While it’s only the preseason, Monday night’s game against the NY Giants was still a loss. It wasn’t last year’s game with nine Cutler sacks in the first half and a concussion, but it was still a game that many Bears fans most likely turned off by the fourth (um o.k, may the third) quarter.
Even Lovie Smith, who usually never says anything negative had this to say about Monday night’s performance:
“First, I’ll be quick and talk about the good things,” coach Lovie Smith said. “There weren’t a whole lot of them.”
Regarding his special teams and defense, Smith said, “It definitely wasn’t a passing grade tonight.
Taking a look after the game, here’s five things we’ve learned:
1. There’s still weaknesses at wide receiver. And the Bears picked up Roy Williams because?…In his short stint in Monday’s game, Williams was the target of three catches (one that would have been a 16-yard gain but oops a drop); he came away with zero receptions. Last week he admitted he wasn’t in shape and at this point in time, he’s yet to contribute.
Devin Hester wasn’t much better as he tripped over his feet for one catch, lost his balance for another and within yards of the touchdown, couldn’t catch the pass.
The two other receivers in the mix are Johnny Knox with two receptions in the second half for 20 yards on Monday and Earl Bennett, who had three receptions for 58 yards.
2. The O-line is still weak. While actions may speak louder than words, the number of sacks not only decreased from last year’s Giants game but from the previous week at Buffalo from four to one on Monday evening. J’Marcus Webb struggled against Jason Pierre-Paul and Gabe Carimi looked as green as we’d expect.
Offensive line Mike Tice has been firm with his starting line and changes for this week’s Tennessee game won’t likely happen. Can anyone say, “We miss Olin Kreutz?”
3. Special teams needs some work.They had lots of dismal play including the 73-yard kickoff return that led to a touchdown and then the blocked punt by Bears rookie Spencer Lanning that set up yet another Giants touchdown. This isn’t what we expect from the Bears special teams.
Is this when we say, “We miss Brad Maynard?”
4. It’s thin at linebacker. Lance Briggs sat out of Monday’s game with a sore knee and Corey Wooten is sidelined until the start of the season. While Julius Peppers and Israel Indonije are healthy, who can back them up? Brian Iwuh did a good filling in but will the Bears do anything about it?
After Monday’s game, Bears general manager appeared to have a seat on the clue bus:
“It’s a concern so hopefully we will see some guys step up. We’ll keep looking as well. We tried to do something with a couple of claims and it didn’t work out. We’re just looking for potential guys who can come in here and help.”
5. Show Forte the Money. The running back has taken the high road in this preseason when he could have been a prima donna like many of his NFL brethren in these circumstances. In Monday’s game, he had a 42-yard gain and well, we all know how well he performed last season with 1,069 rushing yards.
And let’s be honest. Without Forte, the Bears have Chester Taylor, Marion Barber and Khalil Bell. All come with their special niches but they’re not a go-to running back.
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Written by Debbie Baratz