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Bears Vs. Rams: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

Pictured: Jay Cutler's nightmares. Not pictured: Actual boogeymen.
Pictured: Jay Cutler's nightmares. Not pictured: Actual boogeymen.
  • So let's start out this day after by talking about just how bad the offense was and where most of the problems seem to lie, and the biggest problems in my view stem from four places. That's right, nearly the entire offense is to blame for the offense struggling as badly as it did. I know, mind blown. First off, the biggest question I have is... When you're running in the fourth quarter, why is Kahlil Bell getting the majority of the team's carries? You signed Michael Bush for a reason, so when he's apparently healthy you're going to take carries away from him and give them to Kahlil Bell who, in the final three drives in the fourth quarter, picked up a grand total of two yards on six carries. I know the Bears like having a running back rotation, but I'm sorry, that's not a "rotation," that's just ineffective.
  • It probably doesn't matter much because the offensive line was generally awful, and the rest of the time putrid with a few momentary bright spots. J'Marcus Webb was having the daylights beat out of him all day long, and over on the right side, on one play, Chris Long came in completely unblocked except for Bell's uninspiring attempt to "get in his way," a term I'm taking extremely loosely here. But really, I thought that by this point we'd be beyond celebrating the few momentary glimpses of a pocket and running lanes. The Bears only allowed two sacks on the day; with the six quarterback hits and five pass deflections, I'm pretty sure Cutler thought it was a lot more. It just doesn't give justice to how rough the line was. Speaking of which, Chilo Rachal picked up two false starts in his first ever start as a Bear. I think he'll fit in just fine here.
  • Jay Cutler was bad in a back to back game. As surprising and unexpected as that was, and while he should come out of it, I'll admit I'm getting a little worried, and probably undeservedly so. He still doesn't seem to be getting out of the pocket like we're generally demanding even though they did work in plenty of short and intermediate routes (and yes, the pass rush still got through). And a part of me worries that he gets frustrated when he can't go deep like the offense tries to continue to work in. It's a work in progress, but aside from the lack of rollouts, I don't have too many complaints with the gameplan and playcalling this week.
  • Cutler's interception really wasn't his fault, though he could have put it in a better spot for Brandon Marshall. Instead, Marshall pops it up in the air just enough for Cortland Finnegan to get a hold of it. Kudos to Cutler for chasing down the interception without breaking his thumb.
  • On one play, Brandon Marshall was double covered, and I think Cutler saw it, stared it down, and still tried to throw it into a closed window.
  • Okay, for now, I'm sick of bad things. Want some good things? Simple - name a player on the defensive line. Anybody and everybody was doing work yesterday. Israel Idonije had himself the best game in the stats column, but Shea McClellin could have easily been in on a couple of the team's six sacks, Corey Wootton displayed some really good penetration, Amobi Okoye was excellent in pass rush, Henry Melton was very good as well, and damn, Stephen Paea was a monster.
  • And now, to temper that. The Bears have 14 sacks through three games. That's three against a bad Colts line, five on the horrid Green Bay Packers line, and six on a badly damaged Rams line. Added to that, a fair number of sacks have been the coverage variety, where Bradford had absolutely nowhere to go with the ball. We'll get a better gauge on the defensive line when they play some better offensive lines, but for now, they're slaying the bum lines that they absolutely have to, which is a massive improvement.
  • Also, good job on Nick Roach picking up his first career sack.
  • Okay, Tim Jennings, I'm sorry for calling your performance last week mixed. Jennings was outstanding around the ball again, picking off one pass himself and batting the other for Major Wright to take to the house.
  • I also haven't mentioned DJ Moore's name yet - well, here you go. Moore sniffed out a couple of screens and blew them up, as well as nearly blocked a punt.
  • So I don't think I heard a mention of Brian Urlacher's knee until the third quarter - and honestly, I thought Urlacher looked like he was moving around a lot better than in previous games. Maybe there's nothing more to worry about there, but we'll see how he feels today, I guess.
  • All in all, I don't think the replacement refs were too bad yesterday. The "roughing the passer" where the pass rusher's helmet hit Jay's facemask was a legit, although ticky tack call, and Julius Peppers' shove for a personal foul could have been lodged as complaints, but really, not much reason for Peppers to shove Daryl Richardson there.
  • Sam Bradford was dinking and dunking the whole entire game. In fact, the few deep balls he threw but didn't connect on (such as the one to Brandon Gibson) were probably dropped out of shock he threw the ball that far.
  • Bradford was money on third down entering the game. The Rams only went 3-13 on converting third down and had twelve first downs on the day. The Bears were 4-14, but had 20 first downs, 10 through the air, and one fourth down converted from running with Bush.
  • So on a team with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Kellen Davis, et cetera, why is Devin Hester the red zone target again? The pass to him would have hit him in the hands if... a) he were a few inches taller, or b) had continued running under the ball; he was indeed open. Probably didn't help Marshall had a couple of drops.
  • Nice to see the Bears haven't forgotten how to call timeouts in the first quarter. Oh wait.
  • Also nice to hear the Soldier Field fans quiet down on offense.
  • So the Bears made it a real point to run and use the short and intermediate passing game, and while they worked to a degree... It doesn't have to be every play, Mike. 34 rushes on 67 plays sounds a little like overkill, and it's not like Kahlil Bell was doing too much as a change of pace.
  • I saw a few defensive line packages with three down linemen and McClellin roaming the gaps, then holding short coverage or blitzing. It was interesting, and not a bad look at all.
  • So, Matt Toeaina was inactive for this game as well, which is odd because the Rams usually rely more on their run game than the Packers. Maybe it means Paea is developing well enough that they don't need Toeaina to be the dedicated run stopper that he is.
  • At nine minutes left in the game, John Lynch called the interception for a touchdown "the knockout blow." Please do not do this with time left in the game. I'm sure Tennessee would have loved a premature knockout blow. Sorry, pet peeve.
  • Hey, the Bears are using tight ends more in the passing game. If three receptions for 27 yards is "use."
  • Time of Possession - Bears 33:56, Rams 26:04

That's some of what I noticed; what'd you guys see in yesterday's win?