Week 10 Report Card: Dismal day
Week 10 Report Card: Houston Texans 13, Chicago Bears 6
The Bears faced the No. 2 rush defense in the NFL, and clearly they weren't ready. Running back Matt Forte averaged 2.4 yards per attempt, and in this case 16 attempts might have been too much for him, given his lack of production. Michael Bush ran three times for 34 yards, but lost a fumble. As a whole, the Bears averaged five yards per attempt, but it's telling when Cutler -- who played just the first half -- is the team's second-leading rusher. Chicago's inability to run the ball seriously limited what it could do through the air, especially off play-action.
By taking an early lead, Houston put Jay Cutler in somewhat of a difficult situation because he isn't used to playing from behind. Cutler's first interception resulted in a Shayne Graham field goal, but his receivers -- namely tight end Kellen Davis -- made the quarterback's numbers look worse, and we'd be remiss to not mention the dropped pass in the end zone by Brandon Marshall that could have swung the momentum. Cutler played just a half and finished with a passer rating of 16.7. Backup Jason Campbell struggled in relief. But that can be attributed to the lack of repetitions given at that position throughout the week.
The Bears have allowed 100-yard rushers in back-to-back games for the first time since 2009. Foster rushed for 102 yards as the Bears struggled to stay in their gaps, especially on runs off tackle. In addition to mishaps with gap responsibility, the Bears flat out struggled at tackling. Chicago came into the game ranked sixth in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 88 yards per game. By failing to control Houston's rushing attack early on, they let the Texans build a lead the offense couldn't recover from. During their only TD drive, the Texans ran the ball three times in a row for 52 yards. Unacceptable.
Tim Jennings picked of two passes, and Houston's leading receiver was running back Arian Foster (five catches, 15 yards, 1 TD). Andre Johnson led the Texans in receiving yardage (35). But as a whole the Bears allowed just 95 yards through the air. Obviously, the rainy, windy conditions played a part in that. Chicago never let Houston take control of the game because it shut down the Texans' ability to keep drives alive with the pass. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub finished with a 42.9 passer rating.
Return man Devin Hester made a few plays last week against the Titans, but failed to deliver Sunday in front of the home crowd, which definitely needed a lift after watching a horrid offense all day. Robbie Gould deserves credit for powering a 51-yard field goal through the uprights against the wind. Adam Podlesh put two of his five punts on the night inside the 20, and finished with a 38.8 net punting average.
In defense of the coaching staff, it doesn't throw interceptions, fumble or give up runs of 20-plus yards. All occurred against the Texans on Sunday, but the staff shouldn't be blamed for that. The offensive staff is definitely accountable for the club's inability to take advantage of the aggressive coverages the Texans played and the group's struggles in the run game. At the same time, the team's No. 1 receiver can't drop balls in the end zone. The tight end can't fumble, and the quarterback shouldn't be throwing two interceptions. Defensively, the Bears slipped during only one drive all night, and unfortunately it cost the club the game.