1. The Bears came out executing well. They came out with a good mix of the run and the pass with lots of short passes.
2. The Steelers came out blitzing a lot. The Bears offensive line handled it surprisingly well early.
3. Jay Cutler looked really calm in the pocket under pressure in the face of the blitz. Much better than in previous years under these circumstances.
4. Cutler seemed more willing to throw the ball away this game than he has been in the past.
5. Alshon Jeffery was getting a lot of balls early. That’s good. He’ll need to be a major part of the offense when it’s a finished product.
6. Brandon Marshall looked like maybe he was having a tough time catching some passes. Admittedly most looked like tough catches. I thought he had a tough time getting started this game. He finally made a huge catch in the fourth quarter.
7. In contrast to the first half, it was a different story in the second half. They had a much tougher time with the blitz as the receivers apparently failed to get open. It looked like maybe the Steelers started taking away Cutler’s dump off option. The game started to look more like some of the others we’ve seen from the offense against similar defenses.
8. I loved what Martellus Bennett did with a little shuffle pass in the third quarter. Cutler was under pressure and found him. He should have been tackled for no gain but used some quick feet to dodge some tacklers and make about 6 yards. Nice work for a big man.
9. Jermond Bushrod had a bit of a rough game allowing some pressure on Cutler.
10. It was nice to see earl Bennett make a big catch in the fourth quarter.
1. Like the Steelers, the Bears came out blitzing a lot. It was reasonably effective but risky for both sides as they dared the other team to make big plays. The Steelers touchdown in the second quarter was on a blitz that was picked up. So was the touchdown at the end of the third quarter. There were a number of other big plays.
2. The Bears continue to have trouble getting pressure with a four man rush.
3. I thought the Bears did reasonably we’ll defending the run.
4. The linebackers did their usual mice job.
5. Man Ben Roethlisberger is tough to bring down. It’s like tackling a linebacker.
6. Once again the defense did a reasonably nice job in the red zone. They generally held the Steelers to field boas once they got down there.
7. However, once again the defense had trouble stopping yet another team on third down.
1. I thought that the Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michelle Tafoya did their usual good job. For my money this is the best announcing team in the game right now.
2. The Bears didn’t get burned *too* bad by penalties though the roughing the kicker penalty on Anthony Walters in the second quarter certainly hurt. The Steelers had too many that hurt too much.
3. The Bears receivers did their usual good job in terms of dropping passes. You could argue that Marshall should have caught one or two that he didn’t come up with but they were tough catches to make. The Steelers had more drops but not an unusual number.
4. Special teams were unremarkable on both sides.
5. Turnovers were the story of this game as they so often are. The Steelers gave the ball away far too often and the Bears took advantage.
6. The Bears picked up a nice win on the road largely because of their penchant for getting turnovers. They generally played clean, too, not beating themselves. That’s as important as anything and often makes the difference as it arguably did tonight. That said, I can’t let this summary pass without noting the lack of a pass rush from the front four. They’ve simply got to get more pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. They’re giving up too many big plays for too much yardage. As for the offense it was a story of two halves. Good the first half, not so good the second as Cutler apparently had trouble finding receivers under blitz pressure. Cutler is going to have to start getting rid of the ball quicker in those situations to hot receivers. He’s dropping back and holding the ball too long with too many defenders coming at him.