Chicago Bears Lose To Washington Redskins: Analyzing the Mistake By the Lake
Lake Michigan, that is. Yes, "mistake" is the right word. For many Bears fans, it was a mistake to even waste three hours watching this game. Yet, despite how poorly the Bears offense executed, they were in this game until the final Jay Cutler interception.
It was certainly a mistake-filled game on both sides, but in the end, it was Washington who held on to beat Chicago 17-14 and send the Bears to their second consecutive loss at home.
As the Bears fall to 4-3 while losing another game they should have won, you have to wonder where this team goes from here.
But before we look ahead, let's look in the rear view mirror at this ugly loss. And yes, we have to.
Hey, you've read this far, you might as well continue.
Is It Too Early To Call Chris Williams a Bust?
Offensive lineman, guard, whatever position he plays, he just can't get it done. So is it too soon to officially starting thinking of former first round draft pick Chris Williams as a bust?
Not to this seasoned Bears observer. Watching Williams try to block in pass protection is as painful as it must be for Cutler to experience it though he and his line-mates were better in the second half.
The Bears line blocked much better in the second half, yet the play of Williams continues to disappoint. If this was a free agent pickup or a middle round draft choice, it wouldn't be so upsetting. But once again, it appears that GM Jerry Angelo has swung and missed on a first round pick.
Not All His Fault, But Jay Cutler's Mistakes Continue To Hurt the Team
Sure, you can pin a couple of the interceptions on bad routes or unfinished routes by receivers, especially Johnny Knox who, for all his production, simply does not understand how to play the wide receiver position.
But one fact is unmistakable: Cutler continues to make poor reads, bad decisions and turns the ball over.
Now I recognize the Mike Martz offense has traditionally resulted in sacks and interceptions. But that fumble on the goal line certainly can't be pinned on Martz. In fact, as I will point out in the next slide, I feel that Martz did a good job working with what he has.
It wasn't all Cutler's fault, and he's certainly tough, as all those sacks must be taking a toll, but he has to share some blame in this loss.
Mike Martz Did All He Could Possibly Do
Last week against Seattle, Martz took the brunt of the criticism for failing to run the ball. But after watching the majority of his run plays fail to produce anything, he was forced to go to the pass, which he prefers anyway as we all know.
Today, again, Martz tried to run the ball but got nowhere early. This made the Bears offense one dimensional. He even tried more protection schemes and adjusted well starting in the second quarter, with quicker passes and screens and high percentage pass plays.
Martz also shortened Cutler's drops, which helped the line give Cutler solid protection in the second half.
But look, what else can the man do with this offensive line, receivers who don't know how to run routes and a QB who doesn't read defenses well?
This may surprise you, and perhaps even anger you, but I do not blame Martz one bit for the loss today. In fact, I think he did the best he could possibly do. But he can't work miracles, folks.
Too Much DeAngelo Hall
They kept throwing it his way. And the result was a record-setting performance by cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
Hall tied a record by picking off four passes in the game, and the fact that all four came in the second half is an NFL record.
Hall even ran one of his picks back 92 yards for a touchdown.
Yet after the game, Cutler said if he were to do it again, he would continue to throw at Hall. Well, hey, at least he completed those passes, right?
Did Lovie's Challenge On Bennett Play Prevent a Challenge On Cutler Fumble?
Lovie Smith's decision to challenge on the long pass play to Earl Bennett probably made him gun-shy to challenge when Jay Cutler fumbled on the goal line. For if he was again wrong, it would have cost the team two timeouts, something they couldn't afford.
If that was the case, then shame on Lovie, since that first challenge was ill-advised. But the other thing is that he needs help from his assistant coaches up in the booth as well. Someone should have advised him to challenge the play.
It may not have resulted in an overturned call, but it was definitely worth a try, since Cutler appeared to have broken the plane before fumbling and was moving backward so his forward progress appeared to be stopped.
Goal Line and Third Down Conversions Continue To Plauge the Bears
The inability to convert third downs with Jay Cutler at the helm reached an incredible 0-for-28 before finally converting their first one with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Cutler's fumble on the goal line made the Bears 0 for 10 from an opponent’s one-yard line this season.
The Bears are the worst team in the NFL at third down conversions.
Bears Robbed On Potential DJ Moore Interception for a TD
Rules are rules, of course, but how is it fair that the team that commits the penalty actually benefits from it? Well, that's exactly what happened on Sunday, as Bears nickel corner D.J. Moore had what would have been his second touchdown of the day wiped out by a Redskins’ delay-of-game penalty.
The penalty occurred before the play so it didn't count. Still, that would have been a game changer right there.
Lance Briggs Re-Injures His Ankle
The loss wasn't the only bad part of Sunday's game. Linebacker Lance Briggs left Sunday’s contest on Chicago’s third series and was out for the game.
Maybe Briggs really wasn't ready to come back? He injured his ankle in the Carolina game and missed last week's game against Seattle.
Fortunately, the Bears have a bye before meeting Buffalo in Toronto on Nov. 7. The week off should help Briggs recover.
Danieal Manning Has Highlight Reel Interception Catch
"We know that Manning can run,
but when he kicks and passes he'll have more fun..."
With apologies to the Fridge, Manning has been one of the more versatile Bears players, returning kicks and playing corner and safety.
His interception was unbelievable, a truly athletic catch that rivalled the best catch by a receiver all season.
Hey maybe he can play wideout? Just askin'...