There simply wasn’t enough beer in my fridge for this game. Seriously, I think that Fox’s Bears are going to make me develop a drinking problem. What started out as a potentially exciting game, quickly took a turn for the worst.
The Bears apparently didn’t know that they had a game today. As embarrassing as the Tampa Bay game was last year, this was worse, much worse. They were at least in the game last year for much of it, but Mike Glennon killed the running game and defense, which led to a 7-29 rout of the beloved Bears.
It is only a matter of time before we see Mitchell Trubisky. Personally, I thought that this was a prime opportunity to salvage what looked early to be a blowout but alas, John Fox was having none of it.
Like a bad movie script out of the early 1980’s, the Mike Glennon revenge game goes south after setting up the protagonist as the aww shucks type. Boy were we wrong. A red zone interception, a fumble lost and pick-6 in the first half alone! That is not counting the three almost interceptions that we saw. Glennon also continually hung his receivers out to dry with high throws and otherwise poorly placed throws. There appears to have been a lot of drops late but I am curious to watch again and see how poor some of those throws were. Honestly, I can’t be mad that the team checked out early, lord knows I would’ve liked to.
The Offensive Line
After getting unfairly criticized for 4 sacks last week, the offensive line gave Glennon plenty of time in the pocket. The running game was stagnant throughout. An injury to Tom Compton and later, Josh Sitton hurt, but the line for the most part, played well. I will say that Hroniss Grasu definitely has better shotgun snaps than Cody Whitehair though.
The underutilized Howard needed to be fed the ball more this week and that is exactly the opposite of what we saw. Granted, Howard does not look healthy and he appears to be struggling to find running lanes but the offense looked completed disjointed with Glennon at the helm. Once the score got out of hand (in the second quarter) that was the end of the running game.
Despite an excellent debut by the rookie, I thought that Loggains fell in love with his new toy a little bit against the Falcons and that didn’t change much today. Cohen was utilized a lot as a receiver and less than I would like as a runner. The story for Cohen however was the really bone-headed decision to pick up a punt that he had no business being near. He will (hopefully) learn from those types of mistakes.
After re-watching the Falcons game with all-22 film, it was apparent that Wright was the best receiver the Bears have currently. He was consistently open on short-to-intermediate passes and that didn’t change today as he was Glennon’s favorite target early before leaving (briefly) with an apparent arm injury.
Like Wright, Sims was open an awful lot last week and woefully underutilized in the passing game. Sims did not have a great game today. I would be curious to watch the all-22 to get a better feel for how he played but it doesn’t look good at first glance.
Miller catches balls thrown his way and continues to be a steady and valuable member of the Bears offense. I would like to see a little more of him in Loggains’ game plans going foward. Miller is a really nice weapon in the short-to-intermediate passing game and that was lacking today.
Floyd terrorized the Buccaneers last season and I expected to see the same today. What I didn’t expect to see was Floyd once again, failing to show up. This is a little concerning to me. Is Floyd’s back issue affecting him more than know? He certainly isn’t playing like the man we saw at the end of the season last year. That said, he still made his presence felt with a big hit on Winston and a fumble recovery.
The elder statesman of the outside linebacker unit continues to look just that, elderly. Although Young did have a nice sack in this game, he is not the same player that he was for several seasons with the Bear prior to this one.
The Defensive Line
This unit was completely gassed by the second quarter. A complete lack of competence on offense and 90+ degree, swampy temperatures will do that to your big men. They looked dominant early on but by the time Glennon handed the ball off to his former team, it was clear that the beef up front was going to struggle.
Kwit went out early with a pec injury. The inside linebacker depth is being tested very early in the season.
Several holding penalties by Trevathan and some poor looks in pass coverage was the story of day. Trevathan might be better served to play fewer snaps as he continues to come back from his torn patellar tendon.
Kyle Fuller really struggled in man coverage. He wasn’t getting his hands on Mike Evans and that lead to a ton of easy completions for Winston. Cooper played reasonably well and did a nice job in run defense. The best corner on the field though was Bryce Callahan. He got his hands on a few passes and looked to shut his man down most of the game
I thought that both Quintin Demps and Eddie Jackson looked good today, especially against the run. Both safeties really buttoned up their poor tackling from last week and did a much better job. These two will need to start taking the ball away however if this defense is going to succeed.
On Special Teams
Had one chance to kick off and that was about it. So the Barth revenge angle was...disappointing to say the least.
I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but so far this appears to be O’Donnell’s best season as a Bear. He had another nice day punting the ball.
Tarik Cohen had the only opportunity and well, let’s not do that again Tarik, ok? He did have a pretty “nifty” return in the fourth but that still doesn’t excuse the very poor decision early in the game.
There wasn’t much to report here, both kickers/punters did a good job of keeping the ball away from returns.
The Coaching Staff
After coming through more or less unscathed with his decision making in week 1, John Fox missed an opportunity. After the 4th turnover with a little more than 4 minutes left in the first half, Fox had the perfect opportunity to spark his team and bring in Trubisky. More times than not, it is a benefit to a player to be thrown into a game as it limits their thinking and allows them to play. Well we all saw the performance by Glennon the rest of the way...
The overtly conservative game plan from last week was not likely to survive another game and Dowell Loggains did it again. They were utterly predictable by running on first downs and not attempting to push the ball down the field, despite good protection up front. I don’t think that Glennon and Loggains are a good match personally.
I was curious as to who was going to be responsible for making the defensive calls after the Freeman injury, but we got our answer pretty quickly — Danny Trevathan did an admirable job of getting the Bears defense lined up against the Bucs. The deployment of Pernell McPhee was another thing I was curious about and it appeared he got in to the game a bit more than last week and even caused a fumble. It is hard to get an accurate read when the offense puts you in so many terrible situations but I don’t think they played poorly.
Following up a steady performance by his units versus Atlanta, Rodgers’ special teams units continued to play well despite limited opportunities.