Chicago Bears: 2013 Report Cards

Report Card: Bears-Packers

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
9:50
PM ET

Week 17 Report Card: Bears vs. Packers

Forte
A

Rushing Offense

Two-time Pro Bowler Matt Forte had a fabulous game with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns (5.0 yards per carry). Forte closed out his 2013 season with 100-plus rushing yards in three of his final four games. The offensive line also deserves its share of the credit for opening up holes, while head coach Marc Trestman contributed to the effort with creative play calls that kept the Packers defense on its heels for a good portion of the second half.

Cutler
B

Passing Offense

Quarterback Jay Cutler finished the game 15-of-24 for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception (on the final play of the game) and a 103.8 passer rating. Overall, it was a fairly good day at the office for Cutler, who was sacked only one time. Alshon Jeffery hauled in a 67-yard reception but failed to snare a deep ball on third-and-17 with 6:38 left in the game that would have sealed the victory for the Bears. Brandon Marshall led the team with six catches for 74 yards.

McCoy
C

Rushing Defense

Believe it or not, this marked an improvement for the Bears run defense. Green Bay rushed for a total of 160 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries (4.7 yards per carry), although no single Packers rusher broke 100 yards. The Bears allowed two runs of more than 17 yards throughout the game (James Starks had a 41-yarder, Eddie Lacy had a 17-yarder). At least the Bears made the Packers earn it on the ground for most of the afternoon.

Foles
D

Passing Defense

The Bears intercepted two Aaron Rodgers passes in the first half (Chris Conte, Tim Jennings), but the Green Bay quarterback still threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown, the game winner to Randall Cobb, occurred due to a busted coverage. In Week 17, that kind of mental mistake is inexcusable. The Bears sacked Rodgers three times, but Julius Peppers whiffed on the final pass to Cobb, who found himself wide open en route to the end zone.

Hester
B

Special Teams

Devin Hester ran back a punt 49 yards and handled five kickoffs for 127 yards, while the Bears coverage teams limited Green Bays return men to next to nothing. However, Adam Podlesh averaged only 34.3 yards on four punts, just one of those pinning the Packers inside their own 20-yard line.

Trestman
D

Coaching

The Bears had two chances to clinch the NFC North title and failed both times to do so. The 8-8 record represents a two-win decline from 2012, when the Bears went 10-6 in Lovie Smiths final season. Its extremely difficult to give the Bears' coaches high marks when the season ends in such disappointment. The defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL for the majority of the season, and the unit made several key mental mistakes that contributed to Sunday's defeat.

 

Report card: Bears at Eagles

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
1:37
AM ET

Week 16 Report Card: Bears vs. Eagles

Forte
F

Rushing Offense

The Bears completely abandoned the run game when the Eagles jumped out to an early lead. Matt Forte finished with only nine carries for 29 yards. Michael Bush had seven rushing attempts for 20 yards in garbage time. This is especially disappointing because Forte had topped 100 rushing yards in each of the last three games leading into Sunday night.

Cutler
D+

Passing Offense

Jay Cutler had a handful of beautiful throws, but overall he connected on just 20-of-35 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown, with one interception that Philadelphia returned for a score. Cutler's quarterback rating was 73.8. In defense of Cutler, the Bears' pass protection was miserable. Cutler got sacked five times and was hit countless others. Forte had a particularly bad night picking up the blitz, an area he had really thrived in for the bulk of the season.

McCoy
F

Rushing Defense

Philadelphia ran for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Both LeSean McCoy (133 yards, two touchdowns) and Bryce Brown (115 yards, one touchdown) had monster nights versus the Bears' 32nd-ranked rushing defense. The Bears haven't been able to stop anybody on the ground for much of the year. That is not expected to change.

Foles
D-

Passing Defense

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was near perfect in the passing game: 21-of-25 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and a 131.7 passer-rating. The Bears did sack Foles twice, but on most occasions he had way too much time to stand in the pocket and survey the field. Foles is a master of the check-down. The Bears could never figure out how to stop him.

Hester
D-

Special Teams

The Bears had one of the worst special-teams sequences in recent memory in the first quarter when Adam Podlesh had a 25-yard punt on the game's opening drive that gave Philadelphia the ball on the Bears' 43-yard line, and then Devin Hester fumbled a kickoff return. Both times, the Eagles scored a touchdown thanks to the short field the Bears' mistakes provided. Robbie Gould did kick a 50-yard field goal.

Trestman
F

Coaching

Even with the opportunity to win the NFC North outright, the Bears came out flat and looked totally unprepared to deal with whatever the Eagles threw at them on both sides of the ball. When that happens, the coaching staff will shoulder a large chunk of the blame.

