Grading the Bears: Week 4
Watching Reggie Bush on Sunday was like hopping in the wayback machine and seeing a hybrid of Barry Sanders and Dennis Gentry out there on Ford Field. Whether it was on the ground (139 yards rushing) or through the air (4 catches for 34 yards), the quick-as-a-cat Bush added a new -- and quite scary -- dimension to this Lions team.
Quarterback 1.5 balls
You have to know it's not going to be your day when your QB rating for the first half is 35. That's right 35. Add in a pair of interceptions and it was no wonder your team was trailing 30-13 at half. But despite that performance, Jay Cutler and his mates kept pushing and somehow made it a one-possession game in the final minute.
Running backs 2.5 balls
Once again, Matt Forte was hovering around the 100-yard rushing mark (95) and once again, a majority of those yards came via one long dash -- this time a nifty 53-yard TD run. Speaking of once again, Alshon Jeffery turned in another nice end-around this week -- this time for 27 yards.
Receivers 3 balls
Sure there were some drops, but there were also some ridiculously nice catches turned in against the Lions, particularly from Alshon Jeffery, who led the receiving corps with 107 yards on 5 catches. Martellus Bennett had 8 catches for 90 yards and Brandon Marshall added 7 for 79. Marshall was targeted by Cutler 14 times, Bennett 12 and Jefferey 11. That should bode real well for the Bears down the line.
Offensive line 3 balls
Considering that they were in catch-up, pass-mode for much of the game, it's actually kind of surprising that Jay Cutler wasn't hurried more or sacked more (3) by the Lions. And for that the O-line gets a lot of credit. Solid job.
Defensive line 2 balls
While Corey Wootten had a strip and a fumble recovery and Julius Peppers recorded a sack and finished with a team-high 6 tackles, there really wasn't much pressure up the middle on Lions QB Matthew Stafford. And there really wasn't much of an initial wall to stop Reggie Bush either. And that's really not good.
Linebackers 2 balls
A very quiet game from this bunch other than trying to keep TE Brandon Pettigrew (7 receptions) in check. But hey, it was good to see rookie John (Bam!) Bostic register a solo tackle.
Secondary 2 balls
You'd think limiting Calvin Johnson to 44 yards and 1 TD might make for a successful afternoon. Eh, not really. The Lions just spread things out among 8 different targets. As for this lingering injury to Charles Tillman that forced him to the sidelines in the second half? Well, that's just frightening to think about.
Special teams 1 ball
Let's see, they couldn't get a decent return going, they couldn't punt and they couldn't even give themselves a decent chance at recovering an onsides kick. Anyone else longing for Dave Toub?
Coaching 2 balls
About the best you could say about this one is that the team didn't quit. There, I said it. Now start game-planning for the Saints.
-- Mike Spellman