Well the Chicago Bears blew a big chance to get right back into the NFC Wild Card race on Sunday by losing to the Denver Broncos.
The Bears were short handed, missing Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, Matt Forte and Antrel Rolle among others, but managed to hang with Denver until the end. Chicago just couldn’t capitalize on key situations including a failed 2-pt conversion at the end of the game.
Now the Bears will turn around on a short week and take on the Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving night in what has become a must win.
Here’s how the Bears graded Sunday:
It certainly wasn’t Jay Cutler’s worst day as a member of the Bears, but it wasn’t great either. The quarterback turned over the ball twice including a bad throw leading to an interception. But with what Cutler was working with, it was going to be a tough day regardless.
Grade: C –
Following a very impressive performance against the St. Louis Rams, rookie Jeremy Langford was held in check by a good Broncos defense. Langford did score a touchdown late in the game, but he struggled throughout. Backup Ka’Deem Carey was better but he left the game due to an injury
The Bears lined up with Marquess Wilson, Josh Bellamy, Marc Mariani and Cameron Meredith as their primary wide receivers on Sunday. Ouch.
Wilson turned in a nice game, grabbing four receptions for 102 yards but the Bears got very little from anyone else. Tight ends Zach Miller and Martellus Bennett weren’t bad, but they didn’t really do anything to change the game. Bennett not being on the same paige as Cutler late hurt them on 2-pt conversion.
The Bears offensive line gave up two sacks and couldn’t run block to open holes for the running backs against what I thought wasn’t a good Broncos defensive line. All game they struggled as Cutler had to keep plays alive with his feet.
You may have seen some names on the Bears defensive line you haven’t seen this season. Yet, the defensive line actually wasn’t terrible. The only problem was they couldn’t contain Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson.
Chicago’s linebackers also struggled on Sunday in stopping the run as Hillman/Anderson gashed the Bears all game long. The linebackers could provide enough help in run support and it hurt the Bears on Sunday. Several times players appeared to be in the wrong gaps. Christian Jones had a team high 8 tackles for the Bears on Sunday.
The Bears were going up against a receiving core that was missing Emmanuel Sanders but still had Demaryius Thomas. Outside of the big play that was Denver’s first touchdown, the Bears did a nice job on Thomas. Veteran Tracy Porter had a few nice plays and even second-year man Kyle Fuller showed up at times.
Still that one big play on busted coverage killed the Bears early and the absence of Antrel Rolle hurt.
This might have been the best unit of the day for the Bears, believe it or not. They didn’t commit a single penalty on special teams, the coverage didn’t break down and they actually had some decent returns.
Kicker Robbie Gould converted on all three of his field goals. However, punter Pat O’Donnell had a rough day averaging just 34 yards a punt.
Grade: C +
This might have been the one area that really hurt the Bears on Sunday.
Several times there were plays that left us wondering what the heck was going on. The decision to go for it on fourth down early in the fourth quarter from the six yard line was pretty confusing as head coach John Fox decided to be aggressive.
Grade: D –
Like stated in earlier in the article, the Bears missed a golden chance to get to 5-5 and right in the playoff race. Chicago was banged up, but so was Denver. The Bears didn’t go out and execute the game plan and it hurt them. Now did it kill their chances at a post season run?
Grade: C –