Bears

Hanie's poor play drags down Bears offensive grades

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Hanie's poor play drags down Bears offensive grades

When a team loses four straight, it gets a collective F, particularly an offense that has scored just two touchdowns in the last 12 quarters. No need to say more than that. No area played well but no area was good enough to overcome what was -- or wasnt -- happening at quarterback.

QUARTERBACK F-

This will end the Caleb Hanie Era in Chicago, replaced by Josh McCown with 5 minutes to play.

Not that McCowns appearance changed much; he scrambled on his first snap, completed a screen pass on his second, and threw the Bears fourth interception of the game on his third. Bears quarterbacks were a combined 11-for-25 for 123 yards, one TD and four interceptions.

Hanie turned in another dismal performance, throwing a stupid interception into the midsection of a defensive lineman, who obligingly returned it for a touchdown, and another one too high for his receiver to kill a scoring chance with the ball inside the Seattle 30. A fourth-quarter pass was miserably overthrown and intercepted and returned 42 yards for another Seahawks touchdown.

Hanies first pass was nearly intercepted by a defensive end dropping into short zone coverage. He subsequently wildly overthrew a wide-open Kahlil Bell on a short third-down conversion in the first quarter, a play that originated at the Seattle 38 and cost the Bears a shot at a field goal.

Hanies mis-throws got worse. A poorly thrown pass was tipped and intercepted in the second quarter. That play started at the Seattle 30.

The franchise position that looked at least level after the Oakland game is now in complete freefall.

RUNNING BACK C

Bell made a statement with 65 rushing yards on 15 carries and caught a 25-yard pass for his first-ever NFL touchdown. Bell totaled five receptions to lead all players.

Marion Barber added 33 yards on 11 carries and was unable to break anything longer than six yards. The Bears may not rule out another change at tailback with Bells energy and all-around play.

RECEIVERS D

Johnny Knox made a key third-down catch for a conversion but then fumbled to give Seattle a critical turnover. Knox appeared to be injured badly when hit by DE Anthony Hargrove trying for the recovery. The turnover ended up giving the Seahawks their first TD, with help from a special-teams foul up.

Dane Sanzenbacher had two catches but no receiver was able to do much with the play at quarterback.

OFFENSIVE LINE D

JMarcus Webb was flagged for two holding penalties in the second half and was not effective against Seattles pass rushers, allowing one clear sack being beaten with a counter move to the inside that shouldnt happen. Hanie was sacked four times but it was difficult to determine exactly. He wasnt responding with quick decisions but pressure also was getting on him faster than it should. The run blocking allowed Bell and Barber to combine for 99 yards against a defense that was only allowing 103 per game and the Bears virtually had to abandon the run late.

COACHING B

Game-planning cant be easy when the quarterback in particular cannot deliver key plays and avoid devastating mistakes. The offense was good enough to net 168 yards in the first half and had the ball for 17 minutes. Not enough apparently.

Film review: Albert Wilson's 75-yard TD shows how Sunday was an aberration for the Bears' defense

Film review: Albert Wilson's 75-yard TD shows how Sunday was an aberration for the Bears' defense

(For a bonus film review, check out the video above of Akiem Hicks' forced fumble on the one-yard line)

When Eddie Jackson didn’t stay on top shoulder of Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ season opener, there was a clear coaching point from that 75-yard backbreaking touchdown. The Bears’ defensive mantra the week after was to focus on “plastering” receivers, which this defense did a good job of over the next three weeks. 

There surely are coaching points leveled by Vic Fangio and his assistants after the Bears were carved up by Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s 31-28 loss in Miami. But maybe the over-arching though here is this: The Bears didn’t, during the off week, go from being one of the league’s more sure-handed tackling teams to one of the worst. 

A defense that swarmed to the ball over the first four weeks looked a step slow and frequently out of position on Sunday. The more likely explanation for that development isn’t the plot to Space Jam 3, where a group of cartoon aliens steal the athletic power of an entire defense to use for their own. More likely, it was the heat in south Florida that sapped this team’s energy over the course of a long afternoon.

In this week’s film breakdown, we’re going to look at Albert Wilson’s 75-yard touchdown, which was wildly uncharacteristic of this defense. 