 

Report Card: Bears-Browns

December, 15, 2013
12/15/13
6:44
PM ET

Week 15 Report Card: Bears vs. Browns

Forte
A

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte notched his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season when he gained 127 yards on 24 carries. Michael Bush even busted loose for a 40-yard touchdown run. As a team, the Bears averaged 5.8 yards per rushing attempt. Much of the credit goes to the offensive line. The Bears have done a tremendous job up front opening up running lanes in recent weeks.

Cutler
B

Passing Offense

Jay Cutler tossed a pair of first-half interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, but the quarterback settled down in the second half to finish with 265 yards passing and three touchdowns for a 102.2 quarterback rating. Brandon Marshall led the Bears with six catches for 95 yards, but Alshon Jeffery stole the show the third straight week with a 45-yard jump ball touchdown in the fourth quarter. Earl Bennett also caught a score.

Baker
C

Rushing Defense

The Bears held the Browns to just 93 yards rushing on 17 carries. Even though Cleveland averaged 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, it's the first time the Bears have held a team to under 100 rushing yards since the New Orleans Saints game on Oct. 6. Consider it a moral victory.

Bowman
B+

Passing Defense

Jason Campbell did throw for 273 yards, but almost all of his completions were on check-downs. Josh Gordon was a non-factor until catching a 43-yard touchdown near the end of the game. Dangerous tight end Jordan Cameron had only three catches for 23 yards. The Bears received solid performances from cornerbacks Zack Bowman (two interceptions, one touchdown) and Tim Jennings.

Robbie Gould
A-

Special Teams

The Bears limited the Browns to just 44 return yards, while Devin Hester brought back three kickoffs for a combined 105 yards and one punt for 21 yards. Robbie Gould made his one field goal attempt, and Adam Podlesh landed one of his three punts inside the Browns' 20-yard line.

Marc Trestman
A

Coaching

Marc Trestman weathered the storm when Cutler struggled in the first half, and continued to call a smart and effective game on offense. Trestman's decision to insert Cutler back into the starting lineup did not cost his team a victory. Mel Tucker's defense has improved in recent weeks. The Bears (8-6) now appear poised to finish out the season on a high note and perhaps win the division for the first time since 2010, although the team still needs help.

Report Card: Bears-Cowboys

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
2:10
AM ET

Week 14 Report Card: Bears vs. Cowboys

Forte-McCown
A-

Rushing Offense

The Bears offensive line opened up large holes for Matt Forte, who rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries (5.1 yards per attempt). Michael Bush even tasted success on the ground with 39 yards on eight rushing attempts. Quarterback Josh McCown provided the second most emotional moment of the night -- next to Mike Ditka's halftime retirement ceremony -- when the QB leapt into the end zone on a 7-yard run to fire up the troops.

Alshon Jeffery
A

Passing Offense

McCown lit up a terrible Cowboys' defense for 348 yards and four touchdowns for a 141. 9 quarterback rating. He got sacked only one time in 36 passing attempts. Alshon Jeffery continued his march toward the Pro Bowl with another circus catch in the back of the end zone, while Brandon Marshall bounced back with six receptions for a team-high 100 yards. Forte also contributed seven receptions out of the backfield. And tight end Martellus Bennett had five grabs for 43 yards against his old team.

DeMarco Murray
D

Rushing Defense

The Bears still can't stop the run. Dallas tailback DeMarco Murray ran all over the Bears defense for 145 yards on just 18 carries. Joseph Randle, the Cowboys No. 2 tailback Monday night, carried the ball nine times for 54 yards and one touchdown. On the bright side, the Cowboys failed to reach 200 total yards rushing. Dallas finished with 198.

Dez Bryant
B+

Passing Defense

Tony Romo walked out of Soldier Field with impressive numbers -- three touchdown passes and a 109. 2 quarterback rating. But the Cowboys only threw the ball for 144 yards, with much of the damage coming in garbage time. Star wide receiver Dez Bryant was basically a non-factor, catching only two balls for 12 yards and a score. The Cowboys appeared to be disinterested on offense when it didn't involve one of their two running backs.

Robbie Gould
B+

Special Teams

The Bears did surrender a 43-yard kickoff return to Dwayne Harris. But Robbie Gould went 3-for-3 in field goal tries, and Adam Podlesh didn't need to attempt a punt. This was a major rebound by the special teams after the rough loss in Minnesota.

Mike Ditka
A

Coaching

While Ditka stole the show, Marc Trestman called an efficient and creative game on offense. Trestman also clearly had his players ready to go after a difficult week of being second-guessed and now has the club right back in playoff contention following Detroit's loss to Philadelphia. Mel Tucker got sneaky on defense with some of his blitz packages. Overall, it was a good night for Trestman and his entire coaching staff.

