Bears O-Line Downtrend
It wasn’t a good day for the men up front. The only time the Bears could keep Jay Cutler upright was when they were sending one man into a route and max protecting. The Panthers were 20th in the NFL in total yards allowed, but you would never have guessed it through three and a half quarters. It wasn’t just J’Marcus Webb. The entire line was beaten badly much of the afternoon.
Gabe Carimi has not gone the way of Chris Williams yet, but his play so far is concerning. If it weren’t for the town’s venom stored up for Webb, the former Badger would be in the spot light for his poor play through seven games.
If it weren’t for the Panthers ineptitude, the Bears would not have escaped Sunday with a victory. And the problems all started up front. There is no BCS computers to impress in the NFL and a win is a win is a win, but it’s hard to fathom this offensive line holding up against the likes of the Texans and the 49ers in a few weeks.
Tim Jennings was ridiculous again this week as he flipped the Bears fortunes single handedly. His two interceptions gave him the league lead with six on the season. The second was just another in the long line of returns for touchdowns by Bear defenders, who have now scored six times this season. The NFL Record is nine.
Jennings is well on his way to the Pro Bowl and he will undoubted be joined by Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Henry Melton and probably Julius Peppers.
- Briggs has two returns for touchdowns and is generally considered the best weak-side linebacker in the league.
- Melton is tied for third among defensive tackles with 4.5 sacks.
- Tillman also has two interceptions returned for touchdowns and the Peanut Punch is in full effect with three forced fumbles.
- Peppers has 5.5 sacks and is probably the most respected defensive end among the players in the NFC.
Time to Sell
Remember at this point last year when some of us were actually uttering the words Devin Hester and Hall of Fame? This may have been bad scenario to buy into. Not only is Hester not returning touchdowns, he has yet to even threaten in the return game. Ron Rivera may not have noticed with his asinine squib kicking strategy, but to anyone watching, he has looked lost in the return game.
It got to the point where the Bears decided they needed to sub in Earl Bennett and Eric Weems for the man who was once untouchable. He has entered the realm of being kind of a return man and kind of a wide out and the results have been a disaster.
When Alshon Jeffery gets back, it may be time to relegate Hester to the fourth receiver and get him back to the mindset of being a return man. The special teams phase has been nonexistent for the Bears this season and it’s not like it’s been some sort of trade off to what he brings to the table in the passing game.
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