Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune evaluates three Bears including quarterback Jay Cutler:
“Cutler’s final numbers look OK. He was 26 of 41 passing for 353 yards, a touchdown, an interception and an 88.8 passer rating. But the Bears scored only three touchdowns on eight trips inside the red zone, and he acknowledged those failures start with him. Cornerback Rashean Mathis intercepted Cutler’s poorly thrown fade in the end zone on the opening possession of the second half. On the up side, Cutler delayed the Bears’ demise by moving them 69 yards in 17 seconds just before the fourth quarter expired.”
Its worth noting that, at least to my eye, Cutler had his best game of the year Sunday. He still missed some throws, his ball placement isn’t always great and he still threw his weekly interception. But generally speaking I thought he was more consistent than he has been and I think that passer rating of almost 90 reflects that.
Not much is really going wrong for Cutler and, as far as I’m concerned, he is still on perhaps the best roll of his career in Chicago. Here’s hoping that continues after the bye.
With the Bears on a mini-winning streak before Sunday, I think Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune has been saving up his angst. He let loose on Monday. I’ll just highlight one comment:
“Who’s the genius who let Harold Jones-Quartey take Calvin Johnson deep in overtime?
“The one real threat the Lions have, and the Bears let him make the biggest play of the game.”
It’s always dicey guessing what’s going on in the defensive backfield while watching on television. Having said that, the Bears used some zone but for the most part it looked to me like they were using bracket coverage on Johnson with safety Jones-Quartey over the top and cornerback Terry Porter underneath for a good part of the game. As a defensive coach, that’s pretty much the most you can do with Johnson (or anyone).
Sure, Jones-Quartey was a problem. Though it hadn’t emerged a a serious weakness with Adrian Amos on the other side, the safety position hasn’t been a strength for the Bears and I think everyone knew there was the potential for one or both of them to be exposed, especially with Antrel Rolle on the list of walking wounded.
The reason the safety position hadn’t been exposed previously is in part because the Bears were generating a decent pass rush. That disappeared on Sunday against a Lions offensive line that has been putrid all year. That, more than any other factor, is the reason Johnson, fellow wide receiver Lance Moore and the much maligned Matthew Stafford busted out against the Bears. I won’t degrade Pernell McPhee too much because he was around Stafford for most of the game. But Jarvis Jenkins, Sam Acho, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and especially Jeremiah Ratliff were invisible.
I find it hard to get too upset over this loss. I thought the team played hard and we knew it was a developmental year. But there’s little doubt that the Bears pass rush took a step back on Sunday. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Bears do about it after the break this week.