After starting the season at 0-3, the Chicago Bears are currently right back in things with a big 18-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bears have won two in a row, led by Jay Cutler’s second-straight game-winning drive as the Bears trailed 17-3 at halftime. The win has seemed to lift the spirits of a Bears team who looked dead in the water and what many analysts called the worst team in the NFL.
Here’s how the Bears graded in their big win:
Jay Cutler does it again.
The quarterback led the Bears on two big fourth quarter scoring drives in which he threw a touchdown pass all within three minutes of play. Cutler’s play with a depleted receiving core was impressive.
Matt Forte turned in another solid performance on the ground giving him the NFL lead in rushing through five weeks. He also caught a touchdown pass to give the Bears the lead.
The Bears were without receivers Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal, but they still found a way to get it done as a unit. Marquess Wilson had an impressive performance while rookie Cameron Meredith may have helped his case for more playing time.
Grade: B –
I don’t know what was going on with the usually sure-handed Martellus Bennett on Sunday, but he struggled and even dropped a few passes. Cutler targeted Bennett often in the fourth quarter but couldn’t make the plays. It was an all-around struggle game for Bennett.
The line, missing starting center Will Montgomery, struggled in the first half but made some nice adjustments in the second half to turn it around. Rookie center Hroniss Grasu made some expected rookie mistakes which will likely be worked on this week.
Overall the line didn’t have a terrible game despite it being obvious it’s a work in progress.
The Bears couldn’t generate any pressure early in the game but second half adjustments showed as they played much better in the second half. Several times they got after quarterback Alex Smith, flushing him out of the pocket, and they helped force some key three-and-outs.
The linebacking core of the Bears outside of Pernell McPhee didn’t do anything flashy in the win, but they played well enough to help the Bears defense make some stands at the end. McPhee continued his dominance recording another sack on the day.
The loss of inside linebacker Shea McClellin hurt as he is the signal caller, but the defense didn’t miss a step. Christian Jones also had a nice day inside.
Lamarr Houston and Willie Young both had contributing sacks.
The Bears secondary continues to play better after the thrashing they took in week two. Kyle Fuller isn’t struggling as much and veteran Tracey Porter is starting to show his worth. Sherrick McMannis also made a few nice plays.
Safety Adrian Amos continues to impress everyone around the organization with his play. Week-by-week the fifth round pick out of Penn State could finally be the answer for the Bears at the position.
With more penalties from the special teams unit, frustrations are starting to mount. The unit had a key penalty, pushing the Bears back deep inside their own territory and they would fumble in the end zone leading to a Chiefs touchdown.
Despite the penalties, the unit actually played pretty well as a whole. Kicker Robbie Gould became the all-time scoring leader in franchise history with his field goal in the third quarter.
John Fox and his staff continue to have the Bears playing better football week-by-week. The defense has quietly stepped up the last two weeks shutting the door on opponents in the second half. The new culture in Chicago continues to impress as this regime has a bright future ahead.