Hoge’s Grades: Poor Marks For Offense, Special Teams And Coaches
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By Adam Hoge-
GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS) — Here are my grades following the Bears’ 23-10 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field:
OFFENSE – F
It started ugly when Matt Forte missed a blitz pickup and the opening drive stalled on a sack. Mike Tice’s first half play calling, which included four first down passes on the first fours first down snaps (and resulted in two sacks) didn’t help. The 49ers ran all over the Packers in Week 1, but the Bears didn’t even try early. The failure to establish the run put Cuter in a vulnerable situation. Needless to say, he and the offensive line did not handle it well. Cutler certainly wasn’t the only one to blame as the offensive line was horrible in the first half (including an inexcusable Gabe Carimi personal foul to stall a promising drive) and Marshall dropped a catchable pass in the end zone. Forte leaving with an ankle injury just poured salt on the wounds.
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DEFENSE – B-
There’s no question the defense gave the Bears a chance to win, but key lapses contributed to the misery Thursday night. A 12-man penalty in the first half was questionable, but it shouldn’t ever be that close and it led to three points for the Packers. Later, a Major Wright holding penalty and Lance Briggs’ dropped interception gave the Packers three more points. Instead of just a 7-0 halftime deficit, the Bears were down 13-0. That said, the performance against the very good Packers’ offense was promising. Tim Jennings played great once again. The play of Brian Urlacher will continue to be debated. He’s definitely not the player he was, but the Bears might be worse off without his knowledge on the field. It was nice to see a couple sacks from rookie Shea McClellin.
SPECIAL TEAMS – D
The special teams unit often gets graded off a couple keys plays and in this game, the successful fake field goal that went for a touchdown was probably the biggest play in the game. The Bears were all in for the block and the Packers ran a great play that turned a win for the Bears (holding Green Bay to a field goal) into a devastating blow. Adam Podlesh was better and Robbie Gould was solid as always. Sherrick McManis made a great tackle on the opening kickoff.
COACHING – D
The only reason this isn’t an “F” is because defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had an OK game. The play-calling by Mike Tice in the first half was questionable and made life harder for Jay Cutler. Dave Toub rarely gets out-schemed on special teams, but Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum got him on the fake field goal. Lovie Smith didn’t really make any bad decisions, but he’s the head coach and a poor performance like this one always reflects on the man in charge, fair or not.
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.