Upon Further Review: Bears Week 10

November, 11, 2013
11/11/13
8:00
AM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Chicago Bears21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions:

[+] EnlargeMarc Trestman
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesMarc Trestman called for a run on an fourth-and-1 play that failed and, later, proved pivotal.
Fourth-down call: Considering the Bears lost by two points, coach Marc Trestman will receive some criticism for opting to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Detroit 27 in the second quarter instead of taking the three points by kicking a field goal. Trestman called a Michael Bush run behind right guard Kyle Long that went for no gain. “We’re coming off a game where the Lions put up 500 yards and they went down the field on the first series and scored,” Trestman said. “It’s just that possession became very, very important, relevant to the start of the football game.” Next time, take the points.

Offensive line/running game: Chicago’s offensive line allowed just two sacks, but Jay Cutler and Josh McCown seemed to be under duress quite a bit. Cutler and the team say an ankle injury reduced the quarterback’s mobility, and that made it more difficult for the offensive line to adequately protect him. But the most pronounced deficiency up front was the group's inability to open space for the run game. Matt Forte averaged 1.9 yards per carry, with his longest attempt of the day going for only 7 yards. That needs to improve.

Front seven: Defensive end Shea McClellin was out of action, but the front four still fared decently, with Corey Wootton and Stephen Paea each applying pressure to Matthew Stafford. The front four didn’t collect any sacks, but they also didn't allow Stafford to sit back in the pocket and pick apart the secondary. The Bears gave up 145 yards on the ground, but they didn’t let the Lions control the flow of the game with the rushing attack the way they did in the first meeting.

Conte: Safety Chris Conte seems to be Chicago’s most-criticized defensive player, and although he made a few mistakes here and there (such as on Reggie Bush’s 39-yard run in the third quarter), he finally made a couple of plays worthy of recognition. Conte picked off a Stafford pass intended for Calvin Johnson and returned it 35 yards, setting up a Robbie Gould field goal that made the score 14-13 with 9:17 left to play. And Conte broke up what appeared to be a sure touchdown to Johnson on a third-down throw into the end zone on Detroit’s next offensive possession.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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