Report card: Bears-Vikings

December, 1, 2013
12/01/13
7:40
PM ET

Week 13 Report Card: Minnesota Vikings 23, Chicago Bears 20

Forte
B

Rushing Offense

Despite hyperextending his right knee in last week's loss to the St. Louis Rams, Matt Forte rushed for 120 yards on 23 attempts and became the Bears' second career all-time leader in yards from scrimmage. Michael Bush even made the most of his lone rushing attempt by gaining 15 yards. However, the Bears are still having a difficult time in short-yardage situations and were just 2-of-11 on third downs versus the Vikings.

Jeffery
B+

Passing Offense

Josh McCown didn't play his best game of the season, but he finished with 355 passing yards, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 114.9. He was lucky not to have a couple of throws picked up. Alshon Jeffery broke his own franchise record with 249 receiving yards on 12 catches, two for touchdowns. There wasn't a ton of production after Jeffery, with Brandon Marshall finishing second on the team with four receptions for 45 yards.

Peterson
D

Rushing Defense

The Bears sold out to stop Adrian Peterson, especially safety Craig Stetlz -- who recorded a team-high 12 tackles in place of injured starter Major Wright -- but Peterson still crushed the Bears with 211 rushing yards. Bears defenders appeared to be in the correct spot for most of the game, but their tackling was subpar. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson gashed the defense for a 33-yard touchdown run, on which both Steltz and linebacker Khaseem Greene had legitimate shots to bring him down but came up empty.

Cassel
C

Passing Defense

Under no circumstances should Matt Cassel be allowed to enter the game and pass for 243 yards and one touchdown. The Bears had success rushing the quarterback with five sacks, but veterans Greg Jennings, John Carlson and Jerome Simpson had too much room to operate on numerous occasions. Maybe the worst thing to happen to the Bears was Christian Ponder leaving the game with a concussion.

Gould
C-

Special Teams

Robbie Gould is basically automatic from almost any range, but he missed a potential game-winning, 47-yard field goal in overtime, although Marc Trestman made a curious decision to kick it on second down instead of trying to run more plays to give Gould a shorter kick. Devin Hester had an impressive 57-yard kickoff return at the end of regulation, but his decision-making was suspect for most of the afternoon. Punter Adam Podlesh had a 33.7-yard net average. The Bears kicked the ball away from Patterson the entire afternoon, a sound strategy.

Trestman
D

Coaching

Again, it's tough to understand Trestman's decision to attempt the overtime field goal on second down. Forte was averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and the Bears have the luxury of the best long snapper in the NFL, Patrick Mannelly, on the roster. The odds of the Bears screwing up on second or third downs seem remote. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker definitely set a more aggressive tone with his unit, but the results were largely the same.

Report card: Bears-Rams

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
8:08
PM ET

Week 12 Report Card: Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams

Forte
C+

Rushing Offense

When Matt Forte attempted to run the football, he was generally effective. Forte gained 77 yards on 16 attempts and routinely made Rams' defenders miss him in space. On the other hand, Michael Bush ended up with minus-5 yards on seven carries. Bush and the Bears struggled in short-yardage, goal-line situations.

McCown
B+

Passing Offense

Another brilliant game by Josh McCown, who went 36-of-47 for 352 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception (his first of the season). Seven different Bears caught passes on Sunday, a testament to McCown's ability to spread the ball around. The only reason the grade isn't higher is because the Bears had issues with their pass protection. Brandon Marshall had a big day with a team-high 10 caches for 117 yards.

Stacy
F

Rushing Defense

The Rams rushed for 258 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears are atrocious in this department. Help does not seem to be on the horizon, either. If the Bears miss the playoffs, their failure to stop the run will be a major reason why. Adrian Peterson could run for 300 yards against them next week in Minneapolis.

Clemens
C

Passing Defense

Kellen Clemens only passed for 167 yards but, then again, he's Kellen Clemens. The Rams didn't need Clemens to throw the ball much, given St. Louis' success on the ground. The middle of the field was wide open for tight end Jared Cook; it was another frustrating theme for the Bears on defense this season.

Hester
B-

Special Teams

The Bears covered kicks well, but a costly holding penalty erased a touchdown by Devin Hester on a punt return. Eventually, the Bears scored seven points on the ensuing drive after the Hester return was called back, but it ate up almost seven minutes of time.

Trestman
D

Coaching

Have to give Marc Trestman and his coaches credit on offense, but the Bears' head coach again passed up sure points and went for it on fourth-and-short only to come up even shorter. For the second straight week, the Bears did not look ready to play and committed 10 penalties. There don't seem to be any answers here.

