Grading the Chicago Bears Offensive Line…
Grading the Chicago Bears Offensive Line
The Chicago Bears offensive line is one of the most scrutinized groups in the NFL. If you listen to local sports radio or read the papers, there's usually something being said about this unit. How much of this is fact, and how much is fiction? Let's let the numbers tell the story.
The Bears offensively rank 23rd in average yards per game. They're 26th in passing (206.3 yards per game) and ninth in rushing (131.5 yards per game). While the Bears do rank eighth in points per game (27), but that is a bit deceiving because of the defensive has scored five touchdowns on interceptions. The Bears are fifth in the league with 19 sacks allowed.
Despite missing Jay Cutler and Matt Forte last season, the Bears ended up ranked 24th last season in total yards. Even with the addition of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush, the offense isn't showing the kind of improvement us fans expected to see. While I recognize the talent of both guys, it isn't translating into a significant difference. But I do love that the Bears can run the football. Wish they'd do it a lot more.
Obviously, the most important statistic is wins and losses. As the Bears sit at 5-1 playing a very winnable game at home against the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field this Sunday, the Bears need to tighten things up on offense. The defense is playing at an unbelievable level, so now it is the offense's turn to step up. I know I am being a bit harsh, but this is a Super Bowl contender and things need to get better with the football. It starts with the offensive line. So without any further delay, here are my rankings of this group. I'd love to hear your thoughts, follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew and Hashtag #RML with your thoughts. And away we go...
Left Tackle J'Marcus Webb
J'Marcus Webb is one of the most discussed Bears. It isn't always a positive thing. Despite a bad game against the Green Bay Packers, Webb has actually played respectable this season. If you're going to call him out for his bad games, you have to recognize his good moments as well. Considering he plays the most important position on the offensive line, it hasn't been as bad as people would be led to believe. He's actually getting better.
Left Guard Chris Spencer
You're the highest paid Bears offensive lineman ($3,750,000), but you're not any good. You were benched for a guy making $540,000.
Left Guard Chilo Rachal
I actually like Chilo Rachal. He's a big and angry man, and I love that in a lineman. I'd like to see more of his work, but I like how he doesn't back down. The Bears haven't lost since he replaced Spencer in week three. Just saying.
Center Roberto Garza
Roberto Garza was saddled with the responsibility of replacing one of the team's biggest leaders as offensive line captain in Olin Kreutz. Frankly, Garza's play has suggested that he was a better choice. He still has an occasional snafu with his snaps, but he handles the middle of the line quite well. Garza is a guy that we all can appreciate. He shows up and does his job and is one of the most likable Bears.
Right Guard Lance Louis
Lineman are supposed to be seen and not heard. Lance Louis has been a solid contributor since being drafted by the Bears out of San Diego State. I'll argue that Louis is their best lineman. He is great on pulls and getting ahead of running plays. And you don't see him getting beat very often in the passing game.
Right Tackle Gabe Carimi
This has been a bad season forGabe Carimi. He's getting flagged for false starts at an alarming rate and doesn't exactly avoid holding penalties. Last year's first round draft choice still doesn't look 100 percent from last season's knee injury. There's still time for him to turn this around, but as of now, he's the weak link of the group.