Hanie was better than Collins, but he threw only 2 passes that I saw, so that's not saying too much. I just can't give a grade.
after throwing 4 picks. If we played a solid opponent, this could have been much worse.
Forte was a Beast in the First Quarter, but then was some what forgotten about after that. It was nice to see Taylor get a few more touches. I think seeing us able to run the ball today has to put confidence in both players and the O-Line and could lead to bigger games for both.
This is a hard grade, as the QB's were no where to be found.
They simply have been spectacular all season. And today was just as good a showing. They really are flying all over the field and forcing turnovers. Brian Urlacher has truly been a beast each and everygame as well as Lance Briggs, and Peppers has been playing very well. I love the way the D is playing. As long as we stay healthy, this D could again lead us to the promise land.
Hester with a 50yd return on a punt, and then I think they only kicked to him 1 more time. Manning, ran kicks back very well, and Robbie Gould hit his career long field goal, a 53 yarder.
The offensive line is a audit due to bouncing back vs a weaker team if they can maintain and improve towards the bye week I'd give them a B-
I give Rod an A, something I really didn't think would happen a quarter way through.
Arguing on the internet is like winning the special olympics, even if you win your still messed up.
Mike Martz isn't afraid to run the ball after all. A week after a game plan that seemingly put the Mad in "Mad Mike," the Bears got serious about running the ball when they were forced to play without Jay Cutler.
Turns out they can do so