Chicago Bears Report Card: Week One at Green Bay
First off, let me rant a little..
Remember when I said that this was the first time I was more worried about our defense than our offense? Ya, I am eating those words right now.
Defense played damn good (and screw those ripping on Vasher...Listen, I don't care what CB would have been there: Tillman, Graham, Vasher, or Bowman, you put your corner in a one-on-one situation with one of the top five receivers in the NFC with no over the top help and that is going to happen three out of four times).
CUTLER WHAT THE HELL? LOVIE WHAT THE HELL?
Four interceptions, three in the first half and Lovie...listen, I don't blame him for the failed fake punt. In fact, I don't even care about the fake punt really. It was the ensuing challenge which infuriates me. Obviously, there weren't 12 men on the field so why THE HELL DO YOU BURN ANOTHER TIMEOUT?
And speaking of burning timeouts, Jay Culter burns a timeout on a fourth and inches because he didn't expect the defense to be stacking the line?? Are you f-ing kidding me? What defense did you think they were going to show on a play like that?
Terrible play calling, terrible execution, terrible preparation on the offensive side of the ball.
Seriously, a poor and disappointing opener.
Now, first let me give props to the Green Bay Packers defense. They played very well and forced turnovers.
But this isn't a Packer article, this is grading a Chicago Bears offense that looked lost, scared and confused for most of the game...and the defense who played better than anyone expected.
So here we go, starting with our "vaunted" offense:
Is this harsh? Yes. Do I care? No.
Cutler played well for most of the second half. OK, I said it.
Now, say what you want about the receivers cutting off routes, but Jay threw two passes that SHOULD have been picked off before he threw his first INT. He looked frustrated for the entire first half and threw some terrible passes.
I mean, my brother sent me a text message from Africa, telling me that this was Rex Grossman with low blood sugar. Do you realize how much it costs to send a damn international text message? It ain't cheap.
I mean the only thing our "Savior" did this game was save our receivers from getting hit.
I mean god, the pass that Jolly intercepted was an excellent play by Jolly, but how do you miss a 300 lb lineman blocking your way?
Ugh. I know that this is Jay Cutler. He will have some games where the throws a lot of interceptions. It is just his nature because he takes risks. And this was his first game, against our rival, in their house so the jitters were there... But seriously, this was an awful beginning.
On the plus side, I bet he can't play any worse.
...Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I still believe Jay will be good for us and this was just an inauspicious start.
Running backs: B-
Not Matt Forte's fault. He finished all right, but the line didn't open up much. There was an occasional hole which Forte slashed threw, but it seemed that offensive coordinator Ron Turner forgot he had a running back at times and fell in love with Cutler's arm.
Jason McKie had a drop, but also had a nice catch and run for a first down on a third and three, for whatever that is worth.
Tight Ends: D
Dez Clark looked miserable at times although he had a nice grab on the play he got hurt. He did not seem to run his routes all the way through. And Greg Olsen was a complete ghost for most of the game, although he made a nice block or two at times...you know when the Bears decided to run.
Wide receivers: N/A
Ok, I say N/A because I am giving two grades
Devin Hester: B
Rest of receivers: C
Hester had a nice grab in the first half and a nice 36 yard touchdown catch. He had no drops and was open several other times.
Everyone else...well, Knox had a nice long catch but he seemed to cut off a couple of his routes early (not that I believe it would have made a difference on the INTs) and Earl Bennett did not play as well as I had expected. They weren't terrible, but were by no means good.
Offensive line: C-
Cutler was hurried, hit, and sacked on more than several occasions.
Frank Omiyale did not look all that impressive before he got hurt. Chris Williams and Pace were shaky at times and the line as whole did pretty poorly picking up the Packer blitz. On the few times they did run, it wasn't that successful, especially when running laterally.
This group will have to improve if they want to have a chance in hell in beating the Steelers next week.
Defensive line: A-
I thought this group answered the call. Especially Adewale Ogunleye. I admit that before the season started, I thought he might be over the hill. But he just abused right tackle Allen Barbre, especially in the first half.
The Packers managed 76 yards rushing total.
Rodgers was chased and hurried throughout the game causing him to over throw several open receivers downfield. A solid effort, all around.
This is a solid grade considering that Pisa Tinoisamoa was hurt on the second play and Brian Urlacher sat out the whole second half.
Briggs was solid, Nick Roach filled in nicely for Pisa, and Hunter Hillenmeyer came in and showed he can still make the grade.
Donald Lee nor Jermichael Finley made much of an impact all game which was a testament to the linebacker coverage.
Defensive backs: B-/C+
I know Vasher got torched on the go ahead score. And I know the Packers receivers were constantly open and Rodgers missed them a couple times. But they made tackles, they forced Rodgers to throw the perfect pass, which he did rarely.
And Danieal Manning...BIG sack of Rodgers in the first half for a safety in the first half. I have been one of the more negative writers in terms of Manning, but he showed me a lot today. He was a broken tackle or so from a couple huge returns also. Big ups.
Note: I put Manning here because I think, I can't swear by it, but I think he came on a blitz from the nickel position.
This might have been a generous grade, but Kevin Payne and Al Afalava were solid. I can't say for sure if one of them should have been over top on the Greg Jennings touchdown, but Payne made tackles and Afalava had a big sack of Rodgers as well.
Considering my expectations of this unit, they exceeded them. So they get a better mark.
Special Teams: B-
I don't care about the Patrick Mannelly's direct snap. As I said earlier, I blame Lovie for a terrible challenge which burned a timeout. The defense held them to a field goal, so it wasn't a big deal for me.
Manning had a couple solid kick returns and Hester didn't lose any yardage on his punt returns.
Maynard was his usual reliable self and Robbie was of course, good as Gould.
The ST gets marked off for the Mannelly play (who is still the best longsnapper in the NFL) and for their kick off coverage. Jordy Nelson gained more yardage than he should have on just about every kickoff.
This team, at least offensively, was not prepared for this game and from what I can tell, neither was Lovie.
The offense stumbled out of the gate, Cutler and his receivers were rarely on the same page and the line was getting pushed back on almost every play. Not to mention the burning of timeouts early and often. Poorly prepared.
And Lovie...I mean he had a bad challenge on the fake punt and a fair challenge on the interception return. But he just didn't look like he had control over anything throughout most of the game.
They had a terrible first half and were only down 10-2. They fought back and the offense got into some rhythm a couple times, but they are a long way off from competing for the NFC North title and if the offense keeps playing this way, the Bears will be sitting third in the North come January.
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