Grading the Bears at the bye

Bears vs. Colts
Fresh from their bye week, the Chicago Bears get back to work this week in preparation for Sunday’s home date with the Minnesota Vikings.

Before looking ahead to the resumption of Bears football, let’s see how the team graded out over the first six games (2-4).

Offense: Quarterback Jay Cutler appears to be comfortable in offensive coordinator Adam Gases’ attack, using his mobility to make plays and spread the ball around. Cutler still looks deep, but is more willing to settle for the throws that move the sticks. Even more impressive is his ability to connect with an ever-changing receiving corps that has missed its best weapon in Alshon Jeffery and first-round draft pick Kevin White.

Running back Matt Forte doesn’t break the long runs, but remains the offense’s most consistent threat with his dual threat skills. Forte’s niche has never been running inside, and the Bears have struggled again in that category through the season’s first six contests. Part of the issue is Forte, but mostly it’s the fault of a disheveled offensive line that has mixed and matched due to injuries.

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Missed opportunities haunt Bears in OT loss

tn_Athletes_on_fieldAn inability to capitalize in the red zone and defensive breakdowns cost the Chicago Bears in a deflating 37-34 loss to the previously winless Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at Ford Field. The Bears drop to 2-4 on the year heading into their bye week.

In a see-saw game with plenty of twists, mistakes, and officiating reviews, Detroit’s Matt Prater kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:29 left in overtime to hand the Bears a bitter defeat.

Chicago squandered a late seven point lead in regulation at 31-24, in part due to the conservative nature of the play calling. With 2:46 left in the fourth quarter and leading 31-27, the Bears ran Matt Forte three straight times into the teeth of the Lions defense. The take-no-chances philosophy continued into overtime as Bears head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase kept with the ground game, despite QB Jay Cutler turning in another strong performance (26-of-41 for 356 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.).

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Bears stun Chiefs with late rally

JayCutler 2
For the second straight week, Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler led the Bears on a game-winning scoring drive, connecting with Matt Forte on a 7-yard scoring pass with 18 seconds left to push the Bears past Kansas City 18-17 on a warm autumn day at Arrowhead. The Bears move to 2-3 while the disappointing Chiefs fall to 1-4.

On the decisive play, Cutler shook off a bobbled snap and had enough presence to spot Forte matched up with a defender in the endzone. As he was hit, Cutler lofted a pass that Forte caught over the shoulder to cap a frenetic fourth quarter.

The Chiefs last gasp came on a 66-yard field goal attempt by kicker Cairo Santos, who made 7 field goals in KC’s loss to Cincinnati last week, that sailed wide right.

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