Bear(s) Down: Grading the Chicago Bears in Their Week Six Loss
The Chicago Bears took a big loss Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Coming off a win over Carolina, and getting their quarterback Jay Cutler back, the Bears had high hopes especially at home.
Striking on their opening drive, the Bears looked like they would be in control of the game. Until Seattle scored, and then ultimately took control and held on for the win.
The Bears now fall to 4-2 on the season, but with the Packers loss in overtime to the Dolphins, the Bears are still have a one game lead in the NFC North division.
Jay Cutler just never seemed to get into a nice rhythm. Whether it was poor offensive line play, Seattle’s impressive defense, or Cutler not hitting targets. All of those factors contributed in Cutler’s bad day. At times the quarterback looked upset with the offense, and frustrated in general.
This was not the way Cutler wanted to spend his first game back. Bottom line is, if the offensive line doesn’t protect Cutler, he can’t make many plays.
Cutler did make a few nice plays, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Bears to a victory. He finished 17-39 for 290 yards with 0 interceptions and touchdowns.
Once again the Bears fail to establish the run game, and it hurts. Seattle has one of the best run defenses in the NFL, but it seemed like Lovie and Co. abandoned the run game too early. They finished with 61 total yards rushing and one touchdown. That one touchdown was on Matt Forte’s six yard run on the Bears opening drive.
The running backs did contribute a little bit in the passing game, finishing with 44 total receiving yards. There wasn’t much running room for the backs. When their number was called, the backs seemed to not do much. Their longest run was 24 yards, by Chester Taylor on a 4th and 1 late in the fourth quarter.
Wide receivers/Tight ends
Johnny Knox led the Bears with five catches for 120 yards, making a impact in the passing game. Although, the passing game and offense wasn’t very effective. When Cutler looked Knox’s way, Knox delivered. He had a 67 yard reception to put the Bears in scoring range. That drive ended in a field goal.
Devin Hester was no where to be found in the receiving game, but his impact on special teams was felt. Earl Bennett contributed with three receptions for 55 yards. Devin Aromashodu seems to be working his way out of the doghouse. He had two receptions for 40 yards.
The tight ends were no where to be found today. They were targeted five times, and had only one reception.
Another horrible game by the offensive line and many are wondering if the line can ever be fixed. Cutler was playing in his first game back since being sacked nine times against the Giants. Yet the offensive line broke down on several plays and had Cutler running for his life at times. They yielded six sacks, and made a few false starts and holding calls.
The Bears were missing Roberto Garza so they moved Chris Williams to left guard. It didn’t work out to well. Williams didn’t have a bad game, but an average one at best. J’Marcus Webb was beat on the outside a few times. He blocked inside and let the outside rusher come in free. Once it forced a Seattle safety, and the other times sacks.
The defensive line didn’t have much of an impact at all today. They didn’t sack Matt Hasselbeck once, and let Marshawn Lynch run through their line like a truck. Julius Peppers was not a factor at all today. He went against a rookie, and hardly got pressure on Hasselbeck.
The defensive line had a great performance last week at Carolina and needed one today. They didn’t get that, and it hurt them all game.
The Bears were without starting outside linebacker Lance Briggs, and it showed how much it hurt them. The Seahawks ran to Briggs side, gashing the Bears for runs all game. The linebackers were beat in man to man coverage, something that cant happen when you rely on your linebackers as the sole of your defense.
Starting in Briggs place, linebacker Brian Iwuh led the team with 10 tackles. Tinoisamoa was second with eight.
The Bears secondary struggled against Matt Hasselbeck and Mike Williams. Those two connected ten times for 123 yards. Many times Williams was wide open. How do you let a receiver that big get open so many times? Hasselbeck gashed the secondary for 242 yards and a touchdown. The secondary also had no interceptions.
Special teams was the only bright spot today for the Bears. In fact, it’s what kept them in the game. The Bears got down to the red zone a few times and Robbie Gould connected twice. He missed one late from 54 yards, but the coaching decision there was debatable.
Devin Hester returned a punt late in the game to get Chicago to within three points. It electrified the crowd and tied him with Brian Mitchell for the most return touchdowns in NFL History. Danieal Manning had a kickoff return taken back because of a holding penalty.
Brad Maynard did a wonderful job of pinning the Seahawks back with three touch backs. The coverage was spectacular on Leon Washington’s punt and kickoff returns.
The coaching staff didn’t prepare this team well enough during the week for this match-up. Lovie Smith was the first one to admit it. Some decisions in the game can be put on the coaching staff. Time management and timeouts were also a disaster for the Bears and cost them in the end.
The game plan for the Bears simply didn’t work. They abandoned the run too early in my opinion, and really focused on the passing game. With a weak secondary in Seattle, the game plan was to pass on the Seahawks. It just didn’t work for the Bears and it was too late for the run game.
The Bears simply were beat and there are many things that need to be corrected. If the Bears want to be successful this season, things need to be fixed. The offensive line play is really hurting the team. Is it coaching or the players? Whatever it is, it needs to be fixed. The defense had a bad game, but it was their first this season.
The Bears in two losses are 0-24 on third downs. Third downs are a must and it’s unacceptable for a team to not convert a single one.