Chicago Bears Week 1 Report Card

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Sep 7, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) rushes the ball against Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte (47) in overtime at Soldier Field. Buffalo Bills defeat the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

D-Line (D-)

Would someone please tell Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston that the preseason is over?  I am not sure either of those big ticket free agent acquisitions were even in uniform on Sunday.  The Bears gave up nearly 200 rushing yards and that all starts up front.  The only saving grace for this group, keeping them from a failing grade was the performance of Willie Young and a few flashes from Jeremiah Ratliff.

Sep 7, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) rushes rushes for a touchdown against Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (55) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers (D)

Lance Briggs looked like he was running in molasses (or maybe it was BBQ sauce) on a few plays.  Was DJ Williams in the game?  Not sure because I don’t believe he appeared on the stats sheet, meaning he didn’t have any tackles or sacks.  Shea McClellin failed to impress in his linebacker debut and the hardest hit he laid was a friendly fire shot on Charles Tillman.

Safeties (C)

Chris Conte made his return a memorable one.  His interception turned the momentum and helped set the Bears up to tie the game in the third quarter.  But Conte was abused by Fred Jackson in overtime, taking a couple of stiffarms all the way to the goal line.  Ryan Mundy led the team in tackles, which is good for him but bad for the rest of the team.

Cornerbacks (B-)

Charles Tillman looked to be a step slow.  Maybe it was still shaking off rust as his preseason wasn’t particularly sharp either.  Tim Jennings had his hands full with Robert Woods most of the day, but was a sure tackler when called upon.  Kyle Fuller did a showed well in his debut.  He was matched up with fellow rookie Sammy Watkins and held his own.  He definitely looked like he belongs.

Defense Overall (C-)

They’ve had months to prepare the defense for a read option, yet there was EJ Manuel carving them up with the read option.  If there were some new defensive wrinkles, I didn’t notice them to be especially effective.  The big ticket free agent defensive linemen were nothing more than a rumor and some of the seasoned vets looked they weren’t going at full speed.  If that is their full speed, this could be an ugly season.  Do we have any linebackers on this team???

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