It’s starting to look as if the Chicago Bears are an offensive team here in 2013 rather than a defensive one. The team has taken a while to really find its true identity.
The Bears beat the winless Giants 27-21 in a game that they had to have. They improved to 4-2 on the season and moved back into first place in the NFC North after dropping two straight.
Considering the short week and the key injuries in the middle of the Bears’ defense it was actually a fight for them against a weak Giants squad.
The Giants are a bad team there’s no way around it, but they gashed the middle of the Bears’ defense which has lost two defensive tackles to torn ACL’s (Henry Melton, Nate Collins) and now possibly two linebackers (D.J. Williams, James Anderson).
Williams left the game late in the third quarter when it appeared he was holding his shoulder in pain. It was announced on Friday, that the 31-year-old veteran linebacker is done for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.
Rookie Jon Bostic took over in the middle for Williams and played 21 snaps in the second half. He will be the starter moving forward. It’s yet another big loss to this defense that has looked mediocre at times.
This is still a unit that can create turnovers at anytime. Just look at Zack Bowman and Tim Jennings last night. Jennings had two interceptions, one returned for a score and on both picks he had the mindset to take it up field for six.
Bowman’s interception came on the third play from scrimmage. The Bears failed to come up with any points off that interception despite starting inside the Giants’ 20-yard line. An incompletion on fourth-and-two ended the drive.
Trestman drew tons of criticism for the decision. I think you should take the points early on in a game especially off of a turnover, but luckily the move didn’t come to hurt them. It did however give the Giants some momentum later in the half.
Filling in for the injured Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Bowman did a good job early on, but struggled later in the game as Eli Manning started to get into a groove.
The two biggest concerns for this Bears team both come on the defensive side of the ball. The lack of pass rush is basically embarrassing at this point. Julius Peppers failed to record a tackle on the night, while Shea McClellin and rookie David Bass each made two tackles.
Linebacker Lance Briggs had the lone sack on a night where him and the rest of the defense had a tough time bringing down old man Brandon Jacobs.
Jacobs burned the Bears’ defense for 106 yards on 22 carries, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
The lack of pass rush is something that is clearly not improving for this unit. Something has to be altered and it has to be done quick. Obviously, the personnel isn’t favorable with Corey Wootton and Landon Cohen starting at defensive tackle.
Wootton has been the most consistent lineman despite the fact that he is really a defensive end playing tackle. Cohen has been okay, but the Bears need some guys who can make plays in the middle of the line.
The middle of the defense is just beaten up at this point. Luckily, the Bears only have one game in the next 24 days as they travel to Washington next Sunday to take on the Redskins aka the Griffins (possible name change) before a Week Eight bye.
It wasn’t the prettiest effort on Thursday night. I think the Thursday night game is a joke and is just a ploy for the NFL to cash in on another night of football.
It’s really not fair for the players, who are clearly not healed up until basically Saturday night or Sunday morning on a typical game week. The league is all about safety, but then they put a ton of players into harms way by making them play banged up on a short week. Doesn’t make much sense.
Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler looked solid this week completing 24 of 36 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. He was kept clean in the pocket not being sacked once. He had a couple of overthrows on passes intended for Alshon Jeffery, but he should improve on that.
“We’re getting to a point where we’re at 21 points and sometimes it isn’t going to cut it in this league,” Cutler said. “You have to put up 30, sometimes more. It is definitely the games where you know it’s going to be 21-14, 21-10, 10-14 but I think that’s going to be more of the rarity than it was before.”
Right now its the Bears’ offense that is winning the Bears games not the defense anymore. Not to say the defense stinks, but they need to make some changes or it could put Jay Cutler and the Bears’ offense in some tough situations later on in the season.
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