Report card: Bears-Ravens

November, 17, 2013
11/17/13
8:11
PM ET

Week 11 Report Card: Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore Ravens

Forte
B-

Rushing Offense

The Bears did an OK job on the ground versus a physical Ravens defensive front that played without starting nose tackle Haloti Ngata (inactive). Matt Forte carried the ball 18 times for 83 yards, and the Alshon Jeffery end around, a staple in the Bears' offense, gained 17 yards on three attempts. Considering the opposition, the Bears shouldn't be ashamed by their hard-earned 104 rushing yards.

McCown
B+

Passing Offense

Taking into account the conditions on Sunday, Josh McCown's 216 passing yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions -- 92.9 quarterback rating -- look impressive on paper. McCown stepped up in overtime and delivered a 43-yard strike to Martellus Bennett that set up the eventual game-winning field goal. The veteran backup continues to display a knack for protecting the football. McCown hasn't tossed a single interception in 101 pass attempts on the season, and his poise in the pocket on Sunday was a major reason the Bears were victorious.

Rice
D

Rushing Defense

Baltimore entered the game averaging 73 rushing yards per contest but found success on the ground versus the Bears to the tune of 174 yards. Ray Rice, written off by many for his below-average play in 2013, carried the ball 25 times for 131 yards and one touchdown. One of the few saving graces for the Bears' defense was their goal-line stand at the end of regulation that forced the Ravens to kick a field goal and extend the game to overtime. But the rushing defense continues to be a serious problem for the Bears.

Flacco
B+

Passing Defense

The Bears limited Joe Flacco to just 17-of-31 for 162 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The middle of the field was open for much of the game but rookie middle linebacker Jon Bostic did pick off Flacco down the middle of the field, while David Bass snared a Flacco pass at the line of scrimmage and returned it for a touchdown. The Bears also sacked Flacco three times -- Julius Peppers with two and Cheta Ozougwu with one. The Ravens' longest pass play went for 17 yards.

Podlesh
A-

Special Teams

Robbie Gould is the master of the Soldier Field kicking conditions, going 3-for-3 on field goal attempts despite the swirling winds. Adam Podlesh pinned Baltimore inside the 20 on two of his six kicks. The Ravens did little in their return game. A couple special teams penalties did hurt the Bears.

Trestman
B

Coaching

In hindsight, Marc Trestman probably needed to use his timeouts on the Ravens' final drive of regulation. That decision would have cost the Bears if the defense hadn't kept the Ravens out of the end zone and forced them to kick a game-tying field goal. But Trestman dealt with the long weather delay to the best of his abilities, and he had his team ready to play when it returned to the field. The Bears could have easily gone in the tank after the loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 10, but Trestman's group responded with a win that likely saved its season.

Report card: Bears-Lions

November, 10, 2013
11/10/13
7:00
PM ET

Week 10 Report Card: Detroit Lions 21, Chicago Bears 19

Forte
D

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte had zero impact on the game with 33 rushing yards on 17 attempts (1.9 yard per carry average). Michael Bush failed to convert a fourth-and-1 and never carried the ball again. With Jay Cutler limited due to injuries, there was no threat of the quarterback scrambling outside the pocket to make a play with his feet. The Bears probably need to retire the Alshon Jeffery end-around for the next couple of weeks.

Cutler
B+

Passing Offense

Cutler and Josh McCown were both effective throwing the ball, finishing with a combined 312 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception. However, Cutler did have a costly interception in the end zone on batted ball. Brandon Marshall and Jeffery each went over 100 receiving yards, and the pass protection was pretty good (two sacks).

Starks
C

Rushing Defense

Reggie Bush ran for 105 yards on only 14 carries and Detroit's No. 2 tailback, Joique Bell, contributed 41 yards on 10 rushing attempts. Bush busted loose for a 39-yard run in the third quarter that set up a touchdown. The run defense was better, but it's still not where it ultimately needs to be.

Conte
B

Passing Defense

The Bears held one of the better passers in the NFL, Matthew Stafford, to 219 yards. Stafford did throw three touchdowns, but the Bears kept most of the action in front of them Sunday. All-word wideout Calvin Johnson finished with six catches for 83 yards (two touchdowns) on 17 targets. Chris Conte had an important second-half interception that resulted in points for the Bears. Stafford was not sacked, but he had several passes deflected at the line of scrimmage.

Podlesh
B+

Special Teams

Robbie Gould nailed both of his field goal attempts and punter Adam Podlesh had a decent day striking the football (42.6 yard per punt average; 42.6 yard net average). There didn't seem to be any issues with new long snapper Jeremy Cain. Devin Hester averaged 28.5 yards on four kickoff returns. The Lions didn't do much on special teams. One of the only negatives was the Bears' failure to recover an end of the game onside kick attempt.

