Chicago Bears Week 4 Report Card
If you’re a Chicago Bears fan, hopefully you’re done throwing up and the Monday hangover after another loss to the Green Bay Packers is starting to subside. Might I suggest a little hair of the dog that bit you to get through another painful loss to the hated rivals to the North? Our report card should be just the thing for you.
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Same old Jay? Maybe. Same old result? Definitely. Put this into perspective for a second – Jay Cutler hasn’t gotten through one Packers game as the member of the Bears without throwing at least one interception. His 1-9 record against them would certainly reflect that. I contend that although the first interception came off a tipped ball, it’s still on Jay to throw that ball elsewhere. Josh Morgan just wasn’t open. Cutler wasn’t as sharp as he could have been. There was a pass to a wide open Jeffery in the back of the end zone that was too high and too hot to handle. I’m not sure who gets the blame (or the credit since they were both positive plays), but the Cutler mishandled snaps reminded me all too painfully of Rex Grossman’s hijinks in Super Bowl XLI. Jimmy Clausen even got to break a sweat in mop up duty.
Running Backs (A+)
Sep 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packer at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
This is the day we were waiting for and expecting from Matt Forte. He was on point with a stellar rushing performance. Forte rushed 23 times for 122, averaging a stellar 5.3 yards per carry. He added 5 catches for 49 more yards. Don’t overlook the play he made to hustle back on the Clay Matthews interception, when Matthews cowardly ducked out of bounds with Forte in pursuit.
Rookie Ka’Deem Carey also took a turn and got some meaningful reps spelling Forte. Carey finished up with 14 carries for 72 yards although 9 of those carries came in mop up duty on the last drive.
Wide Receivers (C)
This was not the best game from the Bears wide receivers. Brandon Marshall ran the wrong route or had some type of blown read that resulted in an interception. Marshall only brought in two of the six balls thrown his way but did have the Bears first score.
Alshon Jeffery was the more productive of the duo, catching 4/7 passes and a TD on a nifty play that the Bears swiped from the Rams loss last season. On the Bears’ second drive, Jeffery had a rough stretch where the Bears missed out on a touchdown. Jeffery finished up with a -2.2 grade from PFF. Josh Morgan had a couple of catches, but his route was jumped and ultimately intercepted by Clay Matthews.
Tight End (A-)
Sep 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett (83) makes a catch against the Green Bay Packers during the second half at Soldier Field. The Green Bay Packers defeats the Chicago Bears 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Martellus Bennett had himself a heck of a ballgame. He caught nine of the 11 balls throw his way, but the biggest play he’ll be remembered for is the touchdown that wasn’t. With the clock ticking down to end the first half and no time outs, Bennett shortened up his route and came up just short of the end zone. You have to run your route into the end zone or be damned sure that you’re getting into the end zone. Bennett graded out with a +6.4 according to PFF’s grading system.
Offensive Line (B+)
The Bears were finally able to run the ball! The Bears were able to grind out 235 yards on the ground, their highest total since the 80’s. It’s a rare feat to rack up that much yardage on the ground and still manage to lose, but the Bears did it. Jay Cutler was only sacked once on 34 dropbacks. Michael Ola had his best game as a pro, earning a +5.2 grade from PFF while Kyle Long notched +3.0 run blocking grade to go with his -2.0 pass blocking grade. I’m not sure who gets pinned with the blame, but Brian de la Puente had a few interesting center exchanges with Jay Cutler.
The Bears piled up nearly 500 yards of offense. After the first couple of drives, it seemed like they’d be able to hang with the Packers. Instead, the Bears only put up 17 measly points against one of the worst defenses in the league while putting up nearly 500 yards of offense. You can’t go into a gun fight with a knife but that’s exactly what the Bears did on Sunday, not cashing in on their scoring opportunities.
Click Next to read the Defensive, Special Teams and Coaching Grades…if you think you can stomach it.