It was a rough game last Sunday for the Chicago Bears on both sides of the ball and may of their issues could be traced back to the trenches. On defense it was an inability to get consistent pressure on Matthew Stafford that really put a lot of stress on Chicago's back end, leading to Stafford passing for over 400 yards.
On the other side of the ball, Chicago's o-line wasn't able to get enough of a push, and consequently their running backs were held to just 2.7 yards per carry. Their pass protection was very sketchy all day as well, forcing the athletic Jay Cutler to evade the Detroit pass rush on most of his drop backs.
I went back to the tape and dissected the play of the Bears starting five, and in the handful of games I grade each year, this wasn't one of their better preformances.
I use a simple plus/minus grading system, so if you do your job, you get a +, but if you don't it's a - for you.
Left Guard Matt Slauson +68/-12 (85%)
Slauson received my highest grade on the day, and he's just a solid player. Nothing flashy, just solid. He usually just finds some way to get his blocks made. On the plays he struggled, it was a mixed bag of reasons why. He pulled through the hole on a power play too high and was stood up. He took a bad angle attacking the 2nd level. He got a little sloppy on technique.
Center Hroniss Grasu +65/-15 (81.3%)
When I hit Grasu with a negative grade it was often times a play where he was caught thinking. Moving to the second level and unsure who to pick up. Working a combo block and coming off of it a little late. His overall technique was good most of the game, but he still has to get a little stronger. I can see why Chicago's plan was to let him sit for a year, but now that he's been forced into the lineup, he needs to stay.
Right Tackle Kyle Long +64/-16 (80%)
Kyle Long was very vocal with his disgust about his play against the Lions. He was pretty good in pass protection, but in the run game there were times when he flat out missed his man. He also had a couple holding penalties that hurt his team. His bad game notwithstanding, Long is six games into his career at tackle and I don't see a situation where the Bears would ever move him back to guard.
Left Tackle Charles Leno Jr. +63/-17 (78.8%)
Leno was better in the run game than I originally thought, even though he did miss a few blocks. He was OK at the point of attack and he showed good athleticism when asked too pull and get out in front on screens. His pass protection, which needs to be his strength as a left tackle, was bad. I know some Bears' fans think Leno is ready to take over full time at LT, but the 24 year old still has some work to do before being a better option than a healthy Jermon Bushrod.
Leno has been matched up against some prolific edge rushers these last few weeks, so that could have led to his struggles. If the Bears do decide to stick with the younger player at tackle, I hope they seriously consider the veteran Bushrod making a move to right guard, because that position has been the Bears weakest all year long.
Right Guard Vladimir Ducasse +63/-17 (78.8%)
Ducasse isn't a bad run blocker when he's decisive and aggressive, but the mental mistakes seem to get the better of him on occasion. As a pass blocker he seems lost at times. Even though Ducasse still leads the Bears with 7 penalties, he hasn't been flagged since week 4.