Week 2 Report Card: Gimme an F ...
Week 1 Report Card: Green Bay Packers 23, Chicago Bears 10
It was difficult to tell, but the Bears actually averaged 4.1 yards per carry against the Packers. The problem was the Bears fell behind early to the Packers as usual, and they were forced to play catch up with the passing game. So by becoming one dimensional, the Bears couldn't get the play-action passing game going. Michael Bush and Matt Forte combined for 85 yards on 21 attempts.
The offensive line brings down the grade significantly because of its inability to adequately protect Jay Cutler, who was a victim of seven sacks. But Cutler shares in the responsibility because he held the ball longer than necessary on a few occasions, and threw to open receivers late on others. The Packers used clever schemes to neutralize receiver Brandon Marshall, but players such as Alshon Jeffery, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett couldn't pick up the slack.
Green Bay ran the ball just well enough to keep it unpredictable, which is all the club needed to do to keep the Bears on their heels. Former Chicago first-round pick Cedric Benson averaged 4.1 yards per attempt and ran the ball 20 times, which played a part in the Packers winning the time-of-possession battle.
The Bears allowed 10.7 yards per completion and catches of 20-plus yards to four different receivers. The Bears did manage to limit the Packers to 4-of-14 on third downs, but they gave up two late touchdown passes that blew open the game. Tim Jennings has picked off three passes over the past two games and remains one of the few bright spots in pass coverage. Linebacker Lance Briggs can't afford to drop interceptions the way he did.
Give up a touchdown, get an "F." There's no way the Bears, which often field some of the best special-teams units in the NFL, should be giving up a touchdown on a fake field goal. Devin Hester keeps this grade from being an "F-minus" because he returned a kickoff 38 yards.
The Bears came into Thursday night's game knowing there was a strong possibility the Packers would play two-man coverage to take away Marshall, but they couldn't do anything to challenge the scheme by involving other players. On special teams, the Bears gave up a touchdown on a fake field goal in a crucial situation just before halftime. Those types of problems in games are purely a product of being outcoached.