In the NFL, a win is a win...however, this wasn't a very impressive win on the 10th anniversary of Walter Payton's passing, over a hapless Browns team that turned the ball over five times. The game today generated more questions than answers for Bears fans, such as:
- What is the answer for an OL that is letting everyone and anyone get to Cutler, often and hard?
- Where is the creativity in the Red Zone, which has become more of a Black Hole for the Bears offense this season?
- Did the Bears earn their respect back?
- How did Tommie Harris perform after coming back from being sat out last week?
- Did the Bears establish the running game and particularly on first down?
It's obvious that Ron Turner has no answer for the lack of pass protection for Jay Cutler, who was knocked around often by the Browns today. On the positive side, the run blocking seemed to improve slightly, but remember this is a Browns defense that is ranked 31st and 32nd, respectively, against the run/pass. Remember that Turner claims there is no problem with the OL, and that they're some "good players." But Cutler is throwing off his back foot now on a regular basis, anticipating the hits, and boy do they keep coming. His pick today was once again thrown off his back foot and his mechanics look out of whack. This is how exactly how Grossman looked after a while with the Bears. Come to think of it, Forte is starting to look like Benson did while playing for Chicago.
The Bears Red Zone offensive is so predictable that only they don't know where the next play will go. It seems like everyone else already does. They were 2/6 today and the breakdown isn'y pretty:
- 6 trips
- 18 plays
- 27 net yards
- 3 FG
- 2 TD
- 1 TO
The Bears were supposed to win today, as if the beat down they received last week from the Bengals wasn't enough inspiration, today also commemorates the 10th anniversary of Chicago Bears icon, Walter Payton passing. However, it just didn't look like an inspired win. The on-the-field jaw-jacking between Cutler and Browns Def. Coor. Ryan also sheds some light on this point. However, the defense showed some life today and put the game away for the Bears, while the offensive line looked "offensive" in pass protection. Does anyone think that the OL and secondary won't be exposed in the coming weeks ahead?
Tommie Harris stated last earlier in the week that he had "nothing to prove," and that's just how he played today. What he did prove though is that he is merely a shell of his former self and another head case to boot. A poor Browns offense ran straight up the gut on the Bears until they had to start playing catch up and go to the pass. Bottom line, Harris is a non-factor in the interior.
Today the Bears didn't do much on first down either. They tried a couple of runs up the gut, but didn't get anywhere. Turner continues to send Wolfe up the gut only to be slammed back. Only on his own initiative was Wolfe about to bounce a nice run outside late in the game during slop time. Speaking of Wolfe, he had the best tackle of the game for the Bears (on Special Teams) during a punt return.
There were a few highlights; Peanut Tillman had a decent game after getting killed last week by Chad Ochocinco, Nick Roach had a couple of good tackles and a strip, Danieal Manning made a spectacular pick, stretching out over the middle, and Hester looked good as a WR and Special Teamer, and Cutler looking more for the run when it was there for him.
Will this win over the Browns be able to galvanize the Bears for the upcoming playoff run? We shall see, as the players may want to play their hearts out, but the play calling will eventually be what does the Bears in. Ron Turner is clueless, and Cutler, as solid and competitive as he is, isn't going to be to withstand the type and amount of hits he's been taking for long. The OL gave up a sack in their 24th consecutive game (an NFL record). They will have to provide some type of pass protection for Cutler or he will start to look more and more like Grossman than how he looked in Denver.