Good Jay, Bad Jay [How I Learned To Hate The O-Line]
Okay before I start I want everyone to take a deep breath and count to 10. Are you back? Good. Now we can try to be as rational about last night’s Bears loss as possible. Here are some things we should take away from the game.
So the sports media wants to blame Cutler. That’s fair enough. He did not have a great game. Most Chicagoans’ gut reaction is not to blame him though. I have not heard a single sports fan who hasn’t defended him. Whether the media is being to harsh or the fans too forgiving (the kool-aid does taste pretty good), the bottom line is he had a bad game. Is this turning into a good Rex/bad Rex situation? Cutler has looked terrible in primetime, throwing 6 interceptions in the two Sunday night games. The other 3 games he has looked nearly perfect. Don’t stress, though. Even in his bad games, he has looked poised and put together some decent drives to offset the bad decisions. Cutler is a good quarterback that has bad days (nights) sometimes. Rex was just a roller coaster.
I can’t find the words to describe how great Knox looks. Versatile? Lightning Quick? Good Route-Runner? Great Return Man? He is developing into a great receiver for Cutler and as the develop a rapport together things will only get better and better. I loved seeing him throw those blocks.
It looks like age is catching up to this veteran unit. Even when the Bears have won, they have looked average at best and most of that can be attributed to Cutler’s ability to scramble for more time. The pass protection was non-existent. There was not a single play where the pocket wasn’t collapsing around Cutler from the moment he snapped the ball. If there was one guy to put all the blame on it would be Omiyale. Penalties, missed assignments, and poor footwork doomed the Bears guard in pass protection. Pace may have made the big flashy mistake at the end of the game, but Omiyale was just awful all game. Are we going to get a look at Beekman? I don’t even want to talk about run blocking, since there’s really nothing to talk about. They didn’t get any kind of push all night long.
Doesn’t it seem like he’s kind of running into the ground? I mean literally. Is this the offensive line’s fault that he can’t seem to get going? Absolutely, but he just seems slower hitting the holes than last year. Whatever his problem is he needs to fix it fast, because Garrett Wolfe is not the answer as an every-down back. A quick positive note, he is looking very good at picking up the blitz and of course as always he has decent hands when they throw him the ball.
Finally the defense looked good. Although Pisa went out with injury again, Roach has been spectacular. He is undersized, but you can barely tell the way he plays. Rumors that the Bears are pursuing Derrick Johnson notwithstanding, the linebacking corps has picked up the slack from the Urlacher injury admirably. Afalava has also been great, making big play afterbig play in the secondary. One big problem this week: where was the pass rush? Marinelli has been coaching that d-line up and doing a great job of it, but last night Matt Ryan had alllllll day. Extremely frustrating for a defense that is predicated on disrupting the quarterback.