Chicago Sun-Times

The Pros and Cons

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It was an ugly, ugly game, even though the Bears eked out the win.

Here are three pros and three cons.

PROS
1) Matt Forte and Chester Taylor are a very nice one-two punch.
It's obvious both can thrive in Mike Martz's offense. Forte also showed his speed on the 89-yard touchdown.

2) The defense dominated.
Sure, it would have been great to rack up a few more sacks. But the unit forced eight -- yes, eight! -- three-and-outs and got three turnovers. That the offense didn't do much isn't the defense's fault. All told, the defense held the Lions to 168 net yards and only allowed them to convert four of 14 third downs. Most encouraging of all, in my opinion, was the play of the cornerbacks, who helped limit Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson to a combined 64 yards.

3) The special teams was solid.
Not spectacular, but solid. That's an achievement, given the dreadful preseason they had. They didn't pop any big returns, but they also didn't give any up. Robbie Gould made both of his short field goals, and Brad Maynard had a decent day, often punting from Lions' territory.

CONS
1) Jay Cutler doesn't look comfortable.
The numbers look great: 372 yards passing, with a rating of 108.3. But, by my count, Cutler held the ball too long on at least two of his four sacks. He also looked tentative when he had space in front of him. It also didn't help that his receivers dropped his passes or ran what appeared to be the wrong routes. The biggest drop was by Devin Aromashodu, who would have had a 38-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the game.
The miscommunication that comes to mind was early in the fourth quarter, on a third-and-four, when Johnny Knox broke for the right sideline and Cutler threw the ball down the field.

2) The offensive line not opening up running lanes.
The Lions defensive line is vastly improved, especially inside. Corey Williams, rookie Ndamukong Suh and even Sammie Hill made their share of impact plays. But, the Bears struggled to get a push at the line of scrimmage, averaging a modest 3.3 yards per run. Subtract Cutler's 22 scrambling yards, and Taylor and Forte averaged three yards per carry.

3) The defensive end opposite Julius Peppers.
Peppers didn't disappoint in his debut, with a sack, forced fumble and two other quarterback pressures. And while Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije each had a tackle for loss, they didn't exactly harass the Lions quarterbacks. They've got one-on-one match-ups, and one of them is going to have to be able to consistently beat them for this defense to be at its best. According to the official game book, neither Anderson nor Idonije had a quarterback pressure. Against a suspect Lions offensive line, the Bears defensive line had one sack (the other sack was by Brian Urlacher) and four quarterback hurries (Urlacher also had one of those).

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14 Comments

Sorry, I'm not buying the defense. They dominated a mediocre offense with it's 2nd string qb. And even then they still couldn't stop them when it mattered.

I will say that even though the offense has issues, they have more spark to them than anything Ron Turner ever produced. That being said, here's a question for Martz: on 4th and inches, why run at Suh when he shoved Omiyale five yards into the backfield the last time you tried that.

Ok yes the Bears won and yes it was ugly but the biggest scare is the play of the O-line. I mean come on you cant move the ball less than 3 feet on 4 downs. That type of playing is gonna get you a 1 and 15 season. Oh and the coaching of Lovie is a joke to go for it when you didn't make on 3 previous downs that is a joke. You go for the 3 for sure points everyone know that except for good olde Lovie.

Next week them Cowpokes are gonna eat our Bears up if the O-line plays they way they did today.

@Sean - Perhaps Cutler held onto the ball so that he wouldn't throw a pick. It seemed to me like he was trying to make good decisions. (pick excluded)

BigBear parts of the defense played really well, all the LB's but Briggs and Urlacher where tearing it up. Peppers was great, Adams was solid.

However the Bears defense played run first and the Lions offense played right into their hand. The playing calling for the Lions was pretty bad. But they did give the Bears D some problems in the 2nd quarter. Then on the final drive. But most of the time they didn't even look Johnson's way and ran into the strength of the defense which was staking. The Bears spent half a game playing against a bad backup QB and a whole game playing against conservative play calling.

Look the Bears got away with one. But it really never should have come down to that.

Sean Cutler did hold onto the ball to long at times but every QB does. It's also a early byproduct of the Martz offense. It will take some time before it becomes natural to him and the recievers.

i thought the o-line played better than i thought they would. suh was a non-factor for most of the game rushing the passer and vanden bosch was really the only guy that consistently caused some problems -- he's a recent pro bowl guy so i wasn't surprised there either. the bears offense is not going to over power people at the point of attack with martz running the show. i prefer a more physical offensive attack but that's not what we got when they hired martz. given our offensive mindset we are going to win games with forte and taylor catching passes out of the backfield -- hester is my biggest concern at this point as he has to make some plays eventually to relieve the focus on the backs.

Sean,

You know that you and I agree on quite a few things, but let me give you my pros and cons.

Pros:

#1: Urlacher looked good and he looked strong and fresh. He should, he's had almost 2 years to heal.
#2: Peppers looked good on a couple of plays.
#3: I thought Jay Cutler showed some good poise even after being knocked around like crazy. Iwas curious to se how he would come back after his bad interception and then how he would react after the two fumbles.
#4: The Bear's screen passes. Not just to Forte, but to Chester as well.
#5: Besides the one long drop, I thought Aromashodu played well.
#6: Brigss and Pisa looked very good and were filling holes quite nicely.

