Chicago Bears Collapse vs Panthers: Week 5 Report Card

1 of 3

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Live Feed

Chicago Bears 2023 Free Agency Position Preview: Defensive Line
Chicago Bears 2023 Free Agency Position Preview: Defensive Line /

Da Windy City

  • Chicago Bears: Underrated veteran cut leads to even more cap space Da Windy City
  • Chicago Bears: Another silly Justin Fields trade rumor is making rounds Da Windy City
  • Bears doomsday device: What a Justin Fields trade would look like FanSided
  • Chicago Bears 2023 Free Agency Position Preview: Running Back Da Windy City
  • 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Aaron Rodgers On The Move, Texans Move To No. 1 NFL Mocks
  • When I was a freshman at the University of Illinois, I enjoyed my first semester.  Perhaps I enjoyed it too much.  I remember my first semester report card came home (back then they arrived in the mail): 4 C’s and a B.  Mind you, these were engineering weed out classes like Chemistry, Calculus, Engineering Drafting and Psychology.  My father took a look at it and he said, in his broken English, “One more like this, you come home.”  It was a wake up call that I needed.

    I made the adjustments that I needed to make in my study routine and re-prioritized some of my “social” activities and by sophomore year I made Dean’s List.  My hope is that after a total team loss like this, the Week 5 Report Card will give the Bears a chance to re-prioritize and make the adjustments they need to make:

    Quarterback (D)

    It’s funny because Jay Cutler actually finished the day with a very respectable 95.5 quarterback rating, ahead of Cam Newton‘s 84.8, but it just goes to show that some of these metrics just don’t add up.  Cutler was efficient with the ball and completed 28 of 36 passes for 289 yards but it’s the two interceptions that absolutely killed the team.  The first pick was a mental error; just a bad decision to try to force a ball into a triple-covered Brandon Marshall.  The second, late in the 4th quarter with the Bears nursing a 3-point lead, “just got away” from Cutler.  That can’t happen.   I’m tired of the excuses.

    Running Back (B)

    Matt Forte had a really nice game in the first half.  Forte caught 7 out of 7 passes thrown his way.  One went for a short TD, his first of the season, and another went 56 yards and should have gone to the house had there been some better blocking.  More on that in a minute.  Forte finished the day with 166 yards from scrimmage, but his fumble late in the 4th quarter set up the Panthers’ game winning score.

    Wide Receivers (C)

    Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Where is Brandon Marshall?  Has anyone seen him?  After declaring himself healthy for the first time since Week 1, we all expected a breakout game for Marshall.  Instead, we got 3 catches for 44 yards.  His partner in crime Alshon Jeffery had a nice game, catching 6 balls for 97 yards and a touchdown.  The Bears needed more production from this group, especially against a beleaguered Panthers secondary.

    Tight Ends (C)

    Martellus Bennett had about as good of a first quarter of the season as any tight end in the league, but Bennett was shut down on Sunday.  He only had three catches for 17 yards.  Had Bennett been a little more focused, he could have blocked Roman Harper to spring Matt Forte on what ended up being a 56 yard reception.  The Bears ended up missing a short field goal later in that drive, so it was a costly missed opportunity.  Rosario Dawson added 3 catches for 20 yards.

    Offensive Line (D)

    I’m not sure if this latest re-configuration of the offensive line due to Jermon Bushrod‘s injury and Matt Slauson‘s return just needs time to jell or what, but the line took a big step back in Week 5.  Slauson finished tied with Jay Cutler with a -2.3 grade by PFF’s analysis.  The Bears gave up 4 sacks, the most frustrating being on the final series when the Panthers were in coverage and not blitzing.  The Bears finished with just 85 yards rushing and 22 of those came on a Jay Cutler scramble.  A couple of false starts put the Bears behind the chains and proved to be really costly.  Overall, the offensive line had a bad outing.

    Offense (D)

    Has anyone seen the second ranked scoring offense from 2013?  You know, the group who returned all 11 starters and got a couple of monster contract extensions this offseason?  Remember them?  I don’t know if opponents have caught up to them already or if they’re just suffering from a sophomore slump.  They’re failing to score points, especially in the second half.  The last two weeks they’ve scored 6 point COMBINED in the final two frames of each of their last two losses.  They converted just 5/13 third downs.