It isn’t a surprise that the Bears offensive line is struggling.
With only modest changes, and first-round pick Gabe Carimi sidelined since the first half of the game in New Orleans, the Bears offensive line has been dogged once again.
But the dismal play of the Bears defense has been a surprise.
A unit that finished 9th last season and expected to challenge to be the league’s best posted another forgettable game.
“Defensively, we stink. We can’t stop the run, we can’t stop the pass,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said.
He then described the 88-yard touchdown run by Jahvid Best.
“The quarterback took a snap, he handed it to the guy, and he ran 88 yards without being touched,” Urlacher said. “That’s what I saw. I don’t know why it happened, but that’s what I saw.”
Undisciplined. Not physical enough. Those were among the concerns in the Bears locker room.
“We’re not disciplined,” outside linebacker Lance Briggs said. “We’re not disciplined.”
Asked what’s most disappointing, he said, “Big plays.
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman put things in perspective.
“Until we get this figured out, it’s going to be a long season,” he said.
It already has been, right?
The Bears are 2-3, and the defense has been a huge part of the problem.
Tillman said he could have jammed receiver Calvin Johnson on his 73-yard touchdown catch, in which he beat both safeties in the middle of the field.
“Right now, we just really need to get back to the fundamentals of football. I feel our scheme is not difficult, but we seem to keep messing up,” Tillman said. “We’re doing the same thing we did last year. Same defense, same players.”
Tillman then insisted that the players — not coaches — are to blame.
“I respect coach [Lovie] Smith and coach [Rod] Marinelli, because they’ll be men and blame themselves,” Tillman said. “But it really falls on the players. They’re doing everything in their power. We, as players, can definitely man up and make the plays.”
The Lions finished with 395 offensive yards. But Best had 163 rushing yards on just 12 carries. Subtract his 88-yarder, and he still averaged 6.8 yards on his other 11 carries.
Meanwhile, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked just once and pressured on three other instances. Not surprisingly, he completed 19 of 26 passes for 219 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, for a rating of 107.7.
“Defensively, just can’t give up big plays like that. Best is a good player, but we’re not set up to give up easy runs or passes that way — (we’ve) got to keep the ball in front of us and you know, to be able to have a base run go for a touchdown–it’s kind of hard to swallow,” Smith said.