Welcome to another edition of my top ten random thoughts on the Chicago Bears…
1. J’Marcus Webb had a terrible game last Thursday against the Green Bay Packers after having a solid game against the Indianapolis Colts. So what do the Bears do? They bench left guard Chris Spencer and move Chilo Rachal into the starting role. For those of you that haven’t followed the long and illustrious career of Rachel, he started 38 games for the San Francisco 49ers and played his college ball at USC. This must tell all of us that Webb’s backup former first-round draft choice Chris Williams is even worse in the coach’s eyes. Gulp.
2. I am becoming more and more convinced that the Bears could have still potentially beaten the Packers if they just committed to the run early. The Packers struggled in the previous week against the 49ers, who came off the bus running (you’re welcome Lovie Smith). So what do the Bears do? They start the game with a horrific play-action pass that sets pretty much the whole offensive tone for the remainder of the game. If the Bears ran the ball to start the game, I am convinced they could have set the tone early. Let’s remember that one of the Packers’ touchdowns came on a fake field goal. Teams that normally run gimmick plays do it because they feel that’s the only way they can win. So I am a bit off the ledge but I do not like seeing the Bears play a terrible football game. And that is what we saw…
3. We all were excited about the addition of Brandon Marshall, He was the cure to all the Bears passing problems. Back in July, my Uncle who’s a huge Miami Dolphins‘ fan reminded me about several key dropped passes Marshall had while with the Dolphins. I shrugged it off to him being upset about the trade…then last Thursday night he dropped a key touchdown. In the previous week against the Colts, I had him for around three drops as well. While Marshall is better than what has been with the Bears in the past, this dropped pass is totally unacceptable. I have moved from excited to luke-warm on Marshall, so let’s hope he can change quickly.
4. The Bears are suggesting that Matt Forte‘s injury is not a high-ankle sprain, which means he could theoretically play this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. And…Chicago Bear Jew was not born yesterday. Is this similar to Gabe Carimi‘s injury that would have kept him out four-to-six weeks last season? Or Brian Urlacher’s knee that would require him to miss no time? While I would like to believe that Forte is fine, I do not believe a word the Bears are saying on this one.
5. Speaking of the Rams, former Bear Jeff Fisher gives the Rams some credibility. Their exciting win last week against the Washington Redskins gives the Rams some hopes that Fisher is the guy to get them back on track. While the Rams are proving to be a better team than last season, this is a game the Bears need to win at home. There’s no ifs ands or buts about it. This is a semi-trap game as far as I can see, with the Bears scooting on off to play the Dallas Cowboys next Monday night in Big D. The Bears open as a seven-and-a-half point favorite against the Rams, and I think the line is appropriate. That being said, the Bears need to get back to running the darn football or this could end up being a painful Sunday.
6. I am starting to see things that I like out of first-round draft choice Shea McClellin. Very few of us (OK, I cannot find one person that actually liked this choice) have been very critical of the rookie. Considering that he is only his second game into his NFL career, I like some of the things I am seeing out of McClellin. Considering how poorly other draft picks have played over the years, it is nice to see a first-round selection come in and contribute.
7. Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth are terrible. There’s no way to sugar coat this anymore. While Davis did catch a touchdown pass, his blocking, poor route running and general suckiness are too much for this Bears fan to handle. I still don’t have a clue why Speath is still on the roster. He just doesn’t bring anything to the table. I am hoping the younger guys in Evan Rodriguez and Kyle Adams develop into serviceable tight ends, but I think Rodriguez is destined to be more of an H-Back and Adams can’t stay healthy.
8. Speaking of people that need to go, why does Bears’ receiving coach Darryl Drake constantly get a free pass from the organization? In last Thursday’s game, Jay Cutler made some terrible throws. That will not be disputed. But on a few routes, the Bears wide receivers still don’t seem to understand working for the football. While I like Coach Smith, I think his accountability is inconsistent with his coaches. Drake’s track record is terrible, and it is something that needs to be addressed.
9. Cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are playing such good football. It is nice to see this tandem working well together. Frankly, the whole secondary is working well together. I’ve been one of Major Wright‘s biggest critics, but he has had a solid season.
10. After last Thursday, I wrote a critical piece on Cutler (see here). The more I’ve thought about it, the more I haven’t changed my thoughts on the Bears signal caller. But, I am wondering how much of this has to do with other factors as well. As you’ve seen in this piece, I’ve listed the left tackle, tight ends and receivers as an issue as well. I think Cutler’s demonstrative reactions on the field as well as his reputation that has followed him since his trade from the Denver Broncos will never go away. Look at Eli Manning of the New York Giants. He has won two Super Bowls but still doesn’t get the respect he deserves. I’m not sure if Cutler will ever clear up his reputation, but we as fans just cannot ignore his talent.
That’s all for now. Follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew.