Final Thoughts: Cutler Leaves With Injury And Bears Stink Up The Place

Final Thoughts: Cutler Leaves With Injury And Bears Stink Up The Place
Jay Cutler hits the ground as he tried to stop the Cardinals' Tony Jefferson from scoring after an interception. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)

During the preseason, Bears’ tight end Martellus Bennett chuckled at the idea that this team couldn’t be better than their 2014 record of 5-11. Right now it appears the Bears are a long way from even sniffing that kind of record.

All the progress that was thought to be made in the season-opening home loss last week was completely forgotten about as the Arizona Cardinals thrashed the Bears 48-23.

The Bears’ offense was keeping up with Arizona prior to Jay Cutler’s interception and hamstring injury that shut him down for the rest of the day.

The injury could be something more as head coach John Fox didn’t give away the full details in his postgame presser. After Cutler left, the Bears added only nine points compared to the Cardinals 20.

The play was awfully reminiscent to the tackle Cutler tried to make on an interception back in 2011 against San Diego when he suffered a fractured thumb. Luckily for now it’s being called a hamstring injury rather than a shoulder injury that it initially appeared to be.

Cutler was a perfect 8-of-8 for 120 yards prior the bad interception that turned into seven points on the return by Arizona safety Tony Jefferson. Cutler’s one touchdown on the day was a 48-yard pass to Josh Bellamy on a broken coverage.

“Firsts”

That catch was Bellamy’s first of his career and it was certainly a great way to record his first touchdown as well.

Other firsts for the Bears were: Jeremy Langford’s first career touchdown run, Cameron Meredith’s first NFL catch, Sam Acho’s first tackle as a Bear and Jared Allen’s first interception with the Bears.

Rough showing

Overall, it was a brutal game though. The Bears had a total of 170 penalty yards which was their most in a single game since 1944. They had 110 penalty yards at the half which was their highest total since 1991. 80 of those yards came on two pass interference calls which both led to Cardinals touchdowns.

Arizona generated five touchdowns, four on the arm of Carson Palmer and three from Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals punted only three times all afternoon as they cashed in on all four of their redzone opportunities and picked up 5-of-9 third-down attempts.

The Bears had a chance before the half as Jacquizz Rodgers recovered a fumble on a muffed punt and Allen intercepted his own tipped ball. Both turnovers set the Bears up inside the Cardinals 30-yard line, but they added only seven yards on eight plays with Jimmy Clausen under center. Two Robbie Gould field goals later, the Bears trailed by eight at the half.

No. 1 cornerback Kyle Fuller was beaten routinely whether it was down the field or on crossing routes by Fitzgerald. Ball didn’t play as bad, but he didn’t look good either.

Rookie safety Adrian Amos whiffed on an open field tackle on David Johnson’s 13-yard rushing touchdown in third quarter. Johnson, of course scored on the opening play of the game with a 108-yard kickoff return touchdown.

Fuller was benched with the rest of the first-team defense remaining out there late in the fourth quarter. Terrance Mitchell replaced him, but he was also beat by Fitzgerald for a touchdown. The Cardinals missed the extra point which really was the only bad thing that happened to them in the second half.

Right guard Vladimir Ducasse might have a tough time keeping his starting job after being docked for his fourth false start penalty in only two games this season. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod didn’t fare well with penalties either.

The Bears failed once again to record a sack and are without one for the season. Pernell McPhee led the team with three quarterback hits while Jarvis Jenkins and Allen each had one.

Final thoughts

It was a tough one to watch. The Bears’ defense couldn’t hang with the Cardinals all day. The offense completely fell off a cliff with Cutler in the locker room. Matt Forte still managed 105 total yards on 19 touches (15 runs, four receptions). The Bears were certainly wise to hold out Alshon Jeffery.

The loss places the Bears at 0-2 on the season and it is the first time since they’ve started a season by dropping two straight since 2003. The man under center for the Bears that year was a washed up Kordell Stewart.

Now that they’ve managed almost nothing at home, the Bears will have to go out to the west coast to face the Seattle Seahawks in the loudest NFL stadium. Regardless if the Seahawks win or lose tonight in Green Bay, they are a tough team to face in their home stadium.

Coach Fox has his hands full with this rebuilding group and right now the Bears look more like a team competing for a top-10 pick rather than even an average one.

One thing is for sure, they are much better with Cutler under center and this should have been known a long time ago. Outside of Forte and Jeffery, he might be the best player they have on their roster as much as people don’t want to admit it.

Quote of the Day

I had to include this tweet because I can’t comprehend how Stephen A. Smith has the platform to be a sports analyst. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves.

Thoughts on the Bears moving forward?

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button to get all the latest Bears Backer articles sent to your inbox.

Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.

Leave a comment