The Bears will need to get the offense on track before the level of competition goes up, and with two so-so teams up next, that should be attainable.
Now trust me, I am not trying to be too negative here. After all, the Bears did win the game against the Lions, taking their season record to 5-1. But the fact is they only scored 13 points, playing at home against a Detroit team that allows an average of 25 points per game.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that the Bears should be concerned. Detroit couldn't really get anything going, largely due to an excellent defensive performance from Tillman and company. But if this game was against the Saints or the Patriots or any other high scoring team, the result would most likely have been a different one.
In saying that, the Bears are scoring an average of 27 points per game, placing them eighth in the NFL. If this type of scoring continues they should be competitive in all of their remaining games.
So what went wrong against Detroit?
Granted, Cutler suffered a rib injury towards the end of the first half, following a hard hit from Ndamukong Suh, and never really looked the same for the rest of the game. He finished with just 150 yards passing, with an average of 4.8 yards per completion.
Running back, Matt Forte had a decent game, rushing for 96 yards on 22 carries, and Michael Bush was pretty productive too. It was nice to get another glimpse of how effective the Forte-Bush tandem can be when utilised correctly.
Brandon Marshall was by far and away the best Bears receiver, grabbing six passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. This TD was on the Bears first drive of the game, and remained the only time they would see the end zone. Here's a look at the Chicago's drive summaries:
|Chicago Drive Summaries|
|04:02||1||02:39||CHI 50||5||29||Field Goal|
|13:16||2||06:43||CHI 2||12||69||Missed FG|
|01:22||2||01:22||CHI 17||4||11||End of Half|
|13:32||3||02:12||CHI 24||7||24||Field Goal|
|00:30||4||00:30||CHI 46||1||-1||End of Game|
They had some good drives, but too many times the end result was an Adam Podlesh punt. They will need to do a better job at sustaining drives to compete with heavier scoring teams.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Bears defense play as well as they did against the Lions. It was great seeing them have so much fun and a special mention must go to Charles Tillman for another outstanding display. (And to my man, D.J Moore for snagging another interception). But they won't always play that well. They'll be times when they might play poorly and the offense will have to bail them out by putting up more than 13 points.
I feel slightly concerned that Chicago scored so few points in Monday's victory. Not to take anything away from the Lions defense, they obviously have some good players, but I would have liked to have seen at least one more touchdown. Just to make me feel happy.
The Bears should feel good about the next two games, with Carolina at home and then a trip to Tennessee. They should win those two, but again, I am not sure if 13 points will do it. Then they face two of the league's highest scoring teams in Houston and San Francisco. More than one touchdown will surely be required to be victorious in those two matches.
They've got the weapons to score heavily, and they have shown that they can do it. If everyone stays healthy and the offensive line can keep protecting Cutler well, I think we'll see the Bears scoring a lot more points as we move towards the second half of the season.