Overall I think my writing so far has been at about C+ level.
No one has come forward with praise and no one has been critical. I appear to have overshot my initial analysis of the Bears, due to my Kool-aid being spiked with rum. But I was smart enough to delay this Grades article, until after the Packers game. I had a feeling that the Bears would let me down.
My overall senses as a pathetic, hopeful, but ultimately disappointed, Bears fan remain as sharp as ever. A-
My view of the Bears has been pretty shaky due to their multiple problems, several of which were easily foreseen. Such as eventually replacing Glennon at quarterback with fan favorite, rookie Mitchell Trubisky. I still hold the belief that the Bears would have a better record at this point if they had kept starting Glennon, and bring in the rookie in 2nd half’s of games when Glennon is struggling. But in order to get the media off his back, head coach John Fox pulled the trigger quickly and may have sabotaged the season and his own career. My view of offensive coorinator Dowell Loggains being in over his head has been spot on. I believe he should be demoted, in favor of quarterbacks coach Dave Rogone, if the Bears lose to Detroit, and look bad doing it.
Glennon’s performance C+, my evaluation of him C-, the fans evaluation D-
Loggains performance D, my evaluation of him A-, Trubisky incomplete
The offensive line C-, not as good as a year ago, losing backup guard Eric Kush tremendously hurt depth. Kyle Long can no longer be counted on, his body is a mess. Ryan Pace has failed in this area, not providing enough depth.
Running backs B+, Jordan Howard is a great player, who needs a little improvement in pass blocking and receiving. Tarik Cohen, who I dismissed as too small for the NFL, is awesome. I was completely wrong. He is pound for pound probably the strongest player on the team. The Bears must get him the ball more, but offensive lineman problems with agility (Long’s destroyed ankle), are probably affecting the Bears use of screen passes. I can think of no other excuse not to use Cohen and Howard with screens more often.
Maybe these offensive line injury problems are affecting the plays being called by Loggains, but there is no excuse for Cohen being on the field for only 13 plays against the Packers. And, for the love of god, stop with the bunch formations, and spread out the opposing defense’s by having the wide receivers line up outside the hashmarks to the edges of the field. This will open up the run by keeping cornerbacks and safety’s away from the line, and the ball. Defenses’ will not be able to disguise who is rushing the quarterback and confusing the line and Trubisky! Loggains D
My preseason prognostication of the Bears defense has held up. I called for them to be top 10, maybe even top 5. my evaluation A
That had been the case until last Sunday’s Packer’s game, which I would grade out as their first D of the year. Defense overall B
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has brought in a 3-4 defense for the first time in Bears history and turned the defense around in three years. He has done these types of turn around’s in Indianapois, Stanford with Jim Harbaugh, and San Francisco, also with Harbaugh. The most aggravating thing during Fangio’s watch though, is losses EVERY time the Bears have been favored in the last three years. Not to mention the quarterbacks they have faced in those losses; Brett Hundley, Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum and Carson Wentz in his second start ever! That, my friends is a pattern. I have lamented at times that Fangio doesn’t blitz enough, and there is your proof. He has allowed other teams inexperienced and terrible quarterbacks, to shred the Bears at the worst possible times in the last three years. He has been lobbying for a shot at being a head coach and his contract is up. Better finish stronger than the Bears played against the Packers. I would actually pin the Bears loss to the Packers on the defense, and Vic, if you can’t put up a fight against them you got no shot at Fox’s job. Fangio B-
While I’m assigning blame for the Packers loss, let’s start with cornerback Kyle Fuller, who until Sunday, was having a pretty good year. Missed tackle’s, bad coverage and tackling angles against the Packers single-handedly cost the Bears that game. Packers receivers beat him play, after play, after play. Kyle Fuller’s grade pre-Green Bay B post C-
Rest of the secondary B, let’s not forget Marcus Cooper’s stupid run back antic’s after what should have been a touchdown and got him demoted. May need to replace Fuller with Cooper soon.
Bears linebackers have been the unit most affected by injuries and attrition outside of the offensive line. Jerrell Freeman, the leading tackler a year ago, has been suspended all season for p.e.d.’s. Christian Jones had a monster game against Carolina and has been average since. Danny Trevaithan was also awesome against Carolina and is now injured for several weeks. Nick Kwiatkowski, who was hurt, and is back now, is an average backup. Linebackers have probably had the best effort all year long though. Leonard Floyd, outside linebacker and former 1st round pick, is growing, but not fast enough. There are some games, like against the Packers, where he is just lost. They usually line him up next to Akiem Hicks the Bears best lineman. I would like to see them separate the two to see if that is more effective in terms of pass rush possibilities. He could rush the passer from the blind side, like Lawrence Taylor used to, for the Giants. B, without injuries A-
The Bears defensive line of Eddie Goldman, Mitch Unrein and Akiem Hicks has been mostly healthy and played against the run very well all year. Eddie Goldman is the anchor of the line and is having his best season in terms of health. He is on the fringe of being a Pro Bowl tackle, Hicks, on the other hand, is already there. He has been dominant against the run, and leads the Bears in sacks, he is going to the Pro Bowl for sure. Unrein is a pure run stopper and provides no pressure, he is solidly average and brings down the grade to an A-
Special teams have not been special, very average. There haven’t been any real standout’s on these units. The punter, Patrick O’Donnell, is average and hasn’t had any memorable screwups’s, unlike kicker Conner Barth. It seems every few weeks the Bears bring in a kicker to see if somebody better is on the street. Last week it was Cairo Santos, who used to kick for the Chief’s, until an injury. The Bears special teams units used to make a difference, when Dave Toub, was the Bears special teams coach. He ought to receive serious consideration for the Bears head coaching job, should the Bears decide to fire John Fox at season’s end. Special Teams C-