Jay Cutler played well enough to win but was done in by poor protection (3 sacks in the first half) and bad hands (four drops). He finished 24-for-33 for 358 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT for a 128.1 rating.
RUNNING BACKS (B-)
With early protection problems, the running game never got started. Matt Forte didn’t help with a fumbled pitch on his first carry, but had 95 total yards (12-55 rushing, 4-40 receiving).
Alshon Jeffery took advantage of double coverage on Brandon Marshall (4-30, 1 TD) for a career day (10-218, 1 TD). But usually reliable Earl Bennett had a key drop on a fourth-and-2 play.
OFFENSIVE LINE (C-)
Jermon Bushrod and Co. took a step back after an encouraging start to the season. In the first half, the Bears were beaten for 3 sacks on safety blitzes and Matt Forte rushed for 10 yards on 4 carries.
DEFENSIVE LINE (C)
With starting DTs Henry Melton and Stephen Paea already out, the line was in an even-tougher spot when Nate Collins, who had a sack suffered an injury in the second half. Shea McClellin had six tackles and a TFL. David Bass had a good r
Lance Briggs rose to the occasion with 14 tackles, a sack and 3 TFLs, although he had a costly penalty. D.J. Williams (11 tackles, 1 TFL) and James Anderson (8 tackles, 1 TFL) did a bang-up job.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (C+)
The Bears held Drew Brees to 288 yards — ending a string of 9 300-yard games, and contained Marques Colston (2-15). Their safety play left a lot to be desired
SPECIAL TEAMS (B-)
Devin Hester had a 17-yard punt return and a 26-yard KO return, but the Bears needed a game-breaker. Punter Adam Podlesh averaged 44.8 net yards, with only 2 return yards. Tillman and Eric Weems had penalties in kick coverage.
Needing a strong start to neutralize Drew Brees, the Bears were flummoxed by Rob Ryan’s defense early — 3 sacks on safety blitzes in the first half. They recovered well, but without their top 3 DTs, their margin for error vs. Brees was minisc