JC with a bloody lip and a bit tongue. Sorry ladies, JC will probably be out of commission for a couple of nights.
It’s hard to even grade the offense when there’s such a glaring weakness. After the Bears game, I tuned in a little to the Packers-Viking game and thought that if the Bears don’t straighten out their pass blocking, Jared Allen may set a record for sacks in a single game going up against ‘Oldmano’ Pace.
Is it time to consider moving Chris Williams, who is far from a standout at right tackle but appears to have a little more speed than Pace, to the left tackle spot and see if Pace can get it done on the right side? Can we coax John Taitout of retirement? What is Jimbo Covert doing these days?
It looked like the Bears offense hadn’t ever seen tape of the Browns defense. Ron Turner was frustrated by the lack of offensive production, particularly in the red zone, or as Bears fans will call it, the dead zone. It’s as if the offense gets stuck in the Bermuda Triangle any time they get in there. There was an improvement this week, where at least the Bears didn’t turn it over in the red zone, but when facing real NFL teams with real NFL offenses, they cannot fail to convert on suck opportunities.
So all is right in Beardom, at least for a night. The Bears did what they were supposed to do, what they needed to do. Next week, they face the defending NFC champs, as the Arizona Cardinals come to town. The Cards were upset by the Carolina Panthers at home this past week. Nothing like an embarrassing home loss before heading to Soldier Field to get the Cards all fired up. Plenty more coverage throughout the week.