Quick Game Comments – Bears at Jaguars
- The Bears came out mixing it up defensively. It appears that the plan was to press the line of scrimmage with the occasional blitz to confuse quarterback Blaine Gabbert and contain running back Maurice Jones-Drew. They didn’t showing much respect for the Jaguar receivers and to an extent it burned them.
- The Bears allowed a lot of third down conversions and had a tough time getting off the field a lot more than usual, especially in the first half.
- I didn’t see much of Henry Melton and the defensive tackles taking advantage of the Jaguars offensive line, including guard Eben Britton (who was actually benched at half time last week).
- On a related note, Gabbert had far, far too much time to throw the ball. The Bears started to get a little pressure (not much) at the end of the first half but by then Gabbert was settled in and he stood in the pocket pretty well. Things went better in this respect for the Bears in the second half.
- Despite getting a lot of time, Gabbert isn’t the most accurate quarterback. I thought more of those balls should have been spot on. Gabbert’s pocket was clean on the interception by Charles Tillman in the third quarter. It was so far off target, I actually find myself wondering if it was a miscommunication with the wide receiver. It wouldn’t be surprising. There seemed to me to be a lot of it going on out there.
- Pro Bowl-type year or not, the Jaguars came out and attacked Tim Jennings, primarily with Justin Blackmon. Presumably it was because of the height mismatch. In any case, Blackmon got the best of it as Jennings had a tough time keeping up with him.
- I thought Nick Roach showed up today with some good plays.
- The Bears come out running and they did it well. Jacksonville tried to stop it with seven in the box and they couldn’t. The run really helped open up the passing game.
- Jacksonville obviously was paying a great deal of attention to last week’s game tape. They weren’t going to let the Bears get away with that slant pass to Brandon Marshall that was so successful and they took away the middle of the field in coverage in the first half.
- The Bears responded by targeting Alson Jeffery and Marshall on the outside.
- In the second half, the Jaguars came out committed to stopping the run. The Bears immediately started going to Marshall over the middle again, presumably to take advantage of the linebackers moving up. Jeffery’s route that resulted in the second Bears touchdown was over the middle into the empty space left by the linebackers as they all three collapsed towards the line of scrimmage.
- The Bears offensive line generally did a good job out there. The run blocking was outstanding. The interior of the line was really blowing the Jaguar defensive tackles off the line of scrimmage.
- The Jaguars did not start the game tackling well. Bears were bouncing off defenders all over. They eventually tightened it up.
- The last Bears drive before the half was a disgrace. The communication between Jay Cuter and the receivers was poor with at least two miscues. Then they took a time out with the clock stopped. Sloppy…
- Cutler wasn’t bad exactly but he was not particularly sharp for most of this game. He had his moments, especially in the second half, but there were a lot of balls that could have been thrown better. On the other hand, again particularly in the second half, he did a nice job with his mobility of avoiding the pass rush and extending plays.
- On a related note, Cutler made a few good plays with his legs this game. They were particularly well timed.
- The Bears looked like they decided to get Kellen Davis involved early and he was doing well. Then they abandoned him later in the half and never got back to him. I’m not sure why.
- I was disappointed when the word came down that Earl Bennett was once again inactive, almost certainly due to his injured hand. At this point you have to question the well-paid Bennett’s ability to stay on the field.
- I really like Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa. It’s probably because, like Siragusa, I have a habit of watching the line of scrimmage but he frequently says things right as I’m thinking them.
- Give credit to both teams this game. Drops were at a minimum. In fact, it was generally quite the opposite. For example, Devin Hester made a great catch as he laid out for a long pass in the fourth quarter. this was a good game for the receivers on both sides.
- Penalties killed the Bears, especially in the first half. They were constantly stalling drives. Gabe Carimi’s two false starts in a row near the goal line in the second half were inexcusable.
- Special teams were unremarkable on both ends.
- As usual, turnovers played a big part in this game. In particular, the Tillman pick six in the third quarter was a huge, game turning play. Corey Wootton once again showed up and caused a fumble.
- The Bears did not appear to me to wear down in the heat. In fact, it appeared to me to be the opposite. The Jaguars defense looked tired in the fourth quarter.
- Possibly on a related note, I question the Jaguars decision to make their home uniforms black. The color absorbs heat and I don’t think it helps them to have to wear it.
- Gotta say that I really like the way Jacksonville does cheerleaders.
- Its October 7. What’s the deal with all of the Halloween specials already?
- Kudos to the Bears fans who showed up to the game. You could hear them clearly on television.
- The Jaguars really came out and played (for them) relatively well today. Not so much on offense but on defense, they were extremely patient and really made the Bears earn every yard until the appeared to wear down. The Bears, on the other hand, really didn’t come out and play well. The game on their end was relatively sloppy and the lesson to me is that, no matter what anyone says about avoiding “trap games”, its really tough to do it in action. The Bears got bitten by it today. Fortunately they played better in the second half against a definitively inferior team and it didn’t result in a loss.