Chicago Bears’ Week 1 Report Card

By Clyde A. Speller

Chicago Bears’ Week 1 Report Card

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte vs Packers2
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For the first three quarters, it looked as if the Chicago Bears were actually going to pull off an upset over the defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately for the Bears, the bottom fell out, and they found themselves starting the 2015 NFL season with a 31-23 loss. Overall, Chicago looked to have improved from last season, but old bad habits resurfaced. Here's the Bears’ grades for Week 1.

Quarterback

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler vs Packers
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Quarterback

Chicago Bears-Jay Cutler vs Packers
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Jay Cutler had Bears fans smiling through the first three quarters of the game, showing his ability to protect the ball, and scramble out of the pocket. But when down by eight in the fourth quarter, Cutler showed why he led the league in turnovers last season, and threw an interception that ended their chance of beating the hated Packers. Overall, Cutler had a solid game, but proved why the Bears need to rely on the run more.

Grade: C+

Running Backs

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte vs Packers
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte vs Packers
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By far, Matt Forte was the bright spot for the Bears in the loss to the Packers. Forte finished the first half with 105 yards on the ground, and finished with a game-high 141 yards and a touchdown. However, Forte did drop a potential touchdown pass in the red zone, and another pass along the sideline.

Grade: B

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Chicago Bears-Alshon Jeffery vs Packers
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Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Chicago Bears-Alshon Jeffery vs Packers
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Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, and Marquess Wilson all played despite being listed as questionable. Jeffery played good for someone who is still recovering from an injured calf with five catches for 78 yards. Wilson converted on a crucial third down in the fourth quarter for a 50-yard catch-and-run. Tight end Martellus Bennett came up with some big catches of his own, finishing with five receptions for 55 yards and a TD.

Grade: B

Offensive Line

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte and O-line vs Packers
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Offensive Line

Chicago Bears-Matt Forte and O-line vs Packers
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While pass protecting, Chicago’s offensive line struggled in the beginning, and surrendered two sacks for the game. Kyle Long played right tackle for the first time, and had trouble with the Packers’ Julius Peppers, but eventually settled down. The O-line had a few penalties that stalled offensive drives, but the unit did shine while dominating the line of scrimmage in the running game.

Grade: C+

Defensive Line

Chicago Bears-Jarvis Jenkins vs Packers
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Defensive Line

Chicago Bears-Jarvis Jenkins vs Packers
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The primary job for a defensive line in the 3-4 is to clog the line of scrimmage in order to stop the run. Packers running back Eddie Lacy was held under 100 yards, but did average 4.5 yards per carry. In addition, the D-line had trouble containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the pocket, failing to get significant pressure on pass plays.

Grade: C

Linebackers

Chicago Bears-Shea McClellin vs Packers
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers

Chicago Bears-Shea McClellin vs Packers
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Chicago’s linebacking corps could have done a better job at keeping Lacy from moving the chains on the ground. They could have also done a much better job at keeping a man on Rodgers and prevented him from scrambling for 27 yards on the ground.

Grade: C

Defensive Backs

Chicago Bears-Alan Ball vs Packers
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Defensive Backs

Chicago Bears-Alan Ball vs Packers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

You would’ve thought that Green Bay not having wide receiver Jordy Nelson would have worked in the Bears’ favor. That wasn’t the case. Cornerback Alan Ball was beaten by Packers receiver James Jones three times (two of which were touchdowns). Sherrick McManis allowed Randall Cobb to score in the red zone, and Kyle Fuller was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, which potentially would have been Jones’ third TD.

Grade: D-

Special Teams

Chicago Bears-Robbie Gould in throwbacks
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Special Teams

Chicago Bears-Robbie Gould in throwbacks
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Once again, Robbie Gould proved that he is still one of the most reliable kickers in the league by connecting on all three of his field goal attempts. Pat O’Donnell had only one punt in the game, but it went for a booming 56 yards. The only flaw on special teams was the coverage on the opening kickoff of the second half, which gave the Packers great field position, and led to a touchdown.

Grade: B

Coaching

Chicago Bears-John Fox2
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Coaching

Chicago Bears-John Fox2
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John Fox and his coaching staff did a great job with the offensive play calling in the first half, keeping Rodgers and the Packers’ offense off the field. Fox proved he is true to his commitment to the run. However, their decision to pass three times after getting the ball down to the Packers’ two-yard line in the fourth quarter, instead of trusting a running game that was productive, virtually cost them the game.

Grade: C-

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