After watching last Monday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers where the Bears were incapable of generating any kind of offense it would be easy to put all of the blame on Jay Cutler’s replacement Jason Campbell. While it was obvious that Campbell was severely outplayed by 49ers backup Colin Kaepernick, it was the offensive line that was to blame for the pathetic offensive output.
Never in my life have I seen a six foot seven, 330 pound man thrown around as easily as Chicago Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb was against the 49ers. When he would get speed rushed, it would look like his feet were moving in slow motion and he would barely even get a hand on the defender. When he got bull rushed, he was almost instantly shoved into Jason Campbell’s back, leaving him with almost no time to throw the ball. Watching the game Monday night, it was hard to believe that Webb was a starting left tackle in the NFL.
The same could be said for the Bears right tackle, and former first round pick, Gabe Carimi. There were multiple plays where Webb and Carimi were both so overmatched that they sandwiched Jason Campbell between their backs. If there was one bright spot for Carimi it would be that he did not have a penalty called against him, which had been a problem for him all year. Although it is difficult to get called for holding when he didn’t even get a hand on 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith (who recorded 5 ½ sacks in the game) most of the time.
As if the week for the Chicago Bears offensive line wasn’t bad enough, their starting guard Chilo Rachal left the team on Wednesday after being told he would be replaced by Chris Spencer. He has since returned to the team, but he is done for the season as he has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. Rachal was not the only big man to lose his job after the disaster in San Francisco, Gabe Carimi has also been told that he will not start this Sunday against the Vikings.
It is a good sign that offensive coordinator Mike Tice recognizes that a change needed to be made in order to keep Campbell and Cutler healthy, and the offensive line play can not get any worse than it was against the 49ers but it is scary for Bears fans to imagine the backups to Carimi and Rachal taking on a Vikings defensive line that features one of the best pass rushers in the league in Jared Allen.