By Adam Hoge-
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) After Monday night’s debacle at The Stick, it will be easy for fans to point the finger at Jason Campbell and decide that he’s not a capable fill-in for Jay Cutler.
Sure, Campbell didn’t play his best Monday, but he didn’t exactly get a lot of help.
“I don’t think we gave him a fair shot,” Bears wide receiver Devin Hester said. “We just didn’t give him a fair shot to showcase his talent.”
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Campbell was bruised, battered and beat up all night long as the protection in front of him was terrible. The Bears allowed six sacks, including 5.5 to Aldon Smith. Campbell’s receivers were also rarely open, yet the quarterback still completed 14-of-22 passes for 107 yards. Granted, his two interceptions weren’t pretty, but Hester ran a bad route on the first one.
“If we give him enough time to make throws, and when he makes the throws, we come down with it, it’s a different story with him,” Brandon Marshall said about Campbell. “He needs guys around him making better plays.”
Campbell finished with a quarterback rating of 52.7, which by the way is much higher than the 28.2 rating Cutler posted in Green Bay Week 2.
Still, it appears Cutler could return Sunday against the Vikings. When asked about it after the game, head coach Lovie Smith said “it’s looking good.”
Losing The Chess Match
Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has been one of the best assistant coaches in the NFL this season, if not the best. But Monday night was not his finest showing.
On top of being completely dominated physically at the point of attack, the defense also looked unprepared for Jim Harbaugh’s offensive game plan. The Bears loaded up on the run early, daring Colin Kaepernick to beat them through the air, which he did. Marinelli didn’t adjust until it was too late and the game was out of hand.
“Hands down to the offensive coordinator,” Bears safety Major Wright said. “They ended up catching us on our toes.”
Tight End Struggles Continue
So much for the expectation that rookie fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez would get involved in the passing game this week. Rodriguez only received one target, a short out-route, which he dropped.
The NFL didn’t do the Bears any favors around the Thanksgiving holiday. They’ll have to rebound from Monday’s tough performance with a short week against a Minnesota Vikings team coming off the bye.
“We just have to get over it quick,” Brian Urlacher said. “We have a Sunday game. It is Monday so we have to get over it.”
It was a pretty clean game, but wide receiver Alshon Jeffery left early with a knee injury. Lovie Smith didn’t elaborate on the injury after the game, but the wide receiver was hardly limping afterward and the preliminary signs are positive. Monday night was Jeffery’s first action since breaking his hand in Jacksonville Oct. 7.
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