ARKUSH: No defending Bears’ awful ‘D’
BY HUB ARKUSH Shaw Media October 21, 2013 9:17PM
After being sacked six times over two games, the offensive line kept quarterback Jay Cutler “clean,” as coach Marc Trestman calls it, which helped him have another strong performance.
No. Runs A-C % Yds Yds/Att. TD-Int Sk Rating Pff.com
No pressure 25 0 25-19 76.0 227 9.1 2-0 0 129.9 2.4
Under pressure 14 3 11-5 45.5 35 3.2 0-0 0 53.2 -0.1
When not blitzed 23 2 21-14 66.7 150 7.1 2-0 0 119.1 1.5
When blitzed 16 1 15-10 66.7 112 7.5 0-0 0 88.7 0.8
All Plays 39 3 36-24 66.7 262 7.3 2-0 0 106.5 2.2
Contributing: Adam L. Jahns
Updated: November 23, 2013 6:26AM
Sometimes, this job stinks. Not only did the Bears’ performance in their 45-41 loss to the Redskins not get any better the second, third or fourth time I watched it, it actually seemed to keep getting worse.
As much as I’d love to throw kudos at an offense that scored 41 points, it was quite awful for the first third of the game before Jay Cutler getting hurt, and didn’t get much better until after halftime.
Hardest to watch is a defense that is historically bad just one season after being among the five best in the league, a position it had occupied for most of the last decade and a half.
One of the best grades of the day will go to the quarterback position, a solid B. I actually gave an A to Josh McCown but a D to Cutler.
Let’s forget Cutler’s horrible start, for now, with the news that he’s out a minimum of four weeks with a muscle tear in his groin. There’s no point in kicking the guy while he’s down.
The story was McCown’s ability to execute the offense in the second half with his head, arm and legs. I had assumed the Bears were toast if McCown ever had to come off the bench. We’ll have to wait to see what happens in Green Bay, after the Packers have a week to prepare for him, but his performance in Washington was great under the circumstances.
Running back gets a B-, a B+ for what it showed and a C- for what it didn’t. Matt Forte’s 91 yards and three touchdown on 16 carries and two receptions for 18 more yards are a nice day’s work. His 50-yard touchdown was one of two key turning points in the game. The Bears were done until Forte took off.
But why was Forte only able to manage 2.7 yards a pop on his other 15 carries, why was he only targeted three times in the passing game and why did he finish with a total of just 18 touches? And where is Michael Bush?
Playing in the same shootout as the Bears, the Redskins handed the ball to Alfred Morris 19 times and Roy Helu 11.
Tight end Martellus Bennett gets a B- and a Purple Heart. Yes, he’s playing through multiple injuries and giving everything he has without a word of complaint, and a touchdown is a touchdown. But one catch on three targets and limited effectiveness blocking just isn’t enough.
The offensive line earned a B- as well, and it suffered more than anyone from the third and fourth pass through the tape. Yes, they are greatly improved over recent years. But each quarterback was dumped once, McCown was forced to move much more than you’d like and the running game can’t live on one or two nice runs a game. Individual linemen are losing more 1-on-1 matchups than you’d like.
To go position-by-position on defense is a waste of time. The defense gets an F for failed miserably in a game the Bears win with any kind of effort on this side of the ball.
As usual, Lance Briggs was near-heroic before his injury, Corey Wootton is doing what he’s asked at the three-technique and Tim Jennings and Peanut Tillman, when he was on the field, weren’t terrible.
That’s it. Everybody else did enough to earn a stunk, and the safeties were worse than that.
Even special teams were a mixed bag. They get a B for Devin Hester’s record-tying punt return touchdown and Adam Podlesh’s excellent punting. If anyone’s earned a mulligan, it’s Robbie Gould. But you can’t miss inside the 35 in the NFL, and Eric Weems’ offsides on an onside kick was crushing.
Sadly, this game will be remembered as one the defense gave away.
Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com.