After the sound beating the Chicago Bears took from the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football in Week 2, they needed a rebound on national TV to get themselves back in positive light.
Not only did they do that, but they made themselves look real good in a 34-18 tromping of the Dallas Cowboys, completely silencing their critics. Here are the teams' grades for the Monday night performance.
Rushing Offense: B
Although Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined for just 81 yards on the ground, they did enough to make the Bears not be one dimensional and made play-action passing effective for Jay Cutler. They combined 4.1 yards per carry forcing Dallas to respect the run. Overall, the team ran the ball 28 times (Cutler ran three of them) while Cutler dropped back 29 times. The balance in play calling made Chicago's offense look great.
Passing Offense: A+
We will throw the offensive line in this category because this is where they shined on Monday night. The O-line, which was under a lot of pressure after poor protection the last two weeks, showed up to play and kept Cutler off the turf for most of the game. They allowed just two sacks (one to DeMarcus Ware that was also a fumbled turnover) and the tight ends did their job chipping on the ends. This all allowed Cutler to relax in the pocket and fire strike after strike (18-of-24) to his receivers. Cutler finished with 275 yards and two touchdowns, one of which went to Brandon Marshall who finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving and a score.
Rushing Defense: A
The Bears' defense completely shut down Dallas' running game, making the team one dimensional. DeMarco Murray averaged just 2.2 yards per carry and the team as a whole ran for just 41 yards, 24 of which came on two long runs. This allowed the pass rush to pressure Tony Romo who made his fair share of mistakes.
Passing Defense: B+
We know what your thinking. B+? Hear us out.
The five interceptions were spectacular. Two of them being returned for touchdowns were even better. But the pass defense still allowed almost 400 yards through the air. We know, that isn't too important as Chicago's defense is known to bend and not break, but not matter how many turnovers are forced, you can't give up that much through the air and be given an A.
That said, Dallas (most notably Dez Bryant) really helped out by running wrong routes, dropping passes and being penalized.
Special Teams: A
Special teams gets an A because they didn't do anything wrong. Robbie Gould didn't miss a kick and Adam Podlesh pinned Dallas inside their own 20-yard-line on two of his three punts. Devin Hester (who caught a receiving touchdown, by the way) averaged 25 yards per kickoff return as well. Special teams didn't hurt the Bears, hence the good grade. Take notes Detroit.
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