After a sloppy and inconsistent game against the Detroit Lions yesterday, the Chicago Bears now must move on following the first loss of the Marc Trestman era.
Aside from a strong first drive and a burst at the end of the game, the offense looked inept. Jay Cutler regressed to all of his infamous tendencies of the not-so-distant-past, and it equated into a dismal offensive showing for much of the game. The lone omission would be Matt Forte, who proved to remain effective, and perhaps should have been utilized more despite a large early deficit.
Unfortunately, the defense was as ineffective as the offense.
Matthew Stafford faced little, if any, pressure throughout the entirety of the game. Tackles were frequently missed again and, for once, the Bears were not able to come away with the game-changing turnovers we have all grown accustomed to.
Although the Bears offense has looked much improved throughout the first quarter of the season, yesterday's loss was a harsh reminder that team has plenty to work on. When the Bears lose the turnover battle, or, even worse, face a large early deficit, Cutler tries to force his throws. The defense then plays on its heels, and the end result becomes something unsettling.
While the Lions have a good offense, the way they were able to move the ball throughout the game is alarming. This Sunday, a real NFL offense is coming into Soldier Field. Drew Brees leads the undefeated New Orleans Saints into tonight's game against the Dolphins, and their next stop is Chicago. If Stafford and co. were able to put up the numbers against the Bears that they did, then the possibilities of what the stud Saints' offense can do is truly frightening.
When the Bears defense does not score, it is simply not effective enough to be a regular contributor to wins this season. Cutler and the new offense cannot be counted on to win every game, and likely they will need to be picked-up by the defense from time to time.
The Bears need to find consistency on both sides of the ball. How the team reacts to its first loss under new head coach Trestman will be key to finding that consistency going forward.
All in all, a 3-1 start is great for the new era of Chicago Bears football. There is reason to remain optimistic, but there remain deadly weaknesses that the best teams in the NFL will be able to pick apart. Now it is Marc Trestman's time to get this team to respond.