Cons:

#1: Offensive line is horrible. Duh.. Omiyale got pushed round like he was a 1 man football sled. The penalties were costly and they can't move anyone. Louis played the best out of any of them.
#2: {Sort of with #1} there were times when there were 7 and 8 guys in protection. That is unacceptable.
#3: You praised the special teams, but there were 2 big penalties on special teams. By the guys that have been shoved down our throats for the past 3-4 seasons. Davis and Wolfe.
#4: Too many stupid penalties. Vanden Bosch had just been flagged for "blow to the head" and what does our 100 million dollar genius do? Clubs Stafford in the head. BRILLIANT!! And Urlacher's late hit might have cost the Bear's 4 points. 20 seconds from the 22 with 3 TO's vs. 37 yard line. Like Billick said, "Bush League."
#5: Fundamentals were horrible. The two hits on Forte and the one on Olsen that caused the fumbles were not jaw breakers. Is this a result of the soft preseasons?
#6: It appears that even with Peppers, the Bears have a hard time generating a pass rush with just 4.
#7: I know a thing or 3 about weight training. Is Olsen even aware that the Bear's have a strength and conditioning coach and a weight room? I was in Bourbonais last year {and this year too, but he was not practicing the day i was there} and he gave my son an autograph and he was ripped. I called several people today and they agreed with me. His arms looked skinny today. Sean, is this a result of Martz not being known for utilizing a TE and Olsen might be dropping weight? Just curious. BUT, he did block well downfield. Aromashodu's first grab that he popped in the air, Olsen blocked the guy along the sideline to give him more yardage.
#8: Allowing a 2nd string QB to march down the field at the end of the game and set the stage for the last 3 throws.
#9: The WR's. Where was Knox and Hester today? One of you wrote an article a week ago or so about how Knox was this and that and he looked like a deer in headlights out there. And their speed means NOTHING if Cutler is looking to his left and right for defenders trying to sack him instead of looking downfield.
#10: You can't have the ball that many times in the opposing teams side of the field and NOT come away with at least 3 points every time.
#11: The biggest con..no pun intended is the con job put over on the fans by Angelo and Smith.

Pros: Won game, 460+ yards, Cutler throwing for 360+, Matt Forte, Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers.

Cons: Offensive turnovers, penalties, poor running

First two cons can be corrected quickly and easily. The poor running will improve over time.

Despite all the mistakes, for a first game, there is a lot to be excited about, cause look at all those pros, yet they have not even come close yet to running on all cylinders. Other pros are the Viking do not look great, the Cowboys also looked horrible, and even the Packers look beatable (Rogers had 180 yards and 2 Ints).

WPerry, you obviously did not watch the pathetic Dallas team play last night or you would not have made such foolish comments. Dallas may be worse than Chicago.

I thought the Bears put themselves in position to win by 3 or 4 scores. Unfortunately, as we've often seen, they played their way out of that position with turnovers and horrific run blocking. Three plays and you can't move the ball 20 inches? That's horrible. Creighton, I was thinking the exact same thing.

As far as Dallas goes, they will be missing Colombo, and possibly others, meaning Julius should wreak untold havoc in the backfield. It's too bad Tony Romo excels at avoiding pressure.

WPerry: I don't see Dallas blowing the Bears out. I think Martz, Jay, and company can move the ball against them.

jhegz47: I agree with you to an extent. Dallas did not look good last night. I still think they have less holes than the Bears.

This is a reach, but because Dallas may be missing Colombo and Ware, I'll take the Bears to win another ugly one filled with turnovers on both sides.

Bears 28-24

Lovie amazes me with his poor decision making. They take three shots at the goal line and can't get it in, they take the lead in the game if they kick a field goal. The Bears defense was beating the heck out of the offense all day.

Plain and simple a poor decision to go for it on fourth down at the one.

Lovie is not a great coach.

Always enjoyed watching what usta be the old Black and Blue League.
Lions haven't done squat since 1957 when Bobby Layne QB'd.

Watchin that game winning TD, even signaled a TD by closest ref,
but denied. We all love our teams but I've got to ask this question
to real sports fans:

" Is there a purpose to playing the game if some referee over-turns
the obvious " ? I'm not saying this was a " fix " but there sure
were a lot of folks who saw that play. WTF, is this going to be the real future for professional football ?

Jerry Serwas
Daytona Beach, Florida eh2mhz

Jay Cutler and Mike Martz better get it through their heads that they have a good, but aging defense. If they keep making mistakes (turnovers and penalties), bad calls (20 yard passes on 3 and 4), and put the defense in bad field position or on the filed too long, this is a losing team.

Jay Cutler and Mike Martz better get it through their heads that they have a good, but aging defense. If they keep making mistakes (turnovers and penalties), bad calls (20 yard passes on 3 and 4), and put the defense in bad field position or on the filed too long, this is a losing team.

Why is all the racketing about the 4 downs and no conversion. I am of the school that most of the time u take the points, and everyone(not on this blog) is commenting on how Billick said take the points. What people are missing, and they usually do, because hindsight is always 20-20, is when the bears put the first field goal, this same Billick said go for the touchdown on 4th and short by the goal line. Now maybe his stance changed because of the situation, but I say let them have a shot. Week 1 against the Lions, your defense was banging on their offense's heads all game.

They need to practice that in a game situation to get the kinks out. This was our first game under Martz, most of you expected disaster. The offense thrived under his command, and people still complain, 372 in the air, and you see problems, what...only perfection is what you want in week 1? Gimme perfection in the playoffs and the Super Bowl!! Week 1, I want a win and I got one.

You bears fans kill me, complaining about a win, just shut up already!! But I thank the Chicago sports talk guys, they make you want the unattainable, they want you to call and complain to pay their salaries. Why do you think the Cubs are still a hot topic in Chicago, only Chicago.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on September 12, 2010 7:21 PM.

Forte's field day was the previous entry in this blog.

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