How would I rate the Chicago Bears in their game against the Oakland Raiders? Through the week, the Bears’ coaching staff, including Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz and Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli, said there was improvement in the Bears’ work. The areas they pointed to were the offensive line quarterback protection and the defensive line rush. The Bears lost 32-17.
Larry Mayer has posted an article at the Bears’ website titled “Mistakes cost Bears in preseason loss to Raiders.” The first-string unit played the first half. The Chicago Bears did have some good moments, but they remained in a struggling mode.
The main area of concern remains protection of the quarterback. During the loss to the Raiders, the offensive line of the Bears gave up five first-half sacks. Furthermore, the defense gave up a touchdown on the first possession by the Raiders. This was after starting with a couple of good defensive stops.
One of the moves that the Bears have made is to sign veteran quarterback Todd Collins. As Mayer reports, Collins is well-traveled, having played for the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. He has a lot of experience as the number-two quarterback, hopefully protecting the Bears from the scenario where both Cutler and Hanie are injured, or even giving the Bears a stronger backup quarterback while Hanie learns the ropes.
While this is a positive factor, an area that is not positive is injuries. Some of the injuries are Major Wright, Caleb Hanie, Craig Steltz, Patrick Mannelly, Earl Bennett and now Brian Urlacher. Again these are not all of the injuries, and you can see already there are key positions involved. The absence of long-snapper Mannelly cost the Bears a number of points against Oakland.
The second half belonged to the Raiders.
The Bears have a very tough schedule. They no doubt have some talent on offense. However, the defense is not that solid, and I see the same frailties in the secondary mainly because the defensive line doesn’t get that much pressure on the opposing quarterback. If you add the inability of the offensive line to protect the quarterback, you have a problem. The Bears as a team seem to be injury-prone.
Of course things can change. However, I don’t see a lot of hope for the Bears this year.