Quick Game Comments: Bears at Bengals 12/10/17

Defense

  1. The Bears came out covering the Bengals tighter than they did the 49ers last week. They also seemed to be playing closer to the line of scrimmage than usual to stop the run. It was an interesting decision considering that they were surely rotating their coverage over to cover AJ Green.
  2. The Bengals finally started to run the ball effectively against a beat up Bears front seven late in the first quarter. They easily worked their way down the field for a touchdown.
  3. The Bears defensive backs are going to look back at the dropped interceptions that they had in this game and really be kicking themselves. Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller (at least two) both dropped sure fire turnovers.
  4. The Bears have developed a bad habit of allowing teams to get first downs on third down right at the sticks. It seems like the coverage needs to tighten up in those situations.
  5. You can certainly understand why Bengals fans might be frustrated by Andy Dalton. His accuracy is about a inconsistent as it can be and still be from a NFL starter.
  6. Not a great day for AJ Green. The Bears corners had something to do with that but so did Dalton.

Offense

  1. The Bengals defense looked like they came out flat, probably because they were coming off of a huge game against the Steelers.
  2. The Bears came out running the ball pretty well. It didn’t take the Bengals long to start stacking the line of scrimmage and challenging the Bears to throw the ball. The Bears were glad to take the opportunity to finally do so against the soft, two deep zone that the Bengals like to play rather than the tight man to man they have been facing.
  3. The Bears did a pretty good job driving late in the first half but, as has been their wont, once they got into the red zone they couldn’t turn it into a touchdown.
  4. Mitch Trubisky looked good today and, if he wasn’t pinpoint all game, he was, at least, generally accurate. He seems to read the field well and seemed to be finding the open man, especially if that man was open in the middle of the field where he was easy to see.
  5. One thing I didn’t like was how often I saw Trubisky throwing off of his back foot. The throws weren’t horrible but he’s not driving the ball and the ball placement isn’t as good as it should be when he does it.
  6. It certainly helped that Trubisky was getting plenty of good protection.
  7. To my eye, Trubisky showed a willingness to throw into tight coverage that wasn’t always there earlier in the year as he was a bit more aggressive.
  8. Terrible drop in the end zone aside, Adam Shaheen had a good ball game to give all of the fans a little hope.
  9. Credit Michael Johnson with a couple good sacks but at the same time he took advantage of some miserable blocks.
  10. Both Tarik Cohen (over 10 yds per carry) and Jordan Howard (over 145 yards) Really ran with good vision today. Both had good days as the team as a whole had a good rushing day.
  11. It was nice to see the Bears reverse the stat that was most reflective of last game by dominating the time of possession instead of being dominated.
  12. Kendall Wright (10 receptions) had a really good day as well.

Miscellaneous

  1. Sam Rosen (play-by-play), Brady Quinn (analyst) and Jenny Taft (sideline reporter) were your announcers. I love it when the Bears draw this announcing team. I always know with complete confidence up front that I can just turn the volume down and I won’t miss anything.
  2. Mike Nugent was short on the opening kickoff. Same thing with the kickoff immediately before half time after a Bears field goal. You wonder why they didn’t keep Pat O’Donnell doing the kickoffs, as he seemed to do a pretty good job. Nugent then proceeded to miss his first extra point with the Bears. Great start [eye roll].

    Tarik Cohen seemed to be having a tough time judging the ball on punt returns. Its possible the wind was up on the river front but either way he needs to be able to field those.

  3. Why is that seemingly every time Tarik Cohen pulls off a big play, the Bears manage to crush it with a penalty. They did it again in the second quarter as Cohen scored a touchdown on a 13 yard pass with a nice run after the catch. The Bears ultimately settled for a field goal after making a circus out of what should have been 7 points.

    Seven penalties in the first half. It’s totally ridiculous.

  4. Jordan Howard had a bad drop the first play from scrimmage for the Bears. Adam Shaheen dropped a touchdown at the end of the first half. That turned into a field goal.
  5. Eddie Jackson had a nice interception on a Dalton ball that was knocked into the air. That was followed by a nice job stripping the ball and recovering the fumble on a pass play near the sideline.
  6. The Bears did a good job of beating the Bengals at the line of scrimmage today on both sides of the ball. As is usually the case, the team that does that tends to be the better team overall for most of the game. That was the case today.
  7. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a team more flat than the Bengals were today coming off of that Monday Night war with the Steelers. I hate to say it but there were guys out there that I frankly thought just didn’t care. It was just one week but that’s a team that certainly looked like it’s in need of an overhaul. Based upon what I saw I don’t like the look of Marvin Lewis’s immediate future there.
  8. The Bears were frustrating watch again this week, albeit for a different reason. For once, the young talent with Jordan Howard, Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen, Eddie Jackson and Trubisky was evident against a flat and wounded Bengals team. But their penchant for eliminating big plays with stupid penalties, ewspecially in the first half, held them back.

