Bears Grades: Offensive line fails to open up many running lanes


Bears Grades: Offensive line fails to open up many running lanes

The offensive line ran out of the tunnel as a group during pregame introductions but after that, things got a bit more difficult against one of the NFL’s top defensive fronts.

On the plus side the Bears were not called for a single penalty, on any position group, and the line kept quarterback Jay Cutler relatively safe under pressure from the No. 1 ranked sack brigade. Cutler was sacked twice, once resulting in a strip and lost fumble, and the Broncos collected a modest three other hits on him out of a total of 34 pass plays, two of the hits coming on blitzes by safety T.J. Ward.

On the downside, the Bears ran their norm of at least 25 times but for only 86 yards.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

“They’re just good at a little bit of everything,” said right tackle Kyle Long. “They’re a tough group...Not scoring a touchdown until the last minute – that falls on us as an offensive line. We need to be able to run the ball and produce those chunks offensively and give Jay a chance to be able to have some stuff open up on the back end.”

The group was shuffled yet again with the return of rookie Hroniss Grasu to center and shifting Matt Slauson back to left guard. Coaches left Patrick Omameh as the starter at right guard and put Vladimir Ducasse on the bench after starting the first nine games.

Omameh and Long had mixed results on the right side, exemplified by the bulldozing of the Broncos on Jeremy Langford’s two-yard TD run in the closing minutes, but followed by the Broncos stuffing Langford on a run-right on the try for two-point conversion.

Moon's Grade: D+

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night


Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going. 

As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points 

The second questionable hands to the face call came on third-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock—Detroit was out of timeouts—to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby. 

And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win. 

With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled off another incredible (or maybe controversial) victory over the Detroit Lions in Monday night's NFC North slugfest, 23-22, to advance to 5-1 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

It was the worst possible outcome for the Chicago Bears, who could've used a little help from the Lions to keep pace with Green Bay entering Week 7.

Instead, the Bears (3-2) are now 2.5 games behind the Packers ahead of their showdown with the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Soldier Field.

It could be worse for Chicago. Detroit's loss drops their record to 2-2-1 on the season and moves them into the division's cellar. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings had arguably their strongest showing of the season in their 38-20 victory over the Eagles and improved to 4-2 on the year. Their four wins slot them ahead of the Bears for second place in the North even though Chicago currently owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Here are the NFC North standings heading into Week 7:

1) Packers (5-1)
2) Vikings (4-2)
3) Bears (3-2)
4) Lions (2-2-1)