The Bears Defense still playing at a high level: The talk coming into the season was how the Bears’ defensive veterans were over-the-hill, the defensive line doesn’t have a threat outside Julius Peppers and that the secondary would be a legit weak link of the defense. Through three games, none of that has been the case as the Bears defense is showing early on this season that it is still a defensive team.
The Bears neutralize a QB in Sam Bradford who came into Soldier Field on a hot streak, sacking the former first round pick five times and picking off two of his throws (one a pick six).
Bradford never seemed to get into a rhythm as the front four pressured him all afternoon. The secondary capitalize made plays on the football and blanketing the Rams wide receivers. The Bears defense is showing early on that they are built to win a championship now.
Offense along for the ride: Jay Cutler followed his disastrous performance against the Green Bay Packers with a mediocre one. He continues to make bad throws, some into double coverage and ones where his accuracy was just off the mark. The Bears must hope that Cutler gets out this slump or else they will most likely fall short of their goals this year.
The offensive line had trouble against the Rams front seven, allowing pressure on Cutler, who struggled to get into a good rhythm. Chilo Rachal played fairly decent at left guard, so the Bears hope that he has that spot stabilize.
Brandon Marshall struggled for the most part against Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan, but was able to complete a 34 yard catch in the fourth quarter. Alshon Jeffery picked up the slack for the WR’s outside Marshall. When Cutler couldn’t get Marshall going, he looked to the rookie, who made his presence felt in the short-to-intermediate part of the fields.
Game balls to an offensive and defensive player: The game ball for each side of the ball goes to Rachal for the offense and Stephen Paea and Israel Idonije for the defense. For someone who was playing LG for first time in his career, Rachal played fairly decent. He drew high praise from Cutler post game:
“I think Chilo brings that edge to the offensive line, and he doesn’t take a lot of grief in there,” Cutler said. “He’s a big guy. He’s kind of a mauler and I feel comfortable with him in there.”
Idonije and Paea brought pressure for most of the afternoon. Idonije collected 2.5 sacks for the day and Paea collected one sack, but got consistent pressure on Bradford all afternoon. The Bears seem to be getting contributions from just about anyone they line up on the D-Line. It is proving to be a very deep group, and arguably one of the deepest in the league.
Overall analysis on the game: It was a solid defensive effort from the Bears, but one sided performances like this will not get it done against the better teams in the league. The offense needs to find some sort of resemblances of the week one performance or they will fall short in some games, most specifically the game against the Dallas Cowboys next Monday night.