The Bears fell to the Giants 41-13 Monday night in the Meadowlands and you’d think the Bears played an awful game. They didn’t play awful, but they didn’t play great.
They came out of the game injury free, which is something the Giants can’t say after losing two cornerbacks, Tyrell Thomas and Brian Witherspoon for the season.
QB Jay Cutler stayed on his feet for most of the night, only getting sacked one time. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 171 yards.
Backup QB Caleb Hanie put together solid stats, 17/28 for 166 yards as he played the entire second half.
Marion Barber led all running backs with 49 yards rushing, but failed to get in the endzone on a third and one from the goal-line in the second half. Matt Forte looked impressive taking a screen pass down the field for 42 yards, but was used sparingly. Kahlil Bell again looked good scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Earl Bennett led all Bears receivers with 58 yards on three catches, while being targeted five times. Devin Hester caught a 37 yard bomb by Cutler, but struggled to stay on his feet during other plays. Johnny Knox and undrafted free agent Dane Sanzenbacher both looked impressive with the second team. Roy Williams struggled yet again dropping all three balls thrown his way.
Bears WR coach Darryl Drake told Williams today that his starting gig isn’t his to keep.
“[He’s not where he needs to be, and he knows that,” Drake said via the Chicago Sun-Times. “He and I have talked about that. And the good thing about it is, you got Johnny Knoxwho is fighting and working hard.”
The tight ends did a solid job blocking. Blocking is what Mike Martz wants them to do, so don’t be shocked if one or two catches is the most for the top tight end during Week One of the NFL season.
The offensive line put together a much better performance than against Buffalo. J’Marcus Webb and Lance Louis the two biggest question marks on the line looked much improved.
Mike Tice could be willing to stay with the line that was intact the last two weeks (LT Webb, LG Williams, C Garza, RG Louis and RT Carimi). This Saturday’s matchup against Tennessee will be another big test for this young unit.
The Bears failed to record a sack. They didn’t really put much pressure on Eli Manning and the quarterbacks used in the game. DT Henry Melton seemed to tackle LB Brian Urlacher on a Giants running play and it didn’t look good after that for the Bears defense.
Nickelback D.J. Moore was beaten multiple times through the air, but he shrug it off after the game saying it was just a preseason game. Safety Major Wright got completely taken out of his shoes by Giants RB Brandon Jacobs.
If Major Wright struggles like that the Bears could be in for a long year. He wasn’t the only defensive player who struggled at missing tackles. It was happening left and right for the unit and head coach Lovie Smith wasn’t happy about it.
The special teams unit wasn’t very good either. Undrafted LB Dom DeCicco out of Pittsburgh got beat on a block on a punt and the Giants blocked it and returned it for a score. The kickoff unit allowed WR Devin Thomas to average 46 yards per return including a long of 73 yards.
The good thing is this game was only preseason, so the Bears still have time to improve. The defense needs to get up to speed. The offense needs to convert in the red zone which was an ongoing problem from last year and the special teams needs to get its act together under coach Dave Toub.
Saturday the Bears travel to Tennessee to take on Matt Hasselback and the Titans. The third preseason game, is the game where the starters play for the longest time for the Bears, so expect to see some entertaining football. It marks the first time in Cutler’s five seasons in the NFL that he’ll travel to Tennessee, where he played college football at Vanderbilt.
The Bears know what they need to improve, lets see if they take advantage of the valuable time given to them these next two weeks.
All quotes from Chicagosuntimes.com.
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