    There’s something here to work with. But these guys have got to execute better as a team.

Quick Comments: 49ers at Bears 2017-12-03

Defense

  1. The Bears went from playing the best team in the NFC to the worst but it looked the same at the line of scrimmage early. The Bears were dominated. They struggled to stop the run and they couldn’t get a pass rush. They never really got much penetration against the run all game.
  2. I’ll cut them a little break on the pass rush. The Bears seemed to think that the best way to play the 49ers new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was to drop 8 into coverage and rush three. It wasn’t working too well early to my eye and apparently the Bears agreed. They started to blitz more in the second quarter and, naturally, started getting more pressure.
  3. I thought it was interesting to see the 49ers occasionally go to the hurry up with a quarterback that supposedly wasn’t up to speed with the offense. Generally speaking I thought Garoppolo did a pretty good job with it.
  4. I found this game to be extremely frustrating to watch as the bears struggled to get off the field. The 49ers dominated the time of possession and dissected the Bears zone defense pretty much as easily as the Eagles did last week, holding the ball about twice as long as the Bears. In fairness, it was bend and don’t break and the 49ers settled to field goal after field goal and I suppose giving up 15 points could be considered to be a successful game. But it looked like the Bears were trying to hang around and let the 49ers stop themselves rather than stopping them with aggressive play.
  5. Like a lot of teams before them, the 49ers went right at Kyle Fuller and avoided Prince Amukamara.
  6. The 49ers started to attack the middle in the passing game in the second quarter. That makes sense given that the Bears were starting Chris Prosinski, who they re-signed just this week.
  7. The 49ers had good success rolling Garoppolo out. He’s more mobile than he looks and he throws well on the run. You’d like to see the Bears do that more with Trubisky.
  8. Garoppolo is also extremely accurate and has a pretty good arm. I’m impressed.
  9. Lamarr Houston got a sack and all I could think was “Don’t blow the knee. Don’t blow the knee.”

Offense

  1. The Bears relied heavily on the run and the short pass early. They seem to have rediscovered the slant pass as they successfully threw several early.
  2. The Bears concentrated heavily on passes over the middle. I don’t know if that’s a nod to Trubisky to keep the play in front of him and limit his reads or if they just think the 49ers are weak there.
  3. Dontrelle Inman looks like a find. He looks better than a #4 receiver which is what he was billed as. Of course, we wouldn’t know what a good #2 or #1 looks like around here anymore.
  4. Trubisky generally looked more accurate today which was encouraging.
  5. Trubisky struggled to find open receivers. How much of that was him and how much the receivers was hard to tell. The replays often showed open men. You wonder if head coach John Fox hasn’t made him gun shy in an effort to prevent turnovers.
  6. Neither Charles Leno nor Bobby Massie had a great game today. Both allowed pressure and Leno had a damaging holding penalty in the fourth quarter.
  7. This was a pretty miserable offensive game for the Bears. They struggled to get first downs, struggled to block the edges and struggled to get open. It was tough to watch.

Miscellaneous

  1. Andrew Catalon and James Lofton were your announcers. The broadcast was a bare bones affair without much of the detailed analysis of replays that we often see. The network seemed to be more focused on bringing back historical footage of both teams than in providing insight into the current game. Lofton didn’t teach me a whole lot. Overall, nothing special.
  2. The Bears had punter Neil O’Donnell kicking off. That’s unusual but he did a pretty good job. At the same time, it led to speculation that new kicker Cairo Santos was having trouble with his previously injured groin.

    Tarik Cohen had an amazing 60 yard punt return where he reversed field. That was worth the price of admission.

    Cohen had another wonderful return in the fourth quarter that was brought back due to a block in the back. It was a bad penalty away from the ball by Ben Braunecker.

    Generally speaking I wasn’t impressed with the 49ers discipline on the coverage teams. They also looked slower than the Bears. Or at least too slow to keep up with Cohen.

    Cohen, on the other hand, had an amazing game both offensively and on special teams.

  3. A Charles Leno holding call killed a Tarik Cohen 25 yard run in the second quarter. Having said that the 49ers killed themselves with repeated penalties in the first half with 6 for 43 yards.
  4. Drops
  5. Kyle Fuller got a big interception in the first quarter. Fuller was itching to get one as he’d gotten a couple good breaks on the ball on passes before that.
  6. “Tough to watch” pretty much sums up this game. Most of it was simply watching the 49ers offense operate against a Bears defense that didn’t seem real interested in the kind of aggressive play that might have stopped them. Special teams weren’t bad even considering the kicker apparently had a bad groin. But the Bears offense was more miserable than usual and couldn’t move the ball.

    This was generally ugly, ugly football. It doesn’t look like the kind of football most of the rest of the league is playing. It certainly doesn’t look like the kind of football a team on the rise is supposed to be playing.