Image 1: the Bears are in nickel man coverage with Wilson (red circle) lined up in the slot across from Bryce Callahan. Danny Amendola goes in motion to the boundary (green arrow), with Danny Trevathan (green arrow) following him, though safety Adrian Amos will be the guy covering the Dolphins receiver. Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard are the two down linemen in the interior, with Leonard Floyd rushing from the left and Khalil Mack from the right. 

Image 2: Mack is chipped by tight end Nick O’Leary (yellow circle), with Roquan Smith (yellow arrow) responsible or covering him. Trevathan (green circle) is in space with Amos (blue circle) picking up Amendola. With Mack chipped, the Bears have three pass rushers to go against five offensive linemen. 

Image 3: There’s about 10 yards of space between Mack and Osweiler (yellow arrow) after Mack comes free of O’Leary’s chip. Trevathan (green circle) is in a good position here, with Amos (blue arrow) closing on Amendola. Wilson works into space ahead of Callahan (red arrow), while both Dolphins outside pass-catchers run go routes to clear cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Kevin Toliver II out of the play. 

Image 4: First, the white circle — Hicks had his helmet ripped off, with right tackle Jesse Davis the apparent culprit. He still manages a good pass rush against a double team that could’ve hit home, or forced Osweiler to Mack (who’s about five yards from Osweiler when the ball is released) or Floyd, had the play extended longer. Meanwhile, when the ball is released, Callahan (red arrow) and Trevathan (green arrow) are in good position to bring down Wilson, while Amos (blue arrow) is there for help if Wilson were to turn upfield to the far sideline. 

Image 5: Wilson catches the ball and goes to the far sideline, away from Callahan (red arrow) and toward Trevathan (green arrow). After O’Leary and Smith engaged, the rookie linebacker is the farthest back from the play of these three when the ball is caught. 

Image 6: Trevathan (green arrow) seems to over-commit, giving Wilson a lane toward the boundary to cut upfield. 

Image 7: Amos (blue arrow) still has a chance to bring down Wilson short of the sticks.

Image 8: Amos misses the tackle, and Trevathan is blocked by O’Leary. That leaves Jackson (yellow arrow) as the last guy who can stop Wilson from breaking this play open. 

Image 9: In missing the tackle, Amos tripped Wilson a bit, which Jackson admitted threw him off (“but that’s not an excuse for it,” he added). Wilson re-gains his balance, cuts inside, and Jackson whiffs on the tackle. 

“Probably just try to shoot my shot on the tackle instead of just guessing, just probably should have shot my shot,” Jackson said of what he felt he should’ve done differently. 

Wilson goes to the house, and the Dolphins tie the game one play after the Bears took the lead. The last image here is Wilson’s route chart from NFL Next Gen Stats, which shows just how much running he did after the catch on that play — yardage-wise, it was 71 yards, but by distance it was much further. 

“We talked about how many tackles we missed,” Jackson said. “Some of that could have really changed the momentum of the game if we would have made some of those tackles. Unfortunately, two of them resulted in big play touchdowns.”

No members of the Bears defense were willing to use the heat as an excuse, instead opting for thumb-pointing instead of blaming teammates, coaches or the sun. But there’s a good chance we look back at Week 6 in Week 10 or 11 and can say with some confidence that the Bears beat themselves more than the Dolphins did, and it’s something that hasn’t happened since. 

“We know we made mistakes, that don’t kill our confidence,” Jackson said. “That don’t kill our swagger. We know what we gotta do, we know what we gotta correct. So we come in here, we’re going to play Chicago Bears football that we’re used to playing.”

Bill Belichick sees "overlap" between the Bears and the Chiefs, and who are we to disagree with him

Bill Belichick sees "overlap" between the Bears and the Chiefs, and who are we to disagree with him

If Bill Belichick talks football, it's probably worth listening to. 

Talkin to reporters ahead of this weekend's Bears-Patriots matchup, Belichick mentioned how similar he views the Bears and the Chiefs: 

“Well, I mean they have a lot of good players,” Belichick said. “They have good skill players, good receivers, big offensive line, good tight end, athletic quarterback, good backs. I mean there’s some movement and some motion and shifting. I wouldn’t say it’s an extraordinary amount. They get the ball to a lot of different people and they’re all pretty effective when they get it. That’ll be a big challenge. They throw the ball down the field and have a lot of catch-and-run plays and have a good running game.”

Statistically speaking, Kansas City ranks 2nd in offensive DVOA while the Bears are down at 17th. But otherwise they're identical! We're with you, Bill.