Chicago Bears Week 6: Takeaways

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3.) Martellus Bennett needs to get his head out of his a** – For the second week in a row Martellus Bennett played a sub-par game for the Bears. I’m not sure what Bennett’s deal is, but he doesn’t seem to be playing with the same intensity and focus that he did last season. His stats were decent with six catches for 59 yards, but he was targeted 11 times and there were at least two or three balls he should have caught. Besides the drops there were also some lazy routes and on a crucial 3rd down play late in the game when Bennett caught the ball in the open field just a few yards from the first down marker but was tackled by a much smaller man with what looked like minimal contact. Bennett acted injured after the play and I’m not insinuating that he wasn’t but it just didn’t look like their was close to enough contact to bring down the 6’6, 273 pound tight end. To cap off his lackluster game, Bennett completely whiffed on a block on the crucial 3rd down and 4 during the Bears 2nd to last drive of regulation. One first down could have iced the game but both Bennett and Ducasse missed blocks and Forte was stopped near the line of scrimmage.

4.) It was nice to have Alshon Jeffrey back – He didn’t look anywhere near 100% and was far from perfect with a dropped deep ball that hit him in the hands and two penalties, but Jeffrey did have 8 catches for 147 yards and a TD. Jeffrey also stepped up big on the Bears last drive with two catches and drew a pass interference call that gave the Bears the ball at the 11 yard line. Hopefully Jeffrey finished the game healthy and will be back next week because he’s clearly Cutler’s favorite target and the only legitimate deep threat that the Bears have on the active roster right now.

5.) The Bears O-line played much better today – I was worried about Charles Leno Jr’s match-up with Ziggy Ansah who was tied for the league lead in sacks coming into the game with 5. Surprisingly Ansah was a non-factor for most of the game due to a solid performance by Leno. His footwork was much improved compared to the last few weeks and he consistently gave Cutler enough time to find a receiver. Leno’s run blocking still needs work but he showed improvement there as well. Opening week starter Jermon Bushrod should be back at left tackle next season, but Leno improved every week and in week 6 looked like a competent swing tackle.

On the day Cutler was only sacked once, but was hit six times. Vladimir Ducasse had his usual penalty and made too many mistakes but the rest of the O-line played their best game of the season. They still have plenty of room for improvement but are showing sings of coming together and giving Bears fans some hope for the rest of the season.

6.) Penalties and the review booth hurt the Bears Sunday – I hate to be the fan who always complains about the refs, but it seems like the Bears have gotten screwed over by missed calls or blown replays at least once per game this season. On Sunday the Bears had nine penalties for 76 yards. Plenty of those were deserved but a very questionable roughing the passer call on Pernell McPhee last in the game took the Lions from a 4th and goal at the 13 yard line to 1st and goal from the 6. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bears had an interception in the end zone at the end of the first half overturned and called a Detroit touchdown. The rules on when a receiver has possession in the end zone are too convoluted for me to explain here, but most analysts thought it was an interception by the Bears.

7.) Sherrick McManis needs to be benched – PFF is down right now, so I can’t get a second opinion on how bad McManis was on Sunday, but while watching the game tape again it’s pretty clear. McManis was burned early and often by Lions receivers on Sunday, including multiple times by 32-year-old Lance Moore. Not only did Moore beat McManis often (5 catches, 106 yards), but on a few plays had him beat by 4-5 yards. Unacceptable.