Grading the Bears at Minnesota
What more can Brandon Marshall do? Honestly. The guy could get quadruple--teamed and still come away with at least 8 catches a game. Marshall, again, was the Bears' main man on offense, finishing with 10 catches for 160 yards. He also set the Bears record with his 101st catch of the season.
Quarterback: 3 balls
The numbers weren't great, but a pair of dropped TD passes sure didn't help Jay Cutler's cause. The Cutler-to-Marshall connection continues to impress. Backup Jason Campbell came in late and got the job done, hitting Marshall in the final minutes to make it a 7-point game.
Running backs: 3 balls
In the first half, Matt Forte resembled Neal Anderson in his final season, but No. 22 kicked it into gear in the second half and finished with 85 yards on the ground and another 34 through the air.
Receivers: 4 balls
The whole group gets a good grade thanks to Brandon Marshall. Alshon Jefferey added a TD catch but he also dropped one, as did Devin Hester, who just continues to struggle.
Offensive line: 2 balls
A lot of pressure on Cutler, but only 2 sacks allowed. J'Marcus Webb had a penalty to kill a drive and Jonathan Scott kept one alive with a fumble recovery. Overall, though, just an 'eh' performance.
Defensive line: 2.5 balls
Put some good pressure on Christian Ponder but only registered 1 sack (Corey Wootton). Julius Peppers had his most active game in quite a while, registering 4 tackles, one of those for a loss.
Linebackers: 3 balls
Lance Briggs led the way with 11 tackles and Nick Roach, filling in for the injured Brian Urlacher, had a quietly effective day with 9 tackles, including a pair for loss.
Secondary: 2 balls
Was it me or was Chris Conte having a real bad day both with his tackling and his angles of attack? And how quiet was Charles Tillman?
Special teams: 2 balls
The Bears suddenly have no kickoff return game. At least Hester showed a few flashes on a couple of punt returns. Adam Podlesh filled in admirably for the injured Robbie Gould on kickoffs.
Coaching: 1 ball
The biggest game of the season against a division rival and still the Bears come out flat? How is that even possible? That one's on the coaching staff.
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