Quick Game Comments: Bears Vs. Rams, September 23, 2012
- The Bears game plan was pretty solid. They came out running and throwing the short pass to protect the offensive line in pass protection.
- The Rams came out in a standard 4-3 and played that for most of the game. They did blitz quite a bit when the situation called for it. This is different from the coverage defense they played in their first two games. It didn’t seem to discombobulate the Bears, too much though. The Bears countered by throwing a number of very effective screen passes, once again protecting the line in the process.
- It has to be noted that the pass protection really still wasn’t that good in that the Rams still got occasional pressure in passing situations. The Bears offensive line was jumpy as a result and there were a number of false start and holding penalties, some of which were rather damaging (see Miscellaneous).
- Eventually the Rams starting bringing extra guys into the box to stop the run. This was effective to a degree but it didn’t really stop the Bears from doing it.
- Michael Bush ran well in place of Matt Forte as expected. Kahlil Bell also ripped off some good runs.
- Like many of the linemen, Chilo Rachal had a rough afternoon with some missed blocks and some penalties.
- 4th and 1 with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter and Bush gets it. That’s a lot different from last year.
- I spotted the Rams putting five defenders on the line of scrimmage though not often. I thought it was interesting, though. Maybe it was a response to the Bears running game.
- Though he wasn’t particularly accurate, I liked the way that Jay Cutler was trying to be patient and not do too much. Generally speaking, Cutler didn’t force passes on third down but instead settled for something short and the punt when it was called for.
- The Bears were really pulling linemen all over the place and trapping defensive linemen in the running game. On one long Bell run, Gabe Carimi pulled from right tackle all the way to the left to spring him.
- J’Marcus Webb wasn’t really any more terrible than anyone else on the line.
- The Bears were also bringing in extra linemen to block. Real power football.
- Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan had a very good game. These guys are pretty good in single coverage. That’s a pretty good couple cornerbacks to build around.
- The Rams started bracketing Brandon Marshall in the second half. They really should have done it more in the first half but at least they made the adjustment.
- I thought the Bears not as effective with the run in the second half in the face of extra men in the box, either. One wonders if the Rams didn’t adjust to all of the trap blocking they were doing, too.
- The Rams game plan seemed to be to run set up by the short pass. The Bears were in standard nickel/4-3. Nothing fancy though, like the Rams, they also did blitz when the situation called for it.
- The pass rush was once again pretty good but it generally came in obvious passing situations when they could sell out to the pass rush. It came from a lot of guys. This is crucial to future success.
- Danny Amendola wasn’t especially damaging, presumably because D.J. Moore did a good job covering him.
- When Sam Bradford gets out of the pocket he’s really pretty fast.
- It was another great game for both corner backs.
- I spotted the Bears at one point with three down linemen. Interesting twist.
- The Rams made some halftime adjustments on offense, too. They came out in no huddle. They were also running more and using it to set up the pass – the opposite of how they started. They were effective with the run until they got two touchdowns down and had to pass.
- I didn’t watch him all of the time but I thought maybe Urlacher played better today. I think he’s back in the swing now.
- Dick Stockton, John Lynch and sideline reporter Jennifer Hale were all solid if not spectacular. I can’t say there were any earth shattering insights.
- Way, way too many penalties on both sides. Especially on the Bears offensive line. Rachal had some false starts. Lance Lewis had one. Webb had a damaging holding penalty that offset a pass interference call on the Rams which could have gotten the Bears a lot of yardage. They were jumpy against the Rams pressure. Mario Haggan had an unnecessary roughness call that kept the drive alive that resulted in the Bears first field goal. The unnecessary roughness call on Julius Peppers also kept a drive going in the second half.
- Too, too many drops. Alshon Jeffery and Marshall and Devin Hester were all amongst the major guilty parties. Both Jeffery and Marshall are known for it but that’s not any reason to consider it to be acceptable. The Rams receivers had more than their share of drops as well. Jenkins had a particularly bad drop of an interception.
- I have to say that strategy-wise I thought the Rams did a pretty good job this game. Generally speaking I think halftime adjustments are overrated but their theirs on both sides of the ball (above) were pretty effective as far as they went.
- Turnovers are never good but I won’t say it was a particularly bad game in that respect except the Bears are never happy when they aren’t getting them. Major Wright’s interception was huge. A wonderful play. I think the Bears are doing a better job of defending that slant after being burned so badly by the Packers with it last year.
- Special teams were OK but this whole game was typified by the end of the first half. The Rams were going to punt but the Bears were unprepared. They called time out and that gave the Rams time to reconsider. They put in the kicker and, poof, 3 points.
The Bears players made some plays but I sincerely hope that this is the sloppiest game we see all year. There were times when it seemed like a comedy of errors on both sides, some of them very damaging. You expect that from a talented but young (and bad) team like the Rams. This game was, as far as I could tell, much like their first two in that respect. But the Bears have no excuse. They were constantly putting themselves in ugly situations and when they made good plays, they were often shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes that neutralized them.
The Bears do not have the talent to play football like this. They won’t win many games like this one in the future.