Trestman
D

Coaching

Marc Trestman has made all the right moves since he arrived in Chicago, but unfortunately he is going to take some heat after this one. First, the decision to start Cutler was questionable at best. The decision to stick with him until the final drive of the game, despite an apparent new ankle injury, is a head-scratcher. Trestman also passed up a sure field goal in the first half and went for it on fourth-and-1. The Bears failed to convert. Mel Tucker's defense had a much better effort, but what was with the decision to go Cover-1 on the Calvin Johnson 14-yard touchdown with the Lions facing third-and-10 from the 14?

Report Card: Bears-Packers

November, 5, 2013
11/05/13
2:45
AM ET

Week 9 Report Card: Chicago Bears 27, Green Bay Packers 20

Forte
A

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte carried the load for the Bears, running for a season-high 125 yards and one touchdown. Even No. 2 tailback Michael Bush got in the act, carrying the ball seven times for 25 yards. The Bears seemed to be able to run the ball at will most of the night, especially on the final 18-play drive that consumed 8:58 worth of clock.

McCown
A-

Passing Offense

Josh McCown was on target almost the entire game, completing 22 of 41 throws for 272 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. McCown went to the air several times on Monday night to move the chains in critical situations, and the pass protection was outstanding: one sack. Marshall topped 100 yards receiving (seven catches, one TD) for the third time in 2013.

Starks
F

Rushing Defense

Green Bay pounded the Bears defense on the ground with 199 total rushing yards on 29 attempts. Rookie Eddie Lacy lit up the Bears for 150 yards and a touchdown and likely would have done more damage if the Packers had continued to feed him the ball in the second half. James Starks had a 32-yard touchdown run.

McClellin
B

Passing Defense

Once Aaron Rodgers left the game, Green Bay had little chance to pass the ball effectively with Seneca Wallace at quarterback, who finished 11-of-19 for 114 yards and one interception. Wallace was never a threat to throw the ball deep down the field. The Bears also registered five sacks and finally found a way to pressure the opposing quarterback.

Podlesh
D

Special Teams

Green Bay managed to block an Adam Podlesh punt and then recover an onside kick in the second half, two costly mistakes by the Bears special teams that, under certain circumstances, could have cost them the game. Devin Hester was OK in the return game, and Robbie Gould nailed both of his field goal attempts.

Trestman
A-

Coaching

Marc Trestman\'s offense continues to flourish, even without No. 1 quarterback Jay Cutler. Trestman had excellent rhythm to his play calling and showed guts going for it on fourth-and-1 deep in his own territory late in the game. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker coming down from the coaches box to work from the sidelines had little effect on his unit.

Report Card: Bears-Redskins

October, 20, 2013
10/20/13
7:56
PM ET

Week 7 Report Card: Washington Redskins 45, Chicago Bears 41

Forte
A

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte rushed for 91 yards and three touchdowns on only 16 carries. Alshon Jeffery continues to have success on end arounds as he gained 16 yards on two attempts. Even veteran quarterback Josh McCown made plays with his feet, scrambling on four separate occasions for 16 yards.

McCown
B

Passing Offense

McCown came off the bench to complete 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown -- a quarterback rating of 119.6. Even without injured Jay Cutler, Jeffery had another 100-yard receiving game (105) and Brandon Marshall caught six passes on 10 targets. Cutler actually lowers the grade because, before he left the game with a groin injury, Cutler connected on only 3 of 8 passes for 28 yards, and he tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Helu
F

Rushing Defense

The Redskins gained 209 yards on the ground. Thats not a typo. The Bears couldn't stop anybody on Washington. Alfred Morris (95 yards), Robert Griffin III (84 yards) and Roy Helu (41 yards, three touchdowns) took whatever they wanted from the Bears' defense. If the game had gone to overtime, the Redskins would have rushed for 260 yards, easy.

Griffin
F+

Passing Defense

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed caught all nine passes sent his way for 134 yards and a score. That's a problem. RG III finished with 298 passing yards and two touchdowns, but would have had better numbers if not for a couple of bad drops. The middle of the field was wide-open for Washington receivers to do as they pleased. The Bears had one sack the entire game. Charles Tillman's first-quarter interception saves the passing defense from a complete failure, but not by much.

Hester
B

Special Teams

Devin Hester busted loose for an 81-yard punt return touchdown. Punter Adam Podlesh was terrific and Robbie Gould nailed 47- and 49-yard field goals, but Gould also had an uncharacteristic miss from 34 yards in a big spot. Late in the game the Bears seemed to have pulled off a perfect onside kick, but Eric Weems was ruled offsides. Although the call is debatable, it hurt the Bears badly.

Trestman
C

Coaching

The Bears did nothing wrong on offense. In fact, Marc Trestman deserves credit for the play-calling after Cutler left the game. But the defense is a disaster. Whatever Mel Tucker and his coaches are trying to do to fix the situation isnt working. The Redskins nearly gained 500 total yards of offense. Everybody takes the hit when a unit underperforms.

