Chicago Bears Week 1 Report Card

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These are the kinds of report cards you hate doing.  It’s no fun handing out grades after a stunning, upset loss, but that’s exactly what we need to do after the Chicago Bears dropped their season opener to the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.

Quarterback (D)

Sep 7, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) rushes the ball against Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin (21) during the second half at Soldier Field. Buffalo Bills defeat the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Jay Cutler gets a D despite throwing for 349 yards and two TD’s.  But it was those two interceptions – particularly the one to defensive tackle Kyle Williams – that were inexcusable for a supposed MVP candidate and gave him a below average grade.  Cutler was bad even by Cutler standards.

Running Back (A-)

Matt Forte was Mr. All Purpose.  He combined for 169 yards from scrimmage with 82 yards rushing and 87 more in receiving yards.   He was the reason the Bears were in the game, especially when the wide receivers were dropping like flies.   Ka’Deem Carey got his first NFL carry for 4 yards.

Wide Receivers (C-)

This group is a lot different without Alshon Jeffery.  His hamstring injury could really derail the season.  Brandon Marshall had 8 catches for 71 yards, but a costly turnover and a silly penalty hurt his day.  The receivers besides the top two are virtually nonexistent.  Michael Spurlock can’t catch and Josh Morgan is just a guy.  Santonio Holmes needs to get his nose in the playbook to be able to contribute.

Tight End (B)

I thought Martellus Bennett had one of his better games in a Bears uniform, nabbing 8 balls for 71 yards, picking up a lot of those yards in YAC (Yards After Catch).  Matthew Mulligan was assessed a costly offensive pass interference penalty and Dante Rosario matched his 2013 total in catches with 1.

Offensive Line (B)

The Bears suffered a couple of key injuries along the offensive line, with Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson leaving the game with matching ankle injuries.  (Not sure about the matching part, but it sounds about right).  Michael Ola and Brian de la Puente stepped in and didn’t hardly miss a beat.  Forte had some nice running lanes and for the most part, Cutler had decent time to throw.

Jordan Mills got whupped by Mario Williams at least once that I noticed in the first half, but give Williams some credit on making a good play.  Injuries are a little scary because of some unproven depth behind the front line guys, but the subs acquitted themselves decently in Week 1.

Offense (C)

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I’ll give the offense an overall grade of a C.  The first drive was a thing of beauty and they had flashes of brilliance.  But mixed in was way to much average to below average.  I thought the Bears got a little too cute and outthought themselves way too much.  If they’d kept it simple, they could have been much more productive.

Click Next down below to continue reading this post and see our grades for the Defense…