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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Report Card: Bears-Lions

By Jeff Dickerson

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.