Chicago Bears: grades

Report Card: Bears-Packers

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
9:50
PM ET

Week 17 Report Card: Bears vs. Packers

Forte
A

Rushing Offense

Two-time Pro Bowler Matt Forte had a fabulous game with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns (5.0 yards per carry). Forte closed out his 2013 season with 100-plus rushing yards in three of his final four games. The offensive line also deserves its share of the credit for opening up holes, while head coach Marc Trestman contributed to the effort with creative play calls that kept the Packers defense on its heels for a good portion of the second half.

Cutler
B

Passing Offense

Quarterback Jay Cutler finished the game 15-of-24 for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception (on the final play of the game) and a 103.8 passer rating. Overall, it was a fairly good day at the office for Cutler, who was sacked only one time. Alshon Jeffery hauled in a 67-yard reception but failed to snare a deep ball on third-and-17 with 6:38 left in the game that would have sealed the victory for the Bears. Brandon Marshall led the team with six catches for 74 yards.

McCoy
C

Rushing Defense

Believe it or not, this marked an improvement for the Bears run defense. Green Bay rushed for a total of 160 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries (4.7 yards per carry), although no single Packers rusher broke 100 yards. The Bears allowed two runs of more than 17 yards throughout the game (James Starks had a 41-yarder, Eddie Lacy had a 17-yarder). At least the Bears made the Packers earn it on the ground for most of the afternoon.

Foles
D

Passing Defense

The Bears intercepted two Aaron Rodgers passes in the first half (Chris Conte, Tim Jennings), but the Green Bay quarterback still threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown, the game winner to Randall Cobb, occurred due to a busted coverage. In Week 17, that kind of mental mistake is inexcusable. The Bears sacked Rodgers three times, but Julius Peppers whiffed on the final pass to Cobb, who found himself wide open en route to the end zone.

Hester
B

Special Teams

Devin Hester ran back a punt 49 yards and handled five kickoffs for 127 yards, while the Bears coverage teams limited Green Bays return men to next to nothing. However, Adam Podlesh averaged only 34.3 yards on four punts, just one of those pinning the Packers inside their own 20-yard line.

Trestman
D

Coaching

The Bears had two chances to clinch the NFC North title and failed both times to do so. The 8-8 record represents a two-win decline from 2012, when the Bears went 10-6 in Lovie Smiths final season. Its extremely difficult to give the Bears' coaches high marks when the season ends in such disappointment. The defense ranked near the bottom of the NFL for the majority of the season, and the unit made several key mental mistakes that contributed to Sunday's defeat.

 

Report Card: Packers 21, Bears 13

December, 16, 2012
12/16/12
7:12
PM ET

Week 15 Report Card: Green Bay Packers 21, Chicago Bears 13

Forte
C-

Rushing Offense

The Bears tried to incorporate Matt Forte and handed off to him 20 times. Forte finished with a 3.5-yard average after averaging 4.5 yards per attempt in the first half. It's clear Green Bay made adjustments that enabled it to stop the run. Chicago, meanwhile, failed to adjust to what the Packers did on defense to snuff out the run. The majority of Forte's attempts came in the first half (13). As usual, as soon as the Bears fell behind they seemed to go into strictly passing mode.

Marshall
F

Passing Offense

Brandon Marshall turned in a stellar effort after the catch on a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter. But the group as a whole struggled and should be held almost totally responsible for the offense failing to convert a third down all game in nine tries. The offensive line gave up four sacks, and Jay Cutler threw an interception that eventually allowed the Packers to take the lead just before halftime. The performance led to Marshall saying the offense should be held accountable, "even if that means jobs." We think Marshall is talking about several people associated with the offense, whether it's players or coaches.

Green
C

Rushing Defense

Like Chicago, the Packers didn't put up big numbers with the rushing attack. But they made timely runs that allowed them to dominate time of possession by nearly seven minutes. Green Bay averaged 3.5 yards per rush but ran the ball 32 times for 113 yards. Chicago played the run fairly well but allowed DuJuan Harris to rip off a 21-yard run and surrendered a 14-yard burst to an aging Ryan Grant.

Jones
D

Passing Defense

Aaron Rodgers finished with a passer rating of 116.8 and threw three touchdown passes to James Jones, who caught five passes for 60 yards. Jones did plenty of damage, but so did Randall Cobb, who finished with 115 yards and averaged 19.2 yards per catch. The Bears gave up six completions for gains of 21 yards or more, including two completions of 31 yards. All the long completions certainly aren't representative of Lovie Smith's bend-but-don't-break style of pass defense. Chicago sacked Rodgers three times, but the secondary failed to slow down the Packers' receivers and couldn't generate any turnovers.

Hester
B+

Special Teams

Devin Hester deserves at least a little credit for trying to fight his way out of the slump he's experienced in the return game. Hester averaged 31.5 yards on two kickoff returns and 14 yards on three punt returns, including a 24-yarder that registered as his longest punt return since Nov. 11. The coverage units limited Cobb to an 18.5-yard average on kickoffs and negative average on punt returns. New Bears kicker Olindo Mare connected on a pair of 34-yard field goals, and punter Adam Podlesh finished with a 40.2-yard net average. Anthony Walters also recovered a fumbled punt for the Bears.

Lovie Smith
D-

Coaching

The coaching staff seemed to have prepared the Bears well for the game, judging from the team's performance in the first half. Where the staff's grade falls is in the adjustments made -- or not made -- at the half and throughout the game. Chicago started off running the ball effectively. Then Green Bay adjusted and shut down the run, and the Bears didn't seem to have an alternative plan to go to. As usual, nobody outside of Brandon Marshall made plays on offense. As usual, the Bears did nothing to remedy the situation. On defense, the Bears sacked Rodgers three times in the first half, but never got to him again.

Click here to grade the Bears after their 23-6 win over the Carolina Panthers.

We have an idea what you'll give the Bears' rushing offense and passing offense.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider