Grading the Bears — A coaching failure from start to finish
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Jay Cutler was good until he was bad — again. Cutler was 8-for-8 for 120 yards — until the fateful pick-6 and hamstring injury he suffered trying to tackle Tony Jefferson on the play. Jimmy Clausen fared poorly in a tough spot.
Running backs: B
Matt Forte rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries but he wasn’t a factor after the Bears fell behind early in the second half. Jeremy Langford (6-21, 1-yard TD) showed promise as a complement to Forte.
The absence of Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and Cutler’s injury didn’t help. Joshua Bellamy’s 48-yard TD came on a busted play by the Cardinals. Eddie Royal (7-41) and Marquess Wilson (1-10) were non-factors.
Offensive line: C-
On day when every area did not respond well to adversity, the o-line was among the biggest culprits as protection broke down after the Cutler injury — allowing two sacks and committing six penalties.
Defensive line: C
Not a bad job without starters Jeremiah Ratliff (suspension) and Ego Ferguson (knee). The Bears kept RB Chris Johnson (20 carries, 72 yards, 0 TDs) in check. But no impact plays.
Coming close to sacking the QB was improvement for the Bears, but not good enough. Jared Allen had an INT after tipping a pass at the line. Pernell McPhee had three QB hurries. Shea McClellin nine tackles.
Defensive backs: D
Another tough day for Kyle Fuller and Alan Ball. Carson Palmer threw for just 185 yards, but pass interference penalties on Fuller (42 yards) and Ball (38 yards) added another 80. Ball did have a pass breakup.
Special teams: F
The kick-coverage unit set a negative tone for the game, allowing rookie David Johnson’s 108-yard TD on the opening KO. Jacquizz Rodgers recovered a muffed punt and Robbie Gould kicked 3 FGs, including a 51-yarder.
Not exactly the finest moment for John Fox, Vic Fangio, Adam Gase and Jeff Rodgers as the Cardinals scored on all three phases and the Bears had 170 yards in penalties, tying the franchise record set in 1944.