Bears Grades: Jay Cutler manages respectable game with little protection


Bears Grades: Jay Cutler manages respectable game with little protection

With some of the worst protection (five sacks and a sixth QB hit) of his 2015 season, Jay Cutler managed a respectable game in which myriad mistakes throughout doomed a decent performance.

Cutler posted his 10th game with a passer rating of 88 or above (93.4), completing 26 of 37 passes for 231 yards and touchdown throws of 10 yards to Alshon Jeffery in the second quarter and four yards to Matt Forte late in the fourth. He threw an ill-advised screen pass that was telegraphed a bit and intercepted by Minnesota defensive end Justin Trattou in the fourth quarter.

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“I was trying to find the back [Matt Forte],” Trattou said, “but I didn’t have time to find him so I look into the quarterback’s eyes and I saw where he was throwing it.”

But the protection issues were more a problem than Cutler mistakes, which consisted of perhaps that throw and an overthrow of Eddie Royal in the end zone. Cutler was sacked on the Bears’ second play when he held the football far too long and allowed defensive tackle Tom Johnson to drag him down for an eight-yard loss. He was sacked in the second possession when he was unable to elude an open-field dive by linebacker Chad Greenway.

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To his true credit, Cutler was able to shake off those two sacks and a third on the third possession to direct a 52-yard drive for a touchdown pass to Jeffery at the point where the Vikings had gone up 10-0 and the Bears were generating less than zero on offense.

“Same stuff as most of the year,” Cutler said, shaking his head. “Big [penalty] call on a big run. Interception with a big sack. Our protection was a little shaky today. Some more penalties… .

“It doesn’t matter who you play. You do those things consistently through a game and it’s going to make it really hard on yourself.”

Moon's Grade: B+

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is quickly becoming an icon in American sports. The two-time American League MVP is enjoying another dominant season batting .335 with 23 home runs and 48 RBI.

On Tuesday, he took a swing at what Bears fans may consider a shocking NFL prediction.

“I’ve got the Browns having a better record than the Bears,” Trout told a radio reporter, according to the Los Angeles Times. Trout's comments were made in response the reporter "talking up" Chicago.

Both the Browns and Bears have had productive offseasons that involved headline-grabbing acquisitions on offense. Cleveland drafted QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, traded for WR Jarvis Landry, signed RB Carlos Hyde and drafted a backfield mate for him in Georgia's Nick Chubb. They added potential lockdown corner Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick, too. Add all that to a motivated Josh Gordon ready to contribute for a full season, and there's good reason to be excited in Cleveland.

Still, it's hard imagining Trout can be that confident in a team that's won only one game over the last two seasons. And let's not forget what GM Ryan Pace has done this offseason, one that's been praised by analysts from all corners of the NFL universe. From new coach Matt Nagy to free-agent WR Allen Robinson and all the skill players in between, the Bears are ready to make a legitimate run in the NFC North.

Trout doesn't strike out much in the major leagues, but this prediction feels like it could be a back-straining whiff.

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.