The Bears were out hustled and out matched by the New Orleans on Sunday afternoon in the Superdome.
Confident and ready for a second straight matchup against an NFC South playoff team from a year ago, the Bears just simply didn’t deliver.
Jay Cutler was relentlessly hit in the second half. Coming into the game without WR Roy Williams, guard Lance Louis and safety Chris Harris clearly hurt them.
Losing WR Earl Bennett (bruised chest), S Major Wright (head) and RT Gabe Carimi (knee) throughout the game didn’t help much either.
Go blame Jay Cutler if you want, but it wasn’t his fault the offensive line gave him no time to throw and the receivers couldn’t get any separation.
Without receivers Williams and Bennett, the Bears were stuck with Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher, who are all listed at 6’0″ and under. Sam Hurd was the only receiver taller, but he is mainly used for special teams and was also healing from an injury.
Bennett is the most dependable receiver on the team and Williams is a big target Cutler needs at times, so without them the fast undersized receivers (Knox, Hester and Sanzenbacher) failed to get much separation. Hester was often double teamed during this game.
Cutler wasn’t as efficient as he could be throwing, but once Kellen Davis let Saints DE come in, sack and strip him of the ball, the offensive line was in shambles. Frank Omiyale replacing Gabe Carimi didn’t help one bit.
The Bears abandoned the running game, only running the ball two times in the entire second half. Cutler threw the ball 45 times completing only 19 passes for a completion percentage of about 42%. In comeback mode in the second half, Cutler was sacked on three straight plays, and the Bears looked worst then ever.
Being sacked six times didn’t help, at the rate Cutler is going down he could be in for a long year. Already 11 sacks in two games given up the Bears offensive line is not good at all. The line was shaky enough to start the season and now without Carimi and Louis possibly the line could be in big trouble.
Trailing 16-10 early in the second half the Bears had their chances. They seemed to have momentum, but they couldn’t capitalize near the redzone. They wound up settling for a field goal and that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Bears Cover 2 defense was exposed at times. Only sacking of Brees throughout the entire game, wasn’t a help for the defense. Henry Melton failed to show up on the official box score, after recording two sacks in Week One.
Safety Brandon Meriweather went out with an ankle in second quarter, but returned. Drew Brees took advantage of his absence by throwing a 79 yard touchdown to Devery Henderson on third-and-12. Chris Conte and Major Wright were the safeties in on the play and neither player were deep enough in coverage. Just a mental breakdown by two young safeties Lovie Smith has put his trust in.
If Major Wright is seriously injured, Meriweather will likely slide into his position at free safety next to Chris Harris. Wright could be on the bench sooner or later with his poor play.
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz better put together a better gameplan next week or the Bears might not be able to do anything on offense. The Bears were 0-3 last season in games where they threw the ball more than running it. Only 12 times on Sunday did the Bears run the ball, marking the second fewest total in franchise history.
RB Matt Forte is probably the best offensive weapon the Bears have, why not utilize him more and set the tone in the game early and often. Martz needs to figure out how to run the ball because that was a key to the Bears success last season.
The Bears need to heal up and re-focus because they have the Super Bowl champion Packers coming to town on Sunday. Sometimes a loss is a good thing for teams, but to lose some key players to injury in a loss is never good.
They need to go back to basics this week in practice. The Bears need to realize how quickly their season could unravel because right now could be the most important part of the season.
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