Game Comments: Bears at Browns 12/15/13
- The Browns came out pretty much playing the pass though they did regularly bring a guy down into the box late just before the snap. The Bears started out running Forte at them but when they saw the last minute adjustments they went to the passing game and the Browns stopped bring the extra man down as often.
- The Bears protection was pretty good. In response the Browns started to blitz occasionally in the second quarter and that got more pressure on quarterback Jay Cutler. That pressure got worse in the second half and, partly as a consequence of that, the Bears offense stalled more often.
- Cutler did not have a particularly good day as he struggled with his accuracy. He looked a bit rusty.
- The Bears once again failed too often in the redone, getting three points in their first two trips.
- I thought Matt Forte deserved special mention. He did a pretty good job of making yardage on his own this game. Michael Bush also looked good and took advantage of his opportunities.
- It was very, very evident early on that Cutler had decided to target Brandon Marshall rather than spread the ball around evenly. Even when he threw to Alshon Jeffery on the fourth quarter touchdown, Jeffery was double covered. No sane coach could look at that and like what he saw, particularly after watching Josh McCown execute the offense the way its supposed to be executed to some weeks now. You have to wonder what Marc Trestman’s thoughts were and what effect those thoughts may or may not have about Cutler’s fate with the Bears in the offseason.
- The Bears played the Browns straight up according to the personnel they put on the field and it didn’t seem to me like they emphasized stopping either the run or the pass. The Browns mixed it up and this matchup looked pretty straight forward for most of the game with nothing fancy.
- Surprisingly the Bears didn’t seem to concentrate particularly on Josh Gordon. The Browns used him and the other wide receivers more to clear out the Bears defense and take them deep, settling for throwing underneath.
- The Browns also threw a number of screens with quite a bit success. The Bears are going to have to spend some of their week this week cleaning that up.
- I thought the Bears got good pressure on Jason Campbell but he was getting rid of the ball underneath just in time to avoid the sack.
- I think the Bears defense did much better against the run today. Instead of playing laterally, the linebackers were diagnosing the plays and playing down hill, filling gaps. Tacking generally wasn’t bad.
- Having said that, obviously the Bears didn’t get the message that the wildcat was a fad in that it doesn’t work anymore.
- Having slammed Cutler for his accuracy, let’s not forget former Bears Jason Campbell who was out of sync with his receivers all day.
- With a 14 point lead and less than two minutes left in a prevent defense, how do you let Josh Gordon get behind you? For heaven’s sake.
- The FOX crew was made up of of Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Laura Okmin. All did an average to below average job which stood in stark contrast to some of the excellent crews the bears have been drawing this season.
- The Bears are back to committing too many penalties. It started with a delay of game penalty early in the first quarter and continued to burn them to a more or lesser extent throughout the game. Particularly egregious was a series near the end of the second quarter where the Bears went from fourth and inches to a field goal attempt on a illegal motion call. The successful field goal was then taken off of the board because of a holding call on Corey Wooton and the Bears punted. The teams were well match din this respect as the Browns had their fair share of penalties as well with a couple pass interference calls in the fourth quarter being particularly damaging.
- Cleveland had a number of drops that hurt them. The Bears were considerably cleaner. Brandon Marshall arguably dropped a ball that he should have had on a deep ball near the Cleveland goal line but he was double covered and he may have been hit early.
- I thought the special teams were pretty good today. Devin Hester ripped off some good returns.
- Turnovers were huge in this game as both quarterbacks threw two interceptions, both throwing one pick six. One of Cutler’s was in the end zone in the first quarter. Martellus Bennett had a fumble which was returned for six points. Both teams missed opportunities from more turnovers. Very sloppy on both sides.
- All week I really gave the “quarterback controversy” that wasn’t a controversy very little attention. The Bears had made up their minds and as far as I was concerned, all debate was irrelevant after that. Besides, I figured the Bears were OK with either quarterback. But now I have to wonder. Take those Cutler interceptions out of the game and would this contest have even been even close in the fourth quarter?