Bears Grades: OL penalties, breakdowns devastate offense


Bears Grades: OL penalties, breakdowns devastate offense

The line limited a blitzing Washington defense to three sacks but zero other official hits on Jay Cutler, and the run blocking was good enough for the Bears to average 4.0 yards on 22 carries. Right tackle Kyle Long and guard Patrick Omameh gave Matt Forte a crease for a seven-yard TD run late in the third quarter that finally pulled the Bears even with Washington at 21.

But penalties (four on the offensive line) and individual breakdowns were devastating to the offense overall and every offensive lineman had at least one of the two, some both.

“I had a really [trashy] game,” Long said. “It was uncharacteristic of myself but the good thing is we have another game next week.”

[MORE GRADES: Jay Cutler records second-highest QB rating of season]

Terrance Knighton beat Omameh for a sack and Matt Slauson was flagged for holding on successive plays on the Bears first possession to take even more energy out of a team whose defense had just allowed a 15-play drive for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Hroniss Grasu was overmatched against 354-pound nose tackle Terrance Knighton and the Washington interior. Grasu also added to the challenge in the fourth quarter with a false start with the Bears starting at the Washington 20 with two minutes to play.

Long was beaten by linebacker Trent Murphy for a nine-yard sack in the second quarter, Cutler fumbling on the hit losing the ball to Washington near midfield. Long was also beaten by rush linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for a third-quarter sack, although Long had run Kerrigan wide and Cutler failed to step up or inside the looping rush.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

“I got beat, I was probably technically unsound in my set, and Trent Murphy took advantage of it,” Long said.

Charles Leno was called for holding, nullifying a Cutler-to-Zach Miller completion inside the Washington red zone in the second quarter, eventually leading to a Bears punt.

“I thought Adam [Gase, offensive coordinator] did a good job calling this game,” Cutler said. “It’s really hard to call plays second-and-8, -13, -10. You just don’t have a lot of options, to be honest.”

Moon's Grade: D

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.