Who knew it was possible to make a 30-6 win look mediocre, but the Chicago Bears found a way.
The defense forced turnovers, which was a positive sign, however, the defensive line and offensive line were once again nowhere to be found.
The offense as a whole looked like a car driven by crash test dummies into a wall, scoring 20 points mainly because of the defense and struggling in the redzone. Starring as the crash test dummies were Orlando Pace, Josh Beekman, Olin Kreutz, Roberto Garza, and Chris Williams. Starring as the car was Jay Cutler.
Mommy, What's That Red Stuff Coming Out of Jay's Mouth?
The real question is, "Mommy, what are those guys in front of Jay supposed to do?" Although, your mom would be pretty cool if she knew each lineman's assignment.
Once again, the offensive line decided not to block for Cutler, allowing four sacks and seven quarterback hits answering Cutler's question as to what his blood tastes like.
Beekman finally replaced Frank Omiyale, but the man who was welcoming him back to the starting lineup was defensive tackle Shaun Rogers. No easy task your first day back on the job.
The offensive line looks lost and the Bears do not have a fullback-tight end combo, or a running back that is going to bail them out blocking. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said Sunday the Bears would scale back the offense to help the offensive line.
What does that mean? The mediocre-to-bad Bears offense is going to play more timidly?
Cutler wasn't all that special when he had time, going 17-of-30 for 225 yards with one interception and a 66.7 passer rating. This was his first game without a touchdown pass.
The fact the Bears have nine more games against better defenses than the Browns, has to leave Bears fans wondering not only if Cutler will play the rest of the season, but if he will be alive by the end of it.
Could Running Be Matt's Forte?
UOL (ugh out loud, you heard it here first), not another pun involving Forte's last name; I apologize.
Forte finished with 90 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. He never had a run more than 12 yards, but I suppose it's a step forward. Any step against the Browns, however, is really more like a half step. His only two quality games have come against the Detroit Lions and the Browns.
The two touchdowns proved huge, however, based on the fact that the Bears could not score in the red zone or get anything going early. They went three-and-out on their first two possessions and then settled for Robbie Gould field goals of 37, 29, and 32 yards after reaching the Cleveland nine, 11, and three yard lines.
The Bears didn't get into the endzone until 1:56 was left in the first half to make it 16-0 and that was thanks to a roughing the passer penalty by Kamerion Wimbley on third down at the Browns' 31. It was a 10-play, 71-yard drive, but an offense cannot bank on stupid roughing the passer flags to score touchdowns.
The fact that the score was 16-6 against the Browns with under two minutes left in the third quarter is not a good sign.
The Bears had another red zone opportunity go to waste in the fourth quarter after Cutler threw the ball away on first down, Forte was stopped for no gain on second down, and was held to one yard on third down.
On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Cutler’s pass, intended for Desmond Clark, was batted down by Wimbley.
Whatever the Bears are doing in the red zone is just not working. Getting past the goal-line inside the 10 for them is like pulling teeth.
The Defense Bullied the Nerdy Browns
The secondary for the Bears did it all. The Browns had only 74 yards passing, while the secondary was responsible for four of the Bears' five takeaways, one of which Charles Tillman took back for the Bears' first defensive touchdown of the season. The secondary did what a good secondary should do against a bad team; they dominated.
The line backing crew and defensive line, however, were not so good. The defensive line had one sack and the Browns rushed for 117 yards. Tommie Harris was back, which helped a little, but he didn't bring anything spectacular to the table.
There Is Something Special about Looking into Brady Maynard's Eyes
The Bears special teams did everything right except on two trip-ups. Maynard shanked a punt, but that was after a penalty was called on Garrett Wolfe, which brought back the previous punt. Hester had a touchdown return off a punt brought back on a penalty as well.
Besides those two instances, Maynard dropped three of five punts inside the 20 and Robbie Gould was three of three on field goals. Hester showed promise on the touchdown return brought back on a penalty and the coverage team held the best return man in the NFL, Josh Cribbs, to 23 yards per return.
Overall, the Bears stopped their two-game losing streak and beat a bad team. However, for the third week in a row, the Bears looked uninspired and sluggish.
The offense couldn't score in the red zone, both lines played terribly, and Cutler was on his back the entire game.
A playoff team does not let any of that happen against one of the worst teams—not just this year, but ever in the NFL.
All these factors of not looking prepared point to the coaching staff and leave Bears fans wondering what they are doing all week.
What will happen if the defensive line cannot get pressure against the Cardinals with Kurt Warner at quarterback and Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston running wild? That's what is on the menu for next week.
The Bears, in a 30-6 win, found a way to teach us that they really are not a playoff team.