Chicago Bears: Grading the Week 3 Win over the St. Louis Rams
A win is a win, and they don’t always look good.
Well at least the offensive side of the ball didn’t shine during Sundays 23-6 win over the Rams. It wasn’t impressive for the offense, but they got the job done the old fashion way—with their defense.
The Bears defense completely dominated the Rams, holding them to six points and zero trips inside the red zone. While the offense kept the Rams hanging around, the defense took over with an impressive second half performance that included two interceptions.
As the defense continues to impress, one has to wonder if the offense ever will. Sure it’s only Week 4 of the NFL season, but most great offenses have already started to click this early. Can the Bears? We will soon find out as Monday provides another test for this team.
Here are the Week 3 grades for the Bears' win over the Rams.
Cutler didn’t have a great game as he finished with just 183 passing yards and no touchdowns. An early interception didn’t really hurt the Bears, but the rhythm was never there for Cutler and his receivers.
Cutler missed a golden chance at a touchdown when Devin Hester couldn’t come down with a pass. The Bears didn’t take a deep shot until late in the fourth when Cutler connected with Marshall on a big gain. Not a bad game for Cutler, but it wasn’t a great one either.
Running backs: B+
Michael Bush picked up some of the slack from losing Matt Forte and finished with 55 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. He seemed to get into a groove early, but faded off as the game went on. Still a good performance.
Khalil Bell saw action which included an 18 yard run, but he finished with just 20 yards on the ground. The Bears will love to have Forte back and Bush being a good compliment to Forte’s attack.
Not a great game from the receiving core this week. A missed chance on a Devin Hester touchdown was a key factor in the game. They almost had another in the second quarter, but Alshon Jeffery got held.
A couple of drops from Brandon Marshall killed some momentum for the Bears offense. He still finished with five grabs for 71 yards, however.
Offensive Line: C
It wasn’t a great performance from the line, but what do you expect? They looked better than that disaster in Green Bay the week before, but still need to improve.
They only gave up two sacks, but a few holding calls and false starts hurt some Bears drives. J’Marcus Webb also had a shoe problem early on in the game, forcing the Bears to use a timeout.
Defensive Line: A
The defensive line continues to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, something that is key to a successful defense. Julius Peppers continued his man-handling of offensive lineman and Israel Idonije provided a spark with 2.5 sacks.
Stephen Pae finished with one sack on the game and Peppers added a half sack.
Getting pressure on Bradford was key for the Bears defense, and they did just that from the get go. Bradford had virtually no time to throw and the Rams offense went into a funk early.
While Brian Urlacher is still hurting from his injury, Lance Briggs and Nick Roach continue to show solid play. Briggs lead the team with 7 tackles (2 for a loss) and also had a tipped pass.
Urlacher’s presence in the middle continues to be felt, even with effects of an injury. He finished with four tackles and played solid coverage all game long.
The Bears secondary is playing at an extremely high level, and it’s not even because of Charles Tillman. Instead, Tim Jennings has made a name for himself as he recorded his fourth interception in three games. He also had a tipped pass which lead to a Major Wright interception to seal the game.
Another big test comes Monday night when the Cowboys bring Dez Byrant and Miles Austin to the table for the Bears secondary.
Special Teams: B-
Not too much to talk about for the Bears special teams as they have yet to return a touchdown this season. They are doing a nice job with field position, giving their offense some room to work.
Robbie Gould remained perfect on the season as he hit all three attempts including a 54 yarder.
The Bears wanted to run the ball early and often, and they did just that. While the offense struggled, the defense picked it up and shut down the Rams.
They will look to continue to develop a solid passing game and this week against the Cowboys would be a perfect time to unleash it.
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