The last time the Bears were shut out in a regular season was in 2002, that time by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15-0, with Henry Burris as quarterback. Jimmy Clausen is not in the Burris conversation, but his inability to trigger the offense on time early and to challenge the Seattle Seahawks defense through the air all but assured the Bears being shut out again.
“We didn’t protect too well, and we didn’t execute well in the passing game,” said coach John Fox, “whether it was routes or protection or delivering the ball.”
Clausen was generally efficient early within a conservative game plan that involved just eight called pass plays in the first half. Clausen scrambled for 11 yards and a second-quarter first down on a third down to sustain a possession. For the day, Clausen complete nine of 17 passes for just 63 yards, took two sacks and six other hits, posting a poor 61.6 passer rating.
The Bears didn’t think they could work deep, and “I think that it proved to be pretty true,” Fox said.
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Clausen completed just three passes to wide receivers, all to Eddie Royal, and his longest completion covered just 21 yards, to tight end Zach Miller. The Seahawks were never at risk down the field and by the second half were able to throttle Matt Forte and the run game, allowing the Bears just 37 net yards in the second half.
“They like to play off and keep everything in front of them and just run to the ball,” Clausen said. “
If there was a puzzling recurring mistake, too often Clausen put his offense under time pressure, taking too long to get plays started. He put the offense in an immediate hole with a delay of game infraction before the game’s first snap, an ill-advised penalty taking too much time that left his line holding in stances and then losing five yards to penalty. Clausen did the same thing on a third down later in the quarter, with right tackle Kyle Long eventually called for a false start. Coaches had to burn a timeout in the second quarter to save another penalty.
Clausen added to the offense’s problems early in the third quarter with another delay of game that worsened field position when the Bears desperately needed some positive momentum.
Moon's Grade: D