I could just say that Jay Cutler had a passer rating of 66.7 and that should explain about everything. Only then blame couldn't be placed in it's proper spot. The Chicago Bears headed into the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints with heavy hearts and massive swagger, coming off of a dominating victory of the Atlanta Falcons, and the loss of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's mother this past Monday.
Unfortunately, emotion alone wasn't enough to put points on the board as the Bears struggled throughout the game to find some consistency in their offense. If there was any offense to even stay consistent. The offensive line yet again allowed 5 or more sacks on Jay Cutler forcing rushed, errant throws that suffered the quarterback to post a 66 passer rating, on 19-45 passing, for 233yds.
It was deja-vu as Cutler continuously ran for his life mid drop-back to throw either out of bounds or his notoriously off-balanced front foot jump toss. The most silver of linings about the passing game is that despite the pressure, Cutler did not throw an interception. Albeit the Saints secondary is a bit depleted. Which is also why the lack of any significant offensive production is frustrating.
Speaking of secondary, the Chicago Bears saw the other side of their secondary go down when safety Major Wright exited the games due to a head injury. Wright had recorded 5 tackles prior to suffering the injury. Bears captain and strong safety Chris Harris was also held out of this game due to a hamstring injury.
This proved to be a issue for the Bears defense as they saw Drew Brees light up the field for 26-37 passing, 270yds, 3TD's and zero interceptions. Brees also linked up on 3rd down conversions for 12, 79(TD), 10, 4(TD), 13, 15, and 12(TD) yards. Brees helped New Orleans tally up 21pts on 3rd down conversions alone, not all contributed to the secondary. Sweep passes to Darren Sproles and a short dinker to Robert Meachem had Bears defender's looking very junior varsity as mis-communications, poor tackling and exhaustion from 8 punts proved to be too much for the beat up Chicago defense to handle.
The Bears D-Line failed to get consistent pressure on Brees, or any pressure at all for that matter. Brees appeared comfortable in the pocket and was seldomly rattled as he picked apart the Cover-2 to almost near perfection. Posting a 118.1 passer rating. Israel Idonije was the only Bear to record a sack, and Amobi Okoye was the only other player to reach Brees for a QB hit. Which merely means that the quarterback was rattled during the throw.
The Bears now head back to Halas Hall to prepare for the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers home at Soldier Field. The last time the two teams met it was in the NFC Championship game that saw Jay Cutler controversially exit with what now has been confirmed as a knee sprain. The Bears lost to the Packers 21-14 at Soldier Field as the Packers then went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV 31-25.
No added hype is neccesary, nothing is needed to be carried over from the New Orleans game. No contract extensions should be participatory commentary when referencing Chicago Bears this coming up week. No, in fact next week's game vs. Green Bay will mean more in just three weeks of football than maybe any other Week 3 matchup in Bears' history. For this the Bears, Brian Urlacher, the O-Line and coach Lovie Smith must put every game dating back to Jan. 23, 2011 behind them and look forward to getting reacquainted with the team whom has the throne that the Chicago Bears must watch.
And until Feb. 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Green Bay Packers will have that throne. At 1-1 the Bears have a long way to go, but so do 31 other teams.
Tags: Amobi Okoye, Atlanta Falcons, Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears, Chris Harris, Darren Sproles, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Halas Hall, Israel Idonije, Jay Cutler, Lucas Oil Stadium, Major Wright, New Orleans Saints, NFC North, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Meachem, Soldier Field, Super Bowl XLV, Superdome