Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was under duress from the onset and it was unrelenting as the game progressed. The early pressure came from linebacker Clay Matthews who had 1.5 sacks in the first half.
Matthews finished his career day with 3.5 sacks and will likely appear in the nightmares of Bears left tackle and guard J’Marcus Webb and Chris Spencer, the two were repeatedly victimized by the Pro Bowl linebacker.
The constant pressure Cutler had to endure limited the gunslinger to a meager seven first half yards through the air.
The play of the offensive line was abysmal to put it nicely as they were unsure where the pressure was coming from every time Cutler dropped back to pass. Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers brought pressure from the secondary and what seemed like every linebacker position.
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice was stubborn in his play calling and Cutler continued to force deep throws into heavy coverage and did not even target Brandon Marshall until the third quarter. Marshall was targeted 15 times in the week one win, but did not make his first reception until 7:20 remained in the fourth quarter.
Marshall, who was the shiny new toy acquired in the offseason from Miami that made Bears fans giddy, but lost in the euphoria of the Marshall trade was the blatant ignoring of the offensive line in the draft or via free agency.
The offensive line has been the Achilles heel for this offense that finally boasts some talent at the skilled positions, but it is hollow when you cannot give the quarterback three seconds to drop back and find his weapons or open holes for the running backs.
When Cutler was not on his back with a guy in green and yellow laying on top of him he was forcing throws into coverage and was picked off three times-including two by Tramon Williams.
The enigmatic quarterback has a forgettable Thursday, but it will not be one forgotten by Bears fans who had hopes of a 2-0 start while putting Green Bay in an 0-2 hole.
For the evening, Cutler threw for 126 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions, sacked seven times, and hit a total of 12 times for a Rex Grossman-like quarterback rating of 28.2.
For the Bears to be serious Super Bowl challengers the play of the offensive line needs to make dramatic improvements and I am not sure they have the guys capable of stepping up.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.