suntimes
SPARKLE 
Weather Updates

Grading the Bears vs. Broncos

Quarterback: C

The Bears round a winning formula for Caleb Hanie — don’t let him do too much. Hanie was 9-of-15 of 76 yards, but no interceptions.

Running backs: B

Marion Barber (27 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD) and Kahlil Bell (9-40) filled Matt Forte’s shoes. But Barber had two miscues at the end that proved costly.

Receivers: C

Weren’t asked to do much. Roy Williams had a great third-down catch on the Bears’ FG drive. Johnny Knox had 3 catches for 37 yards. Devin Hester dropped an easy one.

Offensive line: C+

Did a fine job in the running game as the Bears rushed for 159 yards. But Hanie was sacked 4 times. Lance Louis and Chris Spencer had penalties on third-down plays.

Defensive line: B

Rookie Stephen Paea had two sacks and Julius Peppers and Henry Melton one each as the Bears hemmed in Tim Tebow and the Broncos offense for most of the game.

Linebackers: B

Brian Urlacher led the Bears with 11 tackles. Lance Briggs had five but none in the second half, according to press box statistics. Nick Roach added one tackle, but recovered an onside kick.

Defensive backs: C

Charles Tillman made a great play for an early interception of Tebow. But the secondary broke down to feed the Tebow momentum in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Special teams: A-

Robbie Gould kicked a career-best 57-yard field goal. Devin Hester’s 26-yard return set up the Bears’ lone TD. Punter Adam Podlesh kept the Broncos inside their 30 on 7 of 11 punts.

Coaching: C

Bears game plan was solid, taking the load off Caleb Hanie with a solid running game. But they couldn’t stem the tide when it mattered most and lost a game they should have won.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.