The Bears made a run at it, but still came up short on handing the Tennessee Titans their first loss of the season. Things looked good to open the game. The defense caused the Titans to go 3 and out, then went downfield for a TD. The Titans followed with 21 unaswered points, before the Bears scored late and were in good position to tie it up, but could not convert a 4th and 4.
Rex Grossman's numbers don't look horrible. He ended with 173 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT and he added a rushing TD (2nd in 2 weeks), but he did not play well. He had two drives that he seemed in sync and those both resulted in a TD, but on all the drives in between he played very poorly. To his credit he took good care of the ball, he did not have any fumbles and threw the ball away when needed, but that is about the end of the good. He threw behind receivers, yards in front of them and way over them. The worst one was a play where Devin Hester had his man beat and if Grossman would have connected it likely would have gone to the end zone, but it sailed high.
Rookie Matt Forte again showed that he is the real deal. In the much anticipated match up between Rookie of the Year candidates, Forte outrushed Chris Johnson 72 yards to 8. He averaged an impressive 3.6 average against on of the best defenses in the league. He also led the team with 7 receptions for 54 yards and a TD.
Wider receivers: On some level you have to give them a bye, since Grossman didn't even give them a chance. There were some drops and some balls that even through not dead on the Bears receivers just needed to find away to bring down, but did not. Hester caught 4 for 54. Greg Olsen got involved late and ended with 5 catches for 50 yards.
I usually don't address the line in this post, but they played very good. The kept Grossman up most of the game and gave him decent time to throw. Grossman was only sacked once by the defensive line. The other was by a cornerback. The won the battle most of the day against possibly the best D line in the game and openend holes for Forte to run through.
The defensive line and linebackers came to play. They knew they had to shut down the run and did. The Titans average 149 yards per game. They Bears held them to 20 totals yards. As it has become a common theme the break down was on the pass rush and pass coverage. The Bears could not get to Kerry Collins. He could have read a book back in the pocket most of the day and the Bears would not have gotten to him. He picked apart the Bears secondary.
A bad pass rush negates a good coverage by cornerbacks and that partly was the case, but they don't get a pass. Our two big CBs, the guys we gave big contracts to, got beat by the likes of Justin Gage and Brandon Jones. Tillman and Vasher should be able to handle them man to man on most plays, but they gave up big plays and big yardage often.
Coverage was good. On four punt returns and two kick returns the Titans tallied 89 yards. Devin Hester had a decent day he was 4 for 99 yards on kick offs. He almost broke through a couple of times, but the Titans held tough.
Gould had a FG blocked and Maynard had a sub par day averaging under 39 yards a punt.
The overriding theme here is the Bears could never turn around the feild position battle. Groosman wasn't consistent and the Bears D could not get off the field fast enough to turn around the field position.
Moving forward though, this was a good game for the Bears. If the defense is finally ready to get going, next week against the Packers would be a good start. Here is hoping Kyle Orton is ready to go.