Grading the Bears: Week 3
There's a handful of players to choose from, but why not go with the guy who provided the dagger -- Earl Bennett.
We haven't heard much from Bennett this season, but his gorgeous. toe-dragging TD catch late in the game was exactly what the reeling Bears needed.
Quarterback (3 balls)
A lowish grade was boosted big-time by The Drive in the fourth quarter. Jay Cutler's shoulder-lowering run for a first down, his long completion to Brandon Marshall, and then the topper -- his perfect throw to Earl Bennett in the endzone to seal the victory -- were things of beauty.
Running backs (3.5 balls)
Matt Forte had flashes of brilliance and flashes of eh, but in the end the numbers added up to 87 yards on the ground, a 5.4 per rush average, and 1 TD. And hey, how about that great second effort by Michael Bush on his first half TD run?
The first drive of the game was the Alshon Jeffery Show. Then things got very quiet for a long time. But when they need some clutch performances, when the game was on the line, Earl Bennett and Brandon Marshall came through.
Offensive line (3.5)
Will know more after we go over the game film, but in a word, the unit looked solid.
Defensive line (2.5)
Not a good sight seeing Henry Melton carted off with an apparent knee injury, but what was a good sight was seeing big Julius Peppers rumbling into the endzone on a 42-yard fumble return. Peppers was way more noticeable in Week 3, but as a unit, though, the line is still nowhere close to where it should be.
Linebackers (4 balls)
Now we're seeing why D.J. Williams was the anointed starter at middle linebacker even when he was out with an injury for much of the preseason. Real nice game by Lance Briggs as well.
Defensive backs (3 balls)
Major Wright was a major force with a forced fumble and an interception for a TD. He easily could have received the game ball. The rest of the secondary, however was average at best. Get well soon Charles Tillman.
Special teams (2.5 balls)
Adam Podlesh was the star of this unit, and Robbie Gould did his job. But man, penalties for roughing the punter and offsides on a kickoff? That. Can't. Happen. Oh, almost forgot to mention how sad it was to see Devin Hester dancing instead of running.
Coaching (3.5 balls)
Even when things started to get hairy late in this one, there seems to be a calmness, an aura around Marc Trestman that rubs off on his players, particularly Jay Cutler. That's a very good thing. On the downside, Trestman has to get better at challenging calls. Has to.