Report Card: Bears-Giants

October, 11, 2013
10/11/13
2:53
AM ET

Week 6 Report Card: New York Giants at Chicago Bears

Forte
B-

Rushing Offense

New York sold out to prevent the Bears from running the football by flooding the box with defenders. Matt Forte gained 67 yards on 19 carries for an average of 3.5 yards per attempt, while Michael Bush ran the ball six times for 8 yards. But Jay Cutler picked up valuable first-down yardage scrambling on three different occasions (20 yards), and Alshon Jeffery gained 15 yards on the Bears' seemingly always successful end-around. But the Giants are big up front and tough to move.

Bennett
A

Passing Offense

What's not to like? Cutler passed for 262 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Both touchdowns were caught by Brandon Marshall, who was targeted 11 times and hauled in nine receptions for 87 yards. Tight end Martellus Bennett enjoyed a productive game versus his old team with six catches for 68 yards, and Forte caught six balls out of the backfield. Even fullback Tony Fiammetta got involved with a 30-yard reception.

Jacobs
D

Rushing Defense

The Bears allowed veteran Brandon Jacobs to gain way too many yards -- 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, to be exact. Jacobs only started because David Wilson was inactive, but he was running like it was 2006. The Bears again had issues tackling, and it seemed their defensive line had problems containing runs to the outside. Even in his prime, Jacobs was never considered an elite runner, but he sure looked like one Thursday night as he powered though Chicago's defenders.

Jennings
C

Passing Defense

The grade would be lower, except the Bears' Tim Jennings (twice) and Zack Bowman did intercept Eli Manning three times, and Jennings pick-six was likely the deciding factor in the game. But Manning had all day to throw and passed for 239 yards and one touchdown. If the Giants' quarterback had been more accurate, those numbers would have been better. Until the Bears find a way to pressure the opposing quarterback -- which at this rate might never happen -- the pass defense is always going to suffer.

Hester
B+

Special Teams

Robbie Gould is still perfect on the season after nailing a pair of field goals, one from 52 yards out, giving him an NFL record-tying 12 straight from 50-plus. Punter Adam Podlesh pinned the Giants inside their own 20-yard line on all three of his kicks. However, the Bears did allow a 46-yard kickoff return. Devin Hester set the franchise mark for kickoff return yards, but didnt do a whole lot with three return opportunities.

Trestman
B

Coaching

Marc Trestman made a curious decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Giants 4-yard line in the first quarter and failed to convert, but the Bears did get a pick-six after they turned it over on downs. The Bears were in rhythm when it came to calling plays on offense for much of the night. On defense, Mel Tucker can't generate any pressure, and unless the defense forces takeways, the unit struggles. But at 4-2, Trestman has the team in good shape.

Report Card: Bears-Saints

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
7:09
PM ET

Week 5 Report Card: New Orleans Saints 26, Chicago Bears 18

Forte
C

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte averaged a respectable 4.6 yards on the ground, but carried the ball only 12 times as the Bears fell behind for the second straight week. Quarterback Jay Cutler used his feet (27 yards) to move the chains and Michael Bush ran the ball 12 yards on two carries, but there was never a commitment to the ground game. Forte needs more touches, regardless if the Bears dig themselves an early hole.

Cutler
B+

Passing Offense

Alshon Jeffery set the Bears franchise record with 218 receiving yards on 10 catches. Jeffery appears to have all the tools to be a future No. 1 NFL wide receiver. Cutler connected on 24-of-33 passes for 358 yards, two touchdowns and a 128.1 quarterback rating. The Bears' problem was their inability to protect Cutler in the first quarter, when he was sacked twice and fumbled two times. If the Bears had better pass protection in the first half, the grade would be an A. But the blocking upfront has to factor in to the overall passing offense grade.

Thomas
A

Rushing Defense

Even with a depleted defensive line, the Bears still held the Saints to 66 rushing yards on 28 attempts (2.4). Sean Payton's commitment to the run is commendable, but New Orleans couldn't muster anything on the ground against the Bears' defensive line and their linebackers. Lance Briggs had a terrific game with 14 tackles, 1.0 sacks and three tackles-for-loss. D.J. Williams was also tough versus the run with 11 total stops.

Brees
D

Passing Defense

The Bears continue to come up short in the pass-rush department. Drew Brees had way too much time to throw the football for the bulk of the game, going 29-of-35 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.0. As expected, Saints' tight end Jimmy Graham torched the Bears defense for 10 catches for 135 yards. Pierre Thomas also caught a pair of scores, including a screen pass that went for 25 yards.

Gould
A

Special Teams

Bears' punter Adam Podlesh had a major bounce-back game with a 45.3 average and a 44.8 net average on four kicks. Robbie Gould nailed his lone field goal attempt and the Bears' coverage units were solid, with especially nice tackles by Zack Bowman and Craig Steltz. Eric Weems did have a bad penalty that backed up the offense.

Trestman
C

Coaching

The Bears were unprepared for the early pressure applied by the Saints. That's a problem. However, the Bears were able to adjust after the opening two series, but the damage had been done. The Bears' defense did a respectable job, but Graham still had a monster day which is an indictment on the players and the coaching staff. The Bears came up short following their first bout of adversity, although it was not an embarrassing performance by any means.

Report Card: Bears-Lions

September, 29, 2013
9/29/13
8:53
PM ET

Week 4 Report Card: Detroit Lions 40, Chicago Bears 32

Forte
B+

Rushing Offense

The problem for the Chicago Bears was they had to abandon the run game because they fell behind by 20 points in the second quarter. When the Bears did run the football, they enjoyed great success. Matt Forte sprinted 53 yards for a touchdown on a perfectly called, blocked and executed delayed pitch. Forte finished with 95 rushing yards on just 14 carries. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery also had a nice 27-yard gain on an end around that caught the Detroit Lions defense napping. Its just too bad that circumstances forced the Bears to throw too much.

Cutler
C+

Passing Offense

Jay Cutler finished with 317 yards, but his three interceptions were killers. After three straight above-average performances to begin the season, Cutler wasnt nearly as effective against the Lions and registered a 65.6 passer rating. When the quarterback doesnt play well, the grade of the entire passing offense suffers. But the Bears did receive solid individual efforts from Jeffery (five catches, 107 yards and one touchdown), Martellus Bennett (eight, 90 yards) and Brandon Marshall (seven, 79 yards). Jeffery seems to be emerging as the kind of No. 2 wide receiver Bears general manager Phil Emery envisioned when Chicago moved up in the second round of the draft to snag Jeffery out of South Carolina. Jeffery had a bad fourth-quarter drop in the end zone, but he redeemed himself with a difficult 14-yard touchdown catch on the next play. Earl Bennett also hauled in a touchdown for the second consecutive week. The low grade is not due to the receivers.

Bush
F

Rushing Defense

This was one of the worst run stopping efforts by a Bears defense in recent memory. Reggie Bush had 112 rushing yards on 11 attempts -- before halftime. The Bears tackling was atrocious and it sure seemed as if defenders were in the wrong spots, because Bush had huge holes to run through. Maybe ex-Bears defensive linemen Israel Idonije helped the Lions because of his intimate knowledge of the Bears scheme, but it doesnt excuse all the missed tackles. This was a burn the tape game for the run defense.

Johnson
B

Passing Defense

The Bears limited Calvin Johnson to four catches for 44 yards and one touchdown. Thats a victory in itself. The Lions did manage to complete underneath routes, but nothing that caused great damage to the Bears defense. Charles Tillman gutted it out to the best of his ability until he had to be replaced by Zack Bowman when the score started getting out of hand. The Bears held the Detroit passing attack in check despite another lackluster pass rush up front. Major Wright recorded his second interception of the year.

Gould
D

Special Teams

The Bears allowed Detroit to return a punt 57 yards in the second quarter to set up an easy score. Devin Hester did little with his return chances and almost fumbled on one occasion. Robbie Gould was perfect on field goal attempts (3-for-3), but punter Adam Podlesh did not have a good day, with a net average of 28.8 yards and overall average of 40.2 yards on five punts.

Trestman
C

Coaching

The Bears seemed to have an effective game plan on offense in the first quarter, but turnovers and the inability to slow Bush down eventually proved to be their undoing. Marc Trestman prevented the Bears from giving up despite the large second-half deficit, but it was too little, too late. Whenever a team loses a divisional game, especially when it really wasnt even close until garbage time, the coaching grade always takes a hit. Mel Tucker needs to figure something out on defense, because that group is simply allowing too many big plays over the first four weeks of the season.

Report Card: Bears-Steelers

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
11:16
AM ET

Week 3 Report Card: Chicago Bears 40, Pittsburgh Steelers 23

Forte
B

Rushing Offense

The Bears' final rushing numbers (28 attempts, 107 yards, two touchdowns) look slightly above average, but the club had three impact plays on the ground that cannot be overlooked. Matt Forte's finest run of the season occurred in the first quarter when he rumbled 55 yards to the Steelers' 5-yard line, this despite getting hit by several Pittsburgh defenders on the play. After Forte set the table, Michael Bush finished the drive off with a gritty second-effort 1-yard touchdown run on fourth and 1. Quarterback Jay Cutler then got into the act in the fourth quarter when he lowered his shoulder and blasted a Steelers defender to gain 13 yards and pick up a critical third down. Bottom line: the Bears were successful on the ground when it counted.

Marshall
B

Passing Offense

Again, Cutler's passing statistics are pedestrian (20-for-30, 159 yards and one touchdown), but he delivered on a pair of huge throws late in the game to seal the victory. On third down, Cutler aired it out down the Bears' sideline to favorite target Brandon Marshall, who hauled in a 41-yard reception. On a later third down, Cutler found Earl Bennett in the back corner of the end zone for a beautiful, over-the-shoulder 17-yard touchdown completion to effectively end the game. Cutler did not turn the ball over and finished with a 90.8 quarterback rating. The QB was accurate for the most part and went 8-for-10 on the Bears' opening drive.

Anderson
B

Rushing Defense

The Steelers tallied a modest 80 rushing yards on 21 carries (3.8 yards average). One of the Bears' three forced fumbles happened when safety Major Wright jarred the ball loose from Steelers tailback Felix Jones. The Bears surrendered a 25-yard run, but Pittsburgh never threatened the Bears' defense with running the football. Linebackers Lane Briggs, D.J. Williams and James Anderson all chipped in with tackles-for-losses.

Wright
C+

Passing Defense

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 406 yards, while wide receiver Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Bears gave up significant yardage through the air and failed to make a play on a couple of deep balls. The saving grace for the Bears' defense: turnovers. Chris Conte and Wright both had interceptions, and Wright returned his pick 38 yards for a touchdown. The Bears pass rush seemed to improve, but Roethlisberger, behind a terrible offense line, was sacked only three times in 41 passing attempts.

Hester
C+

Special Teams

Kicker Robbie Gould and punter Adam Podlesh each had positive moments in the game. The Steelers were unable to generate much offense on returns, but neither did the Bears. Pittsburgh made an effort to kick away from Devin Hester during points of the game and put the ball in the hands of Joe Anderson or Eric Weems. Safety Anthony Walters committed a costly roughing the punter penalty that gave the Steelers new life on a drive in the second quarter that ultimately ended with a Pittsburgh touchdown.

Trestman
B

Coaching

Marc Trestman made a curious decision to not challenge an apparent Bears' first-quarter touchdown run the officials ruled short of the goal line. But he made up for it when he threw the red flag for the officials to take a closer look at the Bennett fourth-quarter touchdown grab that initially was ruled incomplete. Trestman seems like a genius compared to Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and therefore gets a slightly higher grade than he deserves. But the Bears are 3-0 for the first time since 2010, and teams that begin seasons 3-0 rarely fail to reach the postseason. The Bears coaches are doing something right.

Report Card: Bears-Vikes

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
8:23
PM ET

Week 2 Report Card: Chicago Bears 31, Minnesota Vikings 30

Forte
B

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte maximized his touches with 90 rushing yards on 19 carries. Forte wasn't bothered by the wet playing surface, as he made several Vikings' defenders miss with nifty moves in space, although he did fumble one time. Alshon Jeffery caught Minnesota napping with a 38-yard end-around in the first half, but the same play lost significant yardage the second time the Bears called it. Michael Bush only carried the ball twice for zero yards.

Cutler
B+

Passing Offense

This gets knocked down from an 'A' because quarterback Jay Cutler tossed a pair of interceptions. Remove the costly turnovers from the equation and Cutler appeared dialed in for the second straight week, completing 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Cutler established a rhythm with Brandon Marshall, Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett that lasted almost the entire game. It also helped that Cutler was sacked just one time, although it resulted in a fumble and Minnesota touchdown.

Peterson
B

Rushing Defense

Adrian Peterson rushed for 100 yards, but it was a pedestrian effort by his standards. The Bears did a respectable job of limiting Peterson to just one long run -- 36 yards -- and kept him out of the end zone. Minnesota averaged only 3.7 yards on the ground on 33 total attempts.

Ponder
C

Passing Defense

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder managed to throw for 227 yards and one touchdown. That really shouldn't happen versus Chicago's defense. For the second straight week, the Bears' pass defense was hurt by the lack of a consistent pass rush. Where are the sacks? The Bears got to Ponder just one time. Tim Jennings did continue the streak of taking the ball away with a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Hester
B-

Special Teams

Devin Hester was terrific on kickoff returns with 249 yards, including returns of 76 and 80 yards. But the Bears also gave up a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson to begin the game and committed a couple of penalties for having too many men on the field. It was a very uneven effort from special teams, which is surprising considering how well the unit performed in Week 1.

Trestman
A

Coaching

Hard to argue with the results over the first two weeks of the Marc Trestman era here in Chicago. The head coach's calm, steady and confident demeanor during games has allowed the Bears to keep their poise in the fourth quarter for two straight comeback victories. Anytime a first-time NFL head coach starts the year 2-0, the entire staff must be doing something right.

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