New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears: The Value of an Offensive Line

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New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears: The Value of an Offensive Line
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

After the Bears played the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, I wrote that the Bears seriously need to fix their offensive line if they want to be contenders.

Last week, I wrote about how the Packers shouldn't be blaming their loss on themselves and that the Bears deserved that win by forcing a lot of those penalties.

I'm pretty sure that with the way the Bears offensive line played against the New York Giants, Jay Cutler is wishing that everybody on the Bears offensive line took a page out of the Packers book and just held their assigned player when he was going to get a hit on Cutler.

Unfortunately, I'm not even sure if that would have kept Cutler safe.

He was sacked time after time, nearly breaking the record for most sacks in a game.  Cutler didn't even come out for the second half with reports coming out that he was diagnosed with a concussion.

Unfortunately, Bears journeyman back-up Todd Collins didn't fair any better, or last any longer, behind center.

Notice how the word unfortunately is being used a lot, that will become a theme.

 

How the Game Went Down

I missed the start of this game, but when I jumped into the game about five minutes in, the onslaught had already begun on Cutler and his position as a redeemed quarterback.

Luckily for the Bears, their defense is seemingly back to 2006-form thanks to surprisingly good play by players like Israel Idonije and Tim Jennings.

The Giants looked like it was going to be total domination early by going on a 76-yard drive, but the Bears defense stiffened up and held the Giants to a field goal, making the game 3-0.

From that point on, the game was largely three-and-out by each team with the occasional turnover and a lot of sacks.  At one point, the Bears began a drive on the two-yard line and a safety seemed like a foregone conclusion, but they were able to get out with a zero-yard drive and a punt from the end zone, a true victory for this offense.

The Giants set a record with nine sacks in the first half, breaking the record of eight.  They had their sights set on a record which they are already tied for, which is 12 sacks in a game, but they stalled at 10.

Two plays before halftime, a sack by Aaron Ross ended up giving Cutler a concussion, which lead to Todd Collins entering the game.

After playing most of the second half, Collins eventually left the game with an injury of his own (he might have just been tired of getting hit) which lead to Caleb Hanie entering the game, an event that always creates confidence in a fan base.

The Giants offense looked just as lost as the Bears until Ahmad Bradshaw found his stride and became the first running back to figure out the Bears defense.

He began to slash through the Bears defense and eventually scored a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

The Bears were able to put up three points and make it a seven-point game, but the Giants drove back down the field again, ending in a Brandon Jacobs touchdown.

 

Analysis

Two weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys were destroying Cutler with blitzes and Mike Martz made the correct adjustments to let Cutler get the ball out to an open receiver without taking a hit.

Last week, the Bears offense was completely out of sync in the first half and they made the right adjustments to come out in the second half and win the game.

This week, after an abysmal start, the Bears coaching staff seemed content to stick with the game plan like it was Rex Grossman.

It wasn't just the offensive line's fault, however, as Cutler routinely had open receivers on short routes that he completely ignored while looking for the long ball.

But the biggest problem for this Bears team is how atrocious the offensive line is.  Unlike in the past where teams have gotten pressure on Cutler with blitzes, the Giants were able to rush four and set Cutler on the ground, literally, play after play.

The only saving grace for the way the Bears played is that maybe, just maybe, Hanie is starting next week, as he completed three of four passes and was the only Bears quarterback without an interception.

He even hit Johnny Knox for a 26-yard completion.

The Bears defense was outstanding once again, and even though they were torn up late in the game, it's almost completely forgivable as every time they stopped the Giants, the offense would end up only being on the field for a minute before going back to the sidelines.

Tim Jennings, as mentioned earlier, played very well today, as did the entire Bears secondary.  They held Eli Manning to just 195 yards and no touchdowns.

Zachary Bowman showed up a few times in this game, none bigger than when he simultaneously saved a touchdown and forced a turnover after a big Bradshaw run that was certainly headed for the end zone.

Julius Peppers continues to earn every penny as he forced a fumble, had a sack, and batted down a pass.

The Bears have some serious issues to work on if they want to be competitive and all of the good feelings from their Monday Night Football victory over the Packers have now been washed away but this Sunday Night Football embarrassment.

Next week they will be taking on the Carolina Panthers as they hope to correct at least some of the issues that they had this week, but they may have to do so without Cutler, depending on how serious his injury is.

I'm Joe W.

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