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