Question marks: 10 issues for reeling Bears after Lions loss

SHARE Question marks: 10 issues for reeling Bears after Lions loss
SHARE Question marks: 10 issues for reeling Bears after Lions loss

Marc Trestman was blunt.

“We didn’t do enough,” he said Thursday after the Bears’ 34-17 loss to the Lions. “It starts with me. I’m looking inside and accepting accountability for this loss, obviously.”

To put it mildly, the 5-7 Bears have question marks as they prepare for Thursday’s home game against the Cowboys:

1. Now what?

“Just keep playing,” running back Matt Forte said. “Can’t go out there and just because we lost these games and we’re now at seven losses. … so we can’t go out there and lay down. We have to try to get better. Improvement for the future, the future of this team.”

2. No, really — now what?

Don’t expect to an overhaul, but the Bears know they’d be well served to use the last month of the season to evaluate some of their younger players, particularly on defense.

3. Is Jay Cutler turning into a dink-and-dunk quarterback?

Despite completing a career-best 66.5 percent of his throws, Cutler is averaging only 6.9 yards per attempt this year. It’s the second-lowest mark of his career; in 2009, his first year in Chicago, Cutler averaged 6.6 — and threw 26 interceptions.

Cutler averaged 7.4 yards per attempt last season.

Thursday, he averaged 5.8; the week before, against the Buccaneers, it was 4.8. Cutler has posted figures under 5.6 against the Dolphins and 49ers this season, too.

4. Did the Bears crown their greatest kicker ever Thursday?

Maybe. Robbie Gould’s 35-yard field goal in the third quarter was his 243rd career made kick, tying Kevin Butler for the franchise record. Gould has made 85.6 percent of his kicks, though, while Butler hit 73.2 percent.

5. When do we start calling Alshon Jeffery the Bears’ No. 1 receiver?

Thursday? After two touchdown receptions, Jeffery has five in the past five games. With 67 catches for 854 yards, Jeffery has nine more receptions than mentor Brandon Marshall — but also 194 more receiving yards.

“He’s a heck of receiver,” Cutler said of Jeffery. “Just what he’s able to do — how many different places we use him, throw a lot of screens to him. Throw the ball down the field to him. We ask him to block in some unique situations. He does a lot for this football team.”

6. How rare were Roberto Garza’s penalties?

The center was flagged for holding twice in the second quarter Thursday, killing two drives. They were the only two penalties called on Garza all season that weren’t declined; he had a hold and illegal use of hands in Week 1 that the Bills waved off.

7. Eight runs? Really?

The Bears’ franchise low in carries Thursday featured plays that were checked from runs to passes because of the Lions’ defensive set.

“We had a couple that got kicked out,” Cutler said.

8. Can the Bears finish 8-8?

It seems unlikely, but the Bears’ next two opponents aren’t hot stuff, either. The Cowboys fell to the Eagles, 33-10, on Thursday, while the Saints have lost three in a row.

“Once you get into the game, your record is out the window,” Bears safety Ryan Mundy said. “You can look at the Lions; they didn’t score an offensive touchdown the last two games. They lost the last two games.

“But that’s a hill of beans when it comes to this game, because this game is a new game.”

9. Is Jared Allen back?

In his last three games, Allen has three sacks; the eight games before, he had 1 ½. At that pace, Allen could avoid having the fewest-single season sacks of his career. He recorded 7 ½ in 2006.

10. Why punt?

Down 17 with about five minutes left, Trestman punted on fourth-and-13 from his own 17. Trestman said he “didn’t want to put our defense in a position” to defend a short field. He said he would have gone for it, were the distance shorter.


Twitter: @patrickfinley

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