Grading the Chicago Bears: Week 11 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles

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Grading the Chicago Bears: Week 11 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles
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Grading each position on the Chicago Bears depth chart in light of their four point loss at home to the Eagles, 24-20.

This loss hurt. The Bears played better and gave you reason to hope throughout the entire game. Losing close always hurts more than losing big because in a close loss, you can sit there and say, "What if...". In a blowout, the only "what if" question you can ask is, "What if the team DIDN'T show up."

So enough of the rambling, here we go.

OFFENSE:

Quarterback: Jay Cutler

A combination of over thrown balls and check down passes equal unimpressive stats. He had good moments, (Kellen Davis touchdown and the ensuing two point conversion) but for the second week in a row, the game ended on an interception. Unacceptable.

Grade: C

Running back: Matt Forte and Kahlil Bell

Bell had one good run (for a staggering 74 yards) and Forte had glimpses of solid play, but overall, not that great. It just seems Forte isn't the same back and far to often will run into the middle of the line and get taken down for a one yard gain. Simply infuriating.

Although, for the first time in my life, I saw a Bears player do something amazing, heard the announcer say his name and sat there going, "... WHO?!?!". Did not realize that Kahlil Bell was even a practice squad member, much less on the active roster.

So that was my bad.

Grade: C

Wide Receiver: Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett

Made plays when the ball actually got to them, which wasn't as often as it should have been. Both Hester and Knox broke away from their defender and had a sure fire touchdown if Cutler had not over thrown him, I mean it was like watching Kyle Orton again.

Grade: B

Tight ends: Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis

Neither was overly impressive; Olsen had a couple catches and Davis had the lone touchdown but also had a costly holding penalty. Olsen would have had a touchdown, but again Orto...er, Cutler overthrew him. Davis made a nice catch for his touchdown but his blocking leaves something to be desired.

Grade: C+

Offensive line:

Pass blocking was a little better but the run blocking was spotty and way to many penalties. I mean, holding and false starts galore. And while the pass blocking was better as Cutler was only sacked once, the complete lack of a run game could be the central theme to the Bears season. 

Grade: C-

 

DEFENSE:

Cornerbacks: Charles Tillman and Zachary Bowman

Three forced fumbles and an interception overshadowed some poor coverage at times. I have been critical of Tillman at times, but the man really showed his worth punching the ball out on three separate occasions. Bowman was still picked on, but he jumped a slant route and made a very nice interception on McNabb.

I will say, it was nice to see Corey Graham get some reps this week. I thought the man played very well last year when he was thrust into the line up and while he did not blow me away, he showed some flashes.

Grade: B+

Safeties: Al Afalava and Danieal Manning

Afalava got burned on the touchdown to Desean Jackson and Manning's name was not called often, if at all. Afalava really impressed me to start the season and I think he could be successful in the NFL, but you cannot let Desean Jackson beat you up the seam like that. Not if you continue to want a job in this league.

And I saw very little of Manning this game. I don't even know what else to say to that.

Grade: C-

Linebackers: Lance Briggs, Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach

Briggs was a maniac. He had a great sack on a delayed blitz and was the leading tackler on the team. Hillenmeyer goofed on the go ahead touchdown but played well otherwise, including sharing a sack with Mark Anderson and a fumble recovery. Although Roach was decent, at best. I heard his name about as often as Danieal Manning's.

Grade: B-

Defensive line: 

Decent, but not great with inconsistent pressure and spotty success against the run. So far, Gaines Adams has been useless. Alex Brown was contained fairly well by Jason Peters, but did get pressure McNabb on occasion. Tommie Harris was credited with a sack, although it should have been shared as Israel Idonije got there first.

Anthony Adams had a fumble recovery and Marcus Harrison was called for offsides.

All of that said, and this pains me to admit this, as much as Tommie Harris frustrates me with his attitude and missed games, this Bears defense plays a whole lot better when he is in there. 

Grade: C+

Special Teams: 

Brad Maynard wasn't bad with a couple more punts inside the 20, Knox was above average on kick returns including one he almost broke all the way and Robbie nailed 4/5 kicks, his one miss being a blocked kick from 49 yards out.

So once again, the special tams unit makes the special teams unit the best of the Bears three units... again.

Grade: A-

Coaching:

I can sum up the coaching in three words: "Unimaginative", "boring" and "predictable".

Grade: C-

Overall:

A better overall performance in every aspect of the game from last week except in the most important one: the final score.

Grade: C

 

My final thoughts: The Bears season, for intents and purposes, is over. At 4-6, the Bears will have to go 5-1 over the last six games to get above the .500 mark. While it puts a slight damper on the remaining season, at least we can cheer on the Bears in hopes that they get their shots in on Brett Favre in two more games.

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