Monday, September 14, 2009

That could have gone better

/looks for Earl Bennett

For 25% of last night's game, Jay Cutler looked like the answer. For the other three quarters, he looked like a harder-throwing version of Rex Grossman. After watching the Bears snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last night, I'm sure many of you are already wringing your hands about the Bears' season.


Even though Cutler made some piss-poor decisions (most of which involve completely ignoring Greg Olsen on plays where he was wide open to try and force the ball to Bennett), it's not like he single-handedly cost us the game. In fact, his 3rd quarter performance was what kept us IN the game if anything. Cutler looked sharp going 6/7 in the quarter netting us a TD and FG positioning while eating the clock.

When things worked, they worked remarkably well. The Bears D, for example, got throught a tough Packers line to keep pressure on Rodgers (even after injuries to Urlacher and crew), and managed to snuff out Greg Jennings and Donald Driver for the majority of the for the one play that mattered (yes, I know). Earl Bennett looked like he could really step up as the possession guy on this team, and Hester looked like he really HAS made strides as a receiver. Hell, even Knox contributed big on throws Orton never would have made.

Aside from the mysterious punt-fake-run and Jennings' TD, the real glaring issues were:

Lack of commitment to the run, let alone Forte:
If we don't run the ball, expect to see more nights like last night. Forte was used only when Cutler's arm got tired, or to set up a better FG kick on 3rd down. In the passing game, he was nonexistant. This is a guy who is capable of catching over 50 balls a year - give him the rock.

Bennett is not the only receiver on the team:
As much as my fantasy team approves, there are more receiving options on the field than Bennett. Cutler played "Bizarro Orton" last night, refusing to throw the ball UNDER 10 yards. As a result, Forte and Olsen were largely ignored. If the Pack got wise to Bennett (he was thrown to in quadruple coverage at one point), you have to figure the Steelers will make us pay.

At least he's not Jake Delhomme:
You know what? For a 1st-start against a tough defense, I'm not running from my TV set screaming. Yet.

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