It wasn’t always pretty and Jay Cutler didn’t always have a comfy pocket to throw from, but the offensive line passed the test against a great front four in New York last night.
Cutler had to use his mobility a few times, but he was sacked a grand total of zero times last night. Against this defense even without Jason Pierre-Paul, that has to be considered a success. J’Marcus Webb has probably earned the starting left tackle gig even if Lovie Smith doesn’t formally announce it just yet. Chris Spencer looks like he will be playing alongside him at left guard. Pass blocking wasn’t the issue in the game three 20-17 win over the Giants.
The issue was creating room for the running game. The ground game never got going, averaging 2.4 yards a carry while the
starters were out there. Matt Forte had a 24 yard run followed by an 11 yard scamper on back to back plays in the third quarter, but had just four yards on his other eight carries.
The two long runs were against the Giants second unit. Tom Coughlin chose to rest his starters after the intermission.
It was a sloppy night for the first teams all around. Cutler looked off for much of the first half, letting a few throws sail over the heads of intended targets. A few times he was on target his receivers let him down with drops. Rookie Alshon Jeffery had a drop at the goaline in traffic and Earl Bennett dropped a would be touchdown in the end zone. Jeffery’s was erased when Cutler hooked up with Brandon Marshall on a beautiful 21 yard touchdown pass.
That would be all the scoring for the first unit in the first half. Eli Manning led a couple of touchdown drives in the 2nd quarter to put the Giants up 17-7 at half. One came after a Special Teams miscue which was very unbear like all night.
It was the Bears second unit that would win this game as they outplayed the Giants backups. Jason Campbell looked good, throwing for 101 yards and a touchdown. He was also kept off the canvas by the o-line.
The offensive line did their job against a tough pass rush, but couldn’t generate anything for their running backs in what is dubbed as the preseason dress rehearsal. The Bears didn’t build off the strong showing against the Redskins, but their is still two weeks left to get in sync before the opener versus the Colts. The lack of a running game and overall sloppy play last night was disappointing, but is just a preseason game.
Odds and Ends
- Lovie Smith had nothing for praise for his undrafted rookie punter Ryan Quigley who was filling in for the injured Adam Podlesh. Quigley had seven punts for an average of 43 yards. (Yes it is a bad night when punting is one of the few bright spots)
- Craig Steltz showed he is more than capable of filling in if Chris Conte isn’t ready by the opener. The Bears didn’t get beat by many deep balls last night and Steltz looked good as he has all camp.
- Expect a slew of roster cuts over the next couple of days. All NFL teams need to trim the 90 man roster down to 75 by Monday. The 53 man roster will be set on August 31st.
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