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Bears vs. Patriots report card

Another complete disaster of a game from the 2014 Chicago Bears. Bad execution, poor coaching, penalties, turnovers; we've seen it all before. The Bears mercifully get their bye week and have a lot of issues to deal with. But first we must review the grades in the Bears' 51-23 loss at the hands of the Patriots.

Jim Rogash

Before we get into the game, and the grades, I wanted to look at a little bit of historical context.

Marc Trestman has led the Bears for 24 games and holds an 11-13 record. In four of those 13 losses the team lose by three scores or more, which is around the definition of a blowout. The term blowout is somewhat subjective though because some people might consider losing by three scores a blowout while others might see a 17-point loss as merely solid but not a blowout. Some might define it as losing by three touchdowns or more.

Trestman has seen his team lose by three touchdowns twice; Week 4 this season to the Packers (38-17), Week 12 last season to the Rams (42-21), by 32 points once; Week 16 last season to the Eagles (42-11) and four touchdowns once, which was yesterday. None of those games were close, even remotely. Four huge blowouts in 24 games.

For comparison's sake I looked back at Trestman's predecessor, Lovie Smith to see how he did. In his 144 games the Bears lost 19 games by three scores or more and by three touchdowns or more nine times. That is in nine seasons. His worst loss was a 35 point loss to the Bengals in Week 7 of 2009 (45-10).

It's an indication that the coaching staff is not getting it done. Being poorly prepared and not making adjustments is one of the biggest ways that blowouts can happen. It is happening more frequently under Trestman.

Yesterday's game was a mess. The Bears were outgained 487 yards to 384 and it wasn't even that close. So much garbage time in the second half allowed Jay Cutler to keep his high completion percentage and nice TD to INT ratio intact while the Bears gobbled up yards underneath the Patriots' softer coverage. This was a total throttling.

The Bears allowed both Patriots QBs to complete 86.8 percent of their passes, the highest ever allowed by the Bears in their 86-year history. The 25 passing first downs by the Patriots was also the most they've allowed in that category too.

The Bears have a lot of work to do in the bye week if they want to attempt to right the ship in the second half of the season. Chicago's first half schedule was brutal, but they really needed to be .500 at the bye to be in a great position, and now the second half schedule doesn't seem as easy as it did before the season began. Detroit leads the NFC North due to a tiebreaker with the Lions, the Cowboys are arguably one of the top three to five teams in the league, and the Bears travel to Minnesota and Green Bay still. There is an argument to be made that there are only two or three winnable games left on the schedule (vs. Minnesota, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New Orleans). Even if they win one of their three remaining road games, they will need to sweep their home schedule to finish 10-6.

But that is all to still be dissected. Onto yesterday's grades:

Quarterback: F

Jay Cutler finished the game 20/30 (66.7 percent) for 227 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and a 108.6 rating, but would anyone actually give him credit for playing a game that well? He was 7 for 15 for 66 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the first half with a 53.8 rating. He was staring at his intended receivers, something the announcers mentioned multiple times, as well as beat reporters. He was off target a lot (46.7 completion percentage) and he fumbled once and was sacked another time. It was all just ugly for Cutler and the offense. He bounced back in the second half but it was all basically just padding his state line.

Running backs: A-

Matt Forte still remains the Bears MVP. Win or lose the Bears' franchise back turns out the yards and makes plays. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry and had a good first half churning out the yards despite the teams' issues. He had 168 total yards, including 114 rushing yards and 54 through the passing game, including his 25-yard touchdown. One disturbing trend via Kevin Fishbain: In the Bears' five losses, Forte is averaging 156.6 yards. If he has that many, they should be winning. Ka'Deem Carey averaged 5.5 yards per carry on his six totes for 33 yards.

Wide receivers: D

The receivers are just not getting open or making the big catches we're used to. Some of it was on Jay's early-game accuracy issues but even in the second half, Alshon Jeffery dropped a first down ball and had a would-be touchdown from Jimmy Clausen hit his fingertips. Brandon Marshall was shut down by Darrelle Revis, catching just three of his 10 targets for 35 yards. He should find a way to beat him. Jeffery caught six of eight targets for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Tight ends: C

Martellus Bennett had a huge holding penalty that led the Bears to a quick three and out before the Patriots marched downfield in five plays to start the slaughter. Other than that he caught six of his seven targets and had an incredible touchdown, but this was all in the second half when the defense was taking it a little easier. He had a team-high 95 receiving yards. Dante Rosario caught a two-point conversion as well as one of his two in-game targets for six yards.

Offensive line: C

The line played all right, opening some big running lanes for Forte and Carey. They allowed three sacks, which is tough, but that is about average for them this season. Matt Slauson was flagged for a false start and Kyle Long was flagged for unnecessary roughness for protecting his QB, which, while admirable, was still a bad penalty to take.

Offensive grade: D

While that doesn't fit what the average of the five position groups comes to, I still fall back to my own eye test. The failings were just worse than how the team played. The quarterback is the leader and when he struggles it brings down the rest of the unit. While Cutler gets a big, fat F for yesterday, it shouldn't all be on him. Which takes us to the other side of the ball...

Defensive line: F

This unit can be so spotty but I think this tweet sums it up. The Bears finished with one sack (Lamarr Houston's first and likely last this season since he injured himself celebrating it). The defensive line had one QB hit (also Houston), three tackles for loss (two by Houston and one by Will Sutton) and no pass deflections. Jeremiah Ratliff led the line with seven tackles, ahead of Jared Allen's five. While they did well on the goal line stand, they still allowed some big running lanes. The Patriots averaged 3.8 YPC as a team but their top two backs averaged 4.9 YPC. This unit had to play spectacularly in order for the Bears to have a chance and they did not.

Linebackers: F

The linebackers were guilty for many of the big runs that the Patriots had. Jonas Gray had 86 yards on 17 carries (5.1 YPC) and back up Shane Vereen had 22 yards on five carries (4.4 YPC) plus 23 yards on three catches. Shea McClellin had a couple of good plays but also some whiffs and misses. None of the linebackers could cover Rob Gronkowski, but neither could any other defenders. Tim Wright also had some big catches. Another bad day for the team's worst position group.

Cornerbacks: D-

This group struggled as well, Kyle Fuller was getting picked on by Tom Brady but when he couldn't finish the game, his replacement Al Jean-Louis fared worse. Brandon LaFell abused whomever was on him. Tim Jennings got blown by by Gronk on his first TD. It was an ugly game for them.

Safeties: F

Ryan Mundy did all he could to cover Gronk and actually played pretty good defense on one of his touchdowns, but still couldn't make a play on the ball. That's just how good Tom Brady and Gronk are. Chris Conte played all right but he did go for the ball on Gronk's 46-yard touchdown pass, and Mundy couldn't tackle him in the open field. That was a big error for the safeties.

Overall defensive grade: F

Just an awful defensive day for the Bears, who couldn't get within five yards of Brady, and they couldn't cover Brandon LaFell or Gronkowski to save their lives. The Patriots punted only once, and it was deep in the second half when they mercifully took their foot off the gas.

Special teams: C-

Yes, there was a holding penalty, but the unit managed to bring a couple of kickoffs past the 20 yard line. Pat O'Donnell had a solid day punting, even his one shank still had a lucky roll. For a unit that has struggled as much as this one, this was a decent game for them. They've played better of late. Their worst sequence was the 42-yard return allowed to Julian Edelman, plus the penalty that was tacked onto it.

Coaching: F

How could it be anything else? This team looked underprepared and were outplayed, outclassed and outcoached. It was truly horrifying. The team can't seem to make adjustments to get their receivers open and, while they ran it more and better, it was too late for it to matter much. This team shows up unprepared far too often.

There isn't much to say after a 28 point loss. The Bears stunk it up and they are in grave danger of spiraling out of control going into the second half of the season. The team kept fighting and played hard even after they were down 38-7 at halftime, and that's about the best thing I can say about them.

How would you grade the team yesterday?

Furthermore, what are the most important issues you think the team needs to fix over the bye week?