Bears’ report card vs. Raiders
BY NEIL HAYES email@example.com
Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie (12) is sacked by Oakland Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch (33) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Quarterback (D) As if the three interceptions weren’t bad enough, Caleb Hanie had three hideous overthrows to open receivers. He did hit Johnny Knox on an 81-yard play late. Is he accurate enough to succeed in NFL?
Running backs (C) Why wasn’t Matt Forte more effective in the passing game against the Raiders weak linebacking corps? Marion Barber picked up the slack with some big runs.
Receivers (B) Hanie needs to learn what Jay Cutler already knows: Find Earl Bennett. Johnny Knox had a TD, a couple drops and a 81-yard catch and run late. Both tight ends contributed.
Offensive line (C) The Bears had a solid running game despite the Raiders defense -- and everybody else -- knowing they were going to run. Allowing four sacks was a disappointing step backward.
Defensive line (A) Julius Peppers was a beast with two sacks. Henry Melton and Amobi Okoye had a sack each. Israel Idonije played well against the run. This unit did a good job choking off the running lanes.
Linebackers (B) Brian Urlacher was as quiet as he has been all season. Lance Briggs had a couple big hits and did good job diagnosing plays. Nick Roach made a nice play in the end zone.
Secondary (C-) Tim Jennings dropped two sure interceptions and got beat deep on a 48-yard pass play that sealed the game.
Special teams (B) Robbie Gould had 50-and 53-yard field goals. Johnny Knox had a 56-yard return. Adam Podlesh consistently kicked the ball deep. Two first quarter penalties hurt field position, though.
Coaching (C) Caleb Hanie never got in groove early, which was paramount to the Bears success. The offense is a work in progress moving forward once again.