Report Card: Bears-Saints

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
7:09
PM ET

Week 5 Report Card: New Orleans Saints 26, Chicago Bears 18

Forte
C

Rushing Offense

Matt Forte averaged a respectable 4.6 yards on the ground, but carried the ball only 12 times as the Bears fell behind for the second straight week. Quarterback Jay Cutler used his feet (27 yards) to move the chains and Michael Bush ran the ball 12 yards on two carries, but there was never a commitment to the ground game. Forte needs more touches, regardless if the Bears dig themselves an early hole.

Cutler
B+

Passing Offense

Alshon Jeffery set the Bears franchise record with 218 receiving yards on 10 catches. Jeffery appears to have all the tools to be a future No. 1 NFL wide receiver. Cutler connected on 24-of-33 passes for 358 yards, two touchdowns and a 128.1 quarterback rating. The Bears' problem was their inability to protect Cutler in the first quarter, when he was sacked twice and fumbled two times. If the Bears had better pass protection in the first half, the grade would be an A. But the blocking upfront has to factor in to the overall passing offense grade.

Thomas
A

Rushing Defense

Even with a depleted defensive line, the Bears still held the Saints to 66 rushing yards on 28 attempts (2.4). Sean Payton's commitment to the run is commendable, but New Orleans couldn't muster anything on the ground against the Bears' defensive line and their linebackers. Lance Briggs had a terrific game with 14 tackles, 1.0 sacks and three tackles-for-loss. D.J. Williams was also tough versus the run with 11 total stops.

Brees
D

Passing Defense

The Bears continue to come up short in the pass-rush department. Drew Brees had way too much time to throw the football for the bulk of the game, going 29-of-35 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 120.0. As expected, Saints' tight end Jimmy Graham torched the Bears defense for 10 catches for 135 yards. Pierre Thomas also caught a pair of scores, including a screen pass that went for 25 yards.

Gould
A

Special Teams

Bears' punter Adam Podlesh had a major bounce-back game with a 45.3 average and a 44.8 net average on four kicks. Robbie Gould nailed his lone field goal attempt and the Bears' coverage units were solid, with especially nice tackles by Zack Bowman and Craig Steltz. Eric Weems did have a bad penalty that backed up the offense.

Trestman
C

Coaching

The Bears were unprepared for the early pressure applied by the Saints. That's a problem. However, the Bears were able to adjust after the opening two series, but the damage had been done. The Bears' defense did a respectable job, but Graham still had a monster day which is an indictment on the players and the coaching staff. The Bears came up short following their first bout of adversity, although it was not an embarrassing performance by any means.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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