Week 1 Rant and Review: Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans

Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

In our Week 1 Rant and Review, we look back at the Chicago Bears frustrating 23-14 loss to the Houston Texans.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why the Chicago Bears lose the games they do. At least five games last year were decided by one score or less. This game, however, the Bears looked like they had no reason being there. The first half was exciting, going into halftime as a Bears fan I couldn’t help but think that the Bears would pull off an upset win.

The Bears were a 6.5 point underdog to the Texans. The Texans, the team starting a new QB with no experience, a new RB, two rookie receivers and a very rusty JJ Watt. Personally, I took the Bears to win this one, an All-Star coaching staff, an experienced QB with his Pro Bowl wide-out healthy and most of the defense returned with a year of experience underneath their belt. The makings of an upset right? —Wrong.

Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) grabs the leg of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

For the second time in two years, the Bears made a mediocre Brock Osweiler look like a seasoned veteran, they made him look like he is worth every dollar on that $72 million dollar contract. Will Fuller looked like he’s going to win Rookie of the Year and that Texans defense proved that they don’t need a healthy JJ Watt to be dominant. Or maybe this Bears team is just that bad? Let’s hope not, but from the preseason it  looks like no one turned the corner this off season. The only players to show up and play were Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery (in the first half).

Scratch that. The only player to show consistency throughout the game was Jay. EVERYONE else didn’t bother to show up in the second half. An atrocious O-line, inept Running backs, Wide-outs dropping balls and giving up on routes, the defense allowing an okay RB to rush for over a 100 yards by halftime, corners getting consistently beaten by a rookie, how in the world do you sit there and hope for a possible playoff appearance? You don’t. It’s important to realize that talent-wise this team is still one year, possibly two years away from contending.

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But Bear fans already know that. I hope? You can’t sit there and let your QB get hit 14 times. 14 times! and expect to make the playoffs.  You can’t expect to rush the ball less than 20 times on the road and pretend that that’s the way to win against a tough defense.  You absolutely can not expect Jay to do everything himself.  He’s a very good QB, not a great one; he needs help. This doesn’t just fall on the offense, the defense needs to figure out how to stop a mediocre team on 3rd down. Playoffs? To quote Jim Mora “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs? You kidding me? I just hope we can win a damn game!”

The Bears will win games, hopefully more than nine; I’m still counting on it. This article isn’t about jumping ship and giving up, after all, it’s been only one game, that’s understood. It’s the lack of finding positives in this game that hard to swallow following this loss. No offense, No defense and apparently no special teams.

To review, Jay Cutler finished with 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and finished with a passer rating of 76.2. He played much better than that rating has graded him. He was absolutely pummeled all game, getting dropped for five sacks while he was pressured all game.

His moment of brilliance came on the TD play to Eddie Royal right before the end of the half, he fit the football between two defenders and only where Eddie could catch the ball. The INT came when Keven White stopped on his route, showing how far away Jay and White are in terms of rapport and chemistry. It looks concerning, however, their chemistry should progress as the season goes.

The rest of the offense did not do much to help.  As mentioned before, the O-line gave up five sacks and allowed 14 hits. That’s awful. Last year’s season high in QB hits was seven against the Detroit Lions Week 17. 14 hits is a ridiculous amount.  If the Bears want any chance at the playoffs Jay can’t be hit that much.

The WR’s didn’t perform in the second half.  While the first half looked pretty good, crappy route running and dropped balls seemed to be the tale of the game. The Running Back committee didn’t seem to show. Jeremy Langford was underwhelming, Ka’Deem Carey only got 2 carries and Jordan Howard didn’t even see the field. On the road, you need to control the clock and that’s best done by rushing the damn ball.

Moving on to the defense… The lone bright spots were ILB’s Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman who were everywhere. They combined for 28 tackles between them; 17 for Freeman and 11 for Trevathan. Talk about an upgrade at that position, they will be fun to watch this year.

Leonard Floyd had a good play which resulted in a half sack with Eddie Goldman. Leo is still very light and a lot of times he gets eaten up alive by Tackles. It’s when he uses that spin move that makes him effective, he’s fast he just needs to know how to leverage his speed better.

Like the offense, the rest of the defense did not show up. Tracy Porter had a pick early in the game, but after that got beat repeatedly by those Texans wide receivers. The D-line put no pressure on Osweiler all game; one sack is sad. They could not stop the run either. Overall it was just a sad showing on a defense predicted to make the leap in Year 2 of this system.

Overall, this was a bad showing by the Bears. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just one game. However, it’s games like these the Bears should win if they want to sneak into the playoffs, you don’t get to play mediocre QB’s often. You have to take advantage of those games.

Next week, the Bears get another chance at this. The Eagles come into town, with their rookie QB who played really well against the Browns, but it’s the Browns. Next week I hope to see the Bears have some success, but in the NFL it’s always any given Sunday. Here’s hoping to see a turnaround next week. Oh, and please can someone tell the Bears to help Jay.