So I'll say first of all, we should expect more games like this. The Bears are a complete team and we are obviously incomplete. I think this is about what we should have expected in terms of how we look versus decent live competition. Also, we should note that the offensive and defensive line for the Bears are just way way better than ours. No question. They are thinking about how deep a playoff run they are going to make and we are thinking about how we can develop an identity and keep our team whole this year. Here we go..
Luck - not as good as he was in preseason but i'm very encouraged. He used his feet very well. Kept his eyes down field and responded well to pressure. I didn't think he took a single sack or pressure he didn't have to. In other positives, after his bad plays on the sidelines he was walking around amping the team up and taking responsibility which I think speaks volumes to the kind of leader he is and will become. I also really liked the way he would step into the pocket through the heart of the pressure and complete some nice passes. Must have done that like 4 or 5 times and only whiffed on one to Avery late in the game. However, I'll say it again, he needs to keep his right foot down and drive on the deep ball. His first pick (which clearly should have been negated by a neutral zone infraction on the defense) was simply because he didn't put enough on the ball. Had a great spiral and Avery had the guy beat. Granted the ball when 60 yards in the air but 60 is no good when you need 65. His second pick was just a great play by Jennings. He gets beat by Wayne but gambles and gets paid off huge by jumping the route. Now, Luck could have still saved this by adjusting the throw high and outside instead of trying to throw a fast ball hard between the beaten (sorta) corner and the safety. Growing pains. The last pick was in my opinion the worst because it's what he should be good at. He had a clean pocket and just threw the ball way too much to the sideline when Adams was sitting in the Cover 2 seam. The placement was just off and thats why it got picked. Decent zip, nice spiral just poorly placed. Overall, I'm encouraged. This was a road game against an SB caliber D and he didn't totally sh*t the bed. In a few years, these mistakes wont happen.
Brown - Really had an up and down day. Ran not too terribly later in game. Not really his fault considering the offensive line was made of tissue paper most of the game. The two drops are inexcusable as a vet. Keep your eye on the ball. Period. He did have a few nice blitz pick ups. I can only imagine the talking to he's going to get. You can't hang your rookie QB out like that in key situations. That busted 3rd down was a huge shift in momentum.
Wayne - one of the few bright spots. Great one handed catches. Got open easily. Gave his QB somebody to trust. However, Luck occasionally tries to force passes to him which may not be the best. Reggie was just all in all great. I'm glad we didn't ask him to do too much blocking at the line. His roll in this offense is now more clear.
Avery - great game. Apart from dropping one pass on a HUGE hit by former colt CB Hayden he did well. Was open a lot and caught the balls he should have caught. Again, another bright spot.
Brazill - fumbled kick return....can't happen. Just kills a team that is barely keeping it together. Only one real catch. Very pedestrian to bad day.
Fleener - bright spot here. Got open and caught the ball for the most part. Showed that he can beat linebackers easily. He was also getting TOTALLY mugged coming off the line. Swear they would have shanked him if the officials were looking. He had a hard time getting immediate separation but I think he'll get better with time. Had one drop but I can forgive that for being a reasonable and reliable target for Luck who needed some comfort.
Oline - Terrible. Nothing else to say really. Seth Olsen should be cut right now. He'll get Luck killed this year. He can't pass block worth a damn. He has no lateral movement skills at all. DT's and DE were ripping him to the side all game. There was instant pressure up the left side all day. He was OK in run blocking. Had a few good seals to the left but nothing amazing. He need to just be in to push forward because his agility is terrible. He also can't be asked to pull because he just isn't good enough to find the tackler and seal him. He NEEDS TO GO! Costanzo was okay but had at least 2 suspect plays where he was beaten but Luck worked his way out of it. Satele was up and down again. Right side of the line was okay until Justice was hurt. Start scouting 2013 FA linemen and college linement because we are in need this is a must fix issue. And now.
Defense at the jump
Redding - played really well. Hope his injury is minor. Apart from Mathis was the only person to get consistent push up the field. Very violent with his hands and hard to block.. Without him we are going to have a hard time sustaining a pass rush.
NT's - Chapman needs to show up bad. The NT's basically do nothing. They get shoved off the line at will and get no penetration at all.
Mathis - bright spot. Found a way to cause trouble and was a force to be dealt with all game. He clearly has made the adjustment well. Also had some great pursuit of runs from behind.
Hughes - though his stats wont show it, he did have some impact on this game. He was consistently getting pressure from his side though he had no sacks. Again, very good in run support often getting to the runner from the back side. I think against lesser OT's he gets there at least once.
Freeman - I'm starting to believe. Great pick. Played well in general.
Davis - looked bad frankly. I like his aggressive style of play though. I like that he makes contact and stays active in coverage. He got torched by Jerffery though which just shouldn't happen. If he can't shut down a rookie 2nd string WR we are in big trouble.
Powers - I think did a good job. Had an terrible assignment with Marshall all day but was present and active. If we'd actually generated a pass rush he may have looked even better.
Overall, the run D was much better once we had the OLB's set an edge. I'm hopeful that we can continue to hold the edges.
Coaching - love that the team stayed aggressive at the end of the half and put together probably our best drive of the day sans the shanked kick. Secondly, when we were down and in 4th and Long they went for it because if nothing else the EXPERIENCE for this young team is more than worth it alone. Also, they adjust the run game to draws at optimal moments. A lot of this is on the players for not executing.
I must say that after the first 4 series I had hope we could win this game but that quickly faded. We are incomplete from top to bottom. Luck must learn from these mistakes and move on. The team needs to make sure we do all we can to sure up the fundamentals because right now our youth is a great assest and liability. The Oline needs help and needs it soon. I am somewhat happy that we are a team in huge flux and can even for moments appear competitive with a SB caliber team. Now we need to see how we grow from this and hopefully be more competitive in a much more winable game next week.