Each week we will grade every position on the Chicago Bears based on their play from that game. Today we open up with grades from the Bears’ loss to the Packers as they open up the season 0-1.
Jay Cutler didn’t play terrible as he managed the game, keeping Chicago in it and doing what Adam Gase wanted him to do. Cutler also made some plays with his feet to keep plays alive.
But there was also the ugly Jay who threw an interception late in the fourth quarter.
I can’t say enough about the play of Matt Forte on Sunday. The Bears went to Forte early and often, establishing a running attack against a vulnerable Packers defense.
Forte answered the call rushing for 141 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. He finished with 166 total yards of offense, as the Bears decided to go away from him late in the game.
Backup Jacquizz Rodgers had 16 yards on four carries.
Going into the game, the Bears were not healthy on the receiving front. Number one receiver Alshon Jeffery played, but he wasn’t his normal self and couldn’t elevate on any jump balls. Jeffery did finish with five receptions for 78 yards, but was more of a decoy.
Marquess Wilson had two receptions for 59 yards including one late for 50 yards that setup the Bears in the red zone. Free agent signing Eddie Royal didn’t have a great game, only recording one reception for eight yards.
Tight end Martellus Bennett’s nice day saves this team from an F. Bennett finished with five receptions for 55 yards and a late touchdown.
The Bears receiving situation will get better but they need some more production to be successful this season.
One of the biggest concerns going into the season for the Bears was the offensive line and on Sunday, it showed why. The Bears finally moved Kyle Long to right tackle, but the line struggled the entire game. Several times the line couldn’t get the push on the Packers defensive line and made some costly penalties.
They did help open up some wholes for Matt Forte in the run game but overall it wasn’t impressive.
If the Bears want to be successful this season, the defensive line has to get pressure.
On Sunday that didn’t happen as the Bears failed to record a quarterback hit on Aaron Rodgers and let him run around to keep plays alive. The only bright spot on the line came from nose tackle Eddie Goldman who played well.
The transition from defensive line to linebacker for Jared Allen and Willie Young is still a struggle. Both didn’t play well today and were exposed in coverage. Inside linebacker Shea McClellin continues to struggle and Christian Jones wasn’t impressive either.
The Bears cornerbacks came into the game facing a Packers team without Jordy Nelson and a receiver in Randall Cobb who was bothered by an injury. They left the game with James Jones having another great performance against the Bears.
Jones went for two touchdowns and made a few nice catches over free agent signing Alan Ball. Kyle Fuller did play well for most of the game but had a crucial pass interference call late in the game.
I was actually impressed with the way rookie Adrian Amos played on Sunday. The 22-year-old saw his first true NFL action against a very good quarterback and made some nice plays. He also filled the gaps well in the run game.
Veteran Antrel Rolle didn’t have a terrible game either.
The special teams unit for the Bears was fantastic. Kicker Robbie Gould connected on all three of his field goal attempts including one from 50. Gould also became the franchise leader in field goals made passing Kevin Butler with his 244th.
Pat O’Donnell punted once and hit a booming 56-yard punt in the first quarter.
I love how new offensive coordinator Adam Gase turned Cutler into a game-manager early on. John Fox and Gase had a commitment to the run early and it worked for the Bears until the end. The new regime is already making an impact on the team as things feel different after this game.
The Bears have seemed to close the gap a little on the Packers, but there’s still work to do. I expected this to be another blowout, but the Bears proved me wrong. Now they just need to go get a big win in week two.