Grading the Chicago Bears win in San Francisco
Well they did it.
The Chicago Bears went into San Francisco and did something nobody thought they could do. It was the teams first win in San Francisco since 1985 and could be a season-saving victory for the Bears.
With question marks going into the game, injury concerns as well as doubters, the Bears proved everyone wrong. And a certain quarterback had one of those games that makes you believe he can lead this team.
Jay Cutler played one of his best games as a Chicago Bear throwing for four touchdowns and completing 23 of his 34 passes. While the offense struggled to start the game, Cutler started to fire on all cylinders late in the second quarter.
Cutler finished with a rating of 119.2
This is the Cutler the Bears need to show up for the rest of the season. A performance like this should give him confidence moving forward.
This was the only position that had a bad game for the Bears. Early on the Bears couldn’t establish the run as the 49ers seemingly had their way defending the run.
Forte never really got going, finishing with just 21 yards on 12 carries. Backups Ka’Deem Carey, Shaun Draughn and Senorise Perry didn’t get a carry.
As the week went on it looked more and more like Bears wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery would miss the game. Then news broke that the two would play, giving Cutler his full arsenal of weapons.
Marshall turned in one of the better performances of his career, despite being bothered with an injury. He caught three touchdown passes from Jay Cutler including the one that sealed the deal for the Bears.
As both were playing injured, the Bears offense adjusted to how the 49ers were playing the duo. Instead Chicago turned to quicker routes while mixing in some deep routes for Jeffery.
Tight end Martellus Bennett had seven receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Bennett continues to establish himself as a security blanket for Cutler.
The Bears offensive line got off to a rocky start that included a few pressures on Cutler and a bad snap by center Brian de la Puente. But they got it together, which was a good sign despite having two new starters on the line.
While the run game couldn’t get going, the offensive line still managed to have a solid game. They yielded just one sack to a talented 49ers defensive line. The line continues to gel with the additions of de la Puente and Ola.
It was a much improved performance for the Bears defensive line after a disastrous week one showing against Buffalo. The Bears made adjustments that paid off and saw the team dominate in the second half, making life difficult for Kaepernick.
Jeremiah Ratliff had another impressive performance before leaving the game with a concussion, being a bring spot on the Bears line for the first two weeks. When Ratliff went out, Willie Young started to takeover. The defensive end recorded two sacks on four tackles. Young gave the Bears a big boost when they needed it the most.
The main point is the Bears got a solid performance from the entire defensive line, which is something they desperately needed.
Another position that needed a better showing in week two was the Bears linebacking core. Especially Lance Briggs who looked totally lost in week one. Briggs answered the call with a spectacular second half that gave Bears fans flashbacks of his better days in Chicago.
Overall the Bears linebackers played very well but there are still some concerns with the core. That starts with second year man Jon Bostic who was caught out of position on a few plays.
Outside linebacker Shea McClellin started off sluggish but made some key plays towards the end of the game. He was credited with one sack in the game.
Rookie Kyle Fuller responded with two interceptions after Charles Tillman left the game with a triceps injury. Fuller’s two picks came in the second half, helping key a Bears victory. With Tillman lost for the season, the rookie now steps into a bigger role.
The safeties also played better than week one, starting with Chris Conte who made a spectacular interception. The one worry from the game comes with the teams depth at the position due to a few key injuries.
It’s something worth paying attention to this season.
This is the one unit that continues to alarm me as the season goes on. The Bears started off the game by bringing out the opening kickoff out of the end zone and with a penalty, the team started inside their own 10.
They followed that up with a blown assignment that resulted in a blocked punt. The Bears still don’t have a solid kickoff returner which will end up hurting them as the season goes on.
Improvement is needed from this unit.
It was a much better coached game this time around for Marc Trestman. The second year coach made the adjustments needed for a better second half and his team responded with a win.
Credit is also due to Mel Tucker who saw his unit fall behind 17-0 in the second quarter. Tucker and the defense responded by allowing just 3 second half points.