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WCG Match-Up Post: Grades and Reviews Week 3

When the schedule came out about 6 months ago, did any fans here look at the first 3 games of the season and say to themselves that the Bears will be 3-0? Did anyone think the Bears will be 3-0 after the third preseason game? The Martz passing offense that struggled mightily in the preseason is the same passing offense that's part of the reason why they are 3-0. The scary thing about it is that this offense is still learning and is only going to get better. The only really bad throws Cutler made came in the first two series where he looked over Johnny Knox on 2nd and 8 and chose to throw to Hester with 2 guys covering him. The other was the obvious INT where he overthrew Olsen. The jump ball pass to Earl Bennett that resulted in pass interference on Morgan Burnett is debatable. Overall the passing game, while not spectacular, was good enough to win the Bears the game.


Devin Hester: Grade C

Not many balls thrown his way, but there weren't many blown assignments by him. I think the bomb to him in the end zone would have been a TD if Cutler didn't lead him out of bounds. What we are seeing with Hester and Knox in this offense is that they both fit this scheme very well with their quickness and speed on the outsides. They also have the speed to work those crossing routes beautifully to where they can catch the ball and get yards after the catch. Just like how the quick slants are a staple of the west coast offense, the crossing route is a staple of the Martz Coryell offense.

Johnny Knox: Grade A

It surprises me that opposing defenses are putting more of an emphasis on stopping Hester instead of stopping Knox who is the more polished receiver of the two, especially when Knox has compiled 232 yards and 11 catches through 3 games. Knox looked like a natural out there compared to last year when you can tell he was thinking too much. His best play had to be the 7 route he completed before Olsen's TD grab, where he had the field awareness to drag his back foot. Most young receivers don't develop those instincts until their 3rd year in the league. The past 3 games tell me that Johnny Knox might be in for a breakout year now that he's in a system that best suits his abilities.

Earl Bennett: Grade C+

I couldn't give Bennett a higher grade then a C+ since he wasn't targeted that much (thanks to Green Bay blitzing). He did made a couple catches that kept the drives alive and almost got a TD in the red zone, but the Packers touched before he crossed the goal line. He also was on the wrong page with Jay on a 3rd down pass where he went inside, but Cutler threw it outside.

Greg Olsen: Grade A

He wasn't beasting out there like Jermichael Finley, but he did make some clutch plays in the second half, most notably the catch over Brandon Chillar on 2nd and 20. He also showed in the 1st half that even in the receiver friendly offense Martz runs he can still be a red zone threat. Greg Olsen for the second straight week is showing that passing catching Tight Ends can have a bigger receiving role in this offense.

Matt Forte: Grade C

Not a lot of balls thrown his way as Green Bay did a good job covering him out of the backfield. We don't go to see a lot of games where Forte catches 2 passes for 14 yards. In a game where Jay struggles, Forte should expect more passes thrown his way against the Giants.