Chicago Bears: First Quarter Progress Report (Offense)
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith likes to break the season down in quarters, and with the first quarter under wraps, we take a look at how each position group on offense has done so far.
Jay Cutler has been sort of a mixed bag so far in the first quarter of the season. In his two best games this quarter of the season, Cutler has generated a 115.6 passer rating. The other two games, Cutler generated a passer rating of 34.4. The highlight of Cutler’s season so far was this past Monday night, where he looked sharp with the football and you saw athleticism in and outside the pocket.
Hopefully, we see a more consistent Cutler moving forward, and the offense takes another step in the right direction.
Running Back- C
We haven’t been able to see the best of Matt Forte this season mainly because he has been banged up with an ankle injury. Another reason is because the offensive line hasn’t performed at a high level as far as run blocking is concerned. The same can be said for Michael Bush who hasn’t really performed at a level we saw him perform in his years with the Oakland Raiders.
Once the offensive line fully starts gelling together you will see the full potential of this ground attack, but until then they will be average.
Wide Receivers- B
Brandon Marshall has been everything we have come to expect from a top five WR talent. He’s only been shut down in one game of the season, but other than that he has been nothing short of great. The rookie Alshon Jeffery has established himself as the Bears second go-to WR. He continues to see his role increase each week as he improves as a WR.
The disappointments in this group have been Earl Bennett and Devin Hester. Bennett has been suffering a hand injury that has bothered him since opening week. Hester up until his 34 yard touchdown catch on Monday night, has been struggling to get open and finish plays.
The group still is a talented one, but will need more than just Marshall and Jeffery in order to reach its full potential.
Tight Ends/Full Back- C
Kellen Davis’ performance in the Monday night game bumps this grade from a D- to a C. We finally saw Davis use his 6-7, 260 pound frame to his advantage on some catches. If the light has finally cut on for Davis it would do nothing but be an added bonus to the receiving game.
Matt Spaeth has done a good job as a pass protector and run blocker on the edge, and even chipped in at fullback. Kyle Adams hasn’t gotten many targets as a receiver, but has made his presence felt as a blocker.
Evan Rodriguez before going down with a sprain MCL was arguably the best blocker of the group.
Offensive Line- C-
The offensive line pretty much only had one abysmal performance; that was against the Green Bay Packers in week two. The rest of the games the line has performed serviceably as a pass blocking unit. The run blocking is why this grade is a C- as the unit hasn’t look like the unit that helped their running backs rush for 2,000 yards last year.
Usually late in the year (November and December) is where you see most offensive lines gelling from a run blocking perspective, so this is where you could potentially see the run game start clicking.