Bears Report Card: Week 4

Max KienzlerAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2008

Week 4


QB: B-

Final Numbers: Kyle Orton – 18/34 199 yds 3 TDs 2 INTs 1 FumL

After a fairly ridiculous and impressive first half in which Kyle Orton connected for 3 td’s to 3 different receivers, Orton had a miserable second half, throwing for only 25 yards, losing a fumble and tossing his second interception of the day, which was picked in the end zone. (According to the stat book, Orton fumbled twice, but I put his second fumble on Kevin Jones and I explain why in the runningback grade.) This is the second week in a row where Orton has had one great half and one lousy half. If he had a game where he could combine the two good halves he would have amazing numbers (this upcoming week could be his best chance . . . it’s against the 0-4 Lions)

The grade is biased because the Bears won, if they had lost, definitely would have been in the C range.

RB: B-

Final Numbers: Forte –19 car. 43 yds 5 rec. 42 yds; Jones-3 car. 16 yds 1 fumble lost

Matt Forte did an admirable job against the best rush defense in the league. He also picked up blitzes better than most other rookies could have and trucked ahead for on third and 4 from inside their own 20 to pick up a big first down with only 3 minutes to go in the game.

Kevin Jones ripped off a great run of 15 yards for a first down, but in the second half, Orton and him had a miscommunication on a hand off andthe ball was fumbled which resulted in a Eagles field goal. The final stat line puts it on Orton, but I think Jones didn’t hear the play correctly in the huddle, at least judging by both him and Orton’s reaction to it, and so I am putting it on him.

Total the Bears had 78 total rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns, but they were effective enough to keep the Eagles D honest and it paid off with Orton’s biggest passing game of his career.


Final Numbers: Davis–1 rec 34yds;  Lloyd-2 rec 33yds;  Hester-3 rec 27yds 1 TD;  Booker–1 rec 23 yds 1 TD;  Olsen-4 rec 35 yds 1 TD;  Clark-1 rec 1 yd

First three plays from scrimmage: 34 yard pass to Rashied Davis, 6 yard pass to Forte andthen a 19 yard touchdown to Greg Olsen, who made a great catch (even if both feet weren’t down . . . which is open for debate). That couldn’t have been scripted any better.

Booker ran a great route on his TD and I have to say on a personal note: that is awesome to see Marty making plays for us again. Lloyd, who didn’t catch a pass in the first quarter, looked like he was getting in the swing of things when he left with a knee injury. And Hester beat Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel on his TD and showed great footwork getting both feet in bounds.

Offensive line: B

Orton was sacked 4 times by the Eagles which was WAY better than I was expecting, but he was still hurried a lot and was still hit too frequently (once as he was trying to throw to Lloyd which caused the ball to go straight up in the air and was picked off). Plus the 4 sacks came from 4 different Eagles so it wasn’t one player or one side of the line that was getting beat. And while 78 yards rushing against the best rush D in the league is commendable, the holes weren’t always there for the running backs to get into a rhythm.

But, again, the Eagles defense is one of the tops in the league, especially getting to the QB and shutting down the run, so I would say this was one of the Bears offensive lines best games.


Defensive backs: C+

Final Numbers: Payne – 8 tackles 1 INT (returned 49 yd); Brown – 3 tackles;  Manning- 1 tackle 0.5 sack; Tillman – 4 tackles; Vasher – 3 tackles; Graham – 2 tackles

Despite a great effort from this unitit seems like, and god help me I think Madden or Michaels actually made a good point on Sunday, the Cover 2 allows for a lot of mid range passes that eats up both yards and play clock. I understand that the Cover 2 is supposed to take away the long plays and it worked in that sense because only on DeSean Jackson's TD catch did we get beat on a longer pass, but it still seemed like our pass defense is very shaky.

Payne had his second interception in as many games. Both Peanut and Vasher left with injuries, not sure of the extent, but Tillman came back andfinished the game strong. Corey Graham stepped up both times and showed a lot of poise. And DaniealManning combined with Wale for a sack.

Linebackers: B

Final Number: Urlacher – 8 tackles; Briggs – 2 tackles; Hillenmeyer – 1 tackle 1 sack

Urlacher played a solid game, although he went for an interception as opposed to just trying to knock the pass down and he missed, which resulted in Jackson’s first career touchdown. Briggs didn’t make a lot of tackles, but he absolutely destroyed Lorenzo Booker on a screen pass that made me, some 2,000 miles away, flinch. Hillenmeyer played better this game and had a sack, but his coverage skills continue to be average at best. They clogged up the holes and supported the D-line well against the run.

Defensive Line: B+

Final numbers: Ogunleye – 4 tackles 0.5 sack; A. Brown – 3 tackles; Dvoracek – 1 tackle; Idonije – 3 tackles 1 sack; Harrison – 1 tackle; Anderson – 1 tackle

They did something they did not do last week and that was sack the quarterback. Idonijeplayed well in place of injured starter Tommie Harris. Ogunleye made up for a sub par last game with an inspired effort. Dusty and Harrison played hard and normally occupied double teams. However Mark Anderson has not lived up to his rookie year hype.  He bit so hard on DeSean Jackson's end around that I almost laughed.  You must keep containment if you are that defensive end.

Overall, they maybe could have played better, but that final goal line stand. . . The Eagles had the ball 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line and the Bears D stuffed them 3 STRAIGHT TIMES! With Alex Brown catching and stopping Buckhalter inches from the end zone on 4th down. It was a truly inspiring stand, and one could argue, a season changing series maybe?


Kicking: A-

Final Numbers: Robbie Gould – 1/1 field goals (41 yards) 3/3 extra points

Robbie was Robbie. Consistently put the ball into the end zone on kickoffs (an interesting stat before the game was that Bear opponents have had the worst starting field position when returning kick offs, average was the 21 yard line. Props to both Robbie and the coverage unit)

Punting: A-

Final Numbers: Brad Maynard – 8 punts 39.6 average

Brad landed 4/8 inside the 20 and had a long of 67 yards (He also put another right on the 20 yard line) and had 2 inside the 5 yard line. Although he could use a little more air time on the kicks.

Coverage/return units: A-

Nick Roach recovered a muffed punt by DeSean Jackson (Patrick Mannelly was also there on the play. I have to point that out because he’s the man and shows his tremendous hustle). Jackson had a couple decent punt returns, with a long of 17, but for the most part didn't have anywhere to go when he did catch the ball.  Corey Graham downed a punt at the 4 yard line and the kickoff coverage was solid as usual. Hester busted out a 51 yard return (which made up for a boneheaded move on a punt return where he lost 8 yards.) These guys show up to play every week and are by far the cream of the crop when it comes to special team units.


Ron Turner might as well be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sometimes you wonder what the hell Turner is thinking up in the booth and other times you wonder WHO is up in the booth because the offensive game plan is actually well designed. He mixed in the run enough to keep the Eagles honest and called pass plays that Orton could hit. At least in the first half.  Second half, it got a little uglier with only 25 passing yards and while not all of that is on Turner, it did seem as though he called the game a little tight in the third quarter. 

(But he showed he can learn from mistakes and when it got to be third down, 4 yards to go and they needed to pick up a first, he didn't hand it off to McKie, he put the ball into the hands of his best playmaker, Matt Forte, who busted out for a 6 yard run and a new set of downs. That was a smart call and it basically iced the game because it allowed the Bears to run the clock down to 0:28 seconds)

The defense gave up a lot of ground in the Cover 2, but Lovie and Bob Babich called the right schemes to put pressure on McNabb. This game was definitely an improvement for a coaching staff that has come under fire the past 2 weeks.

Dave Toub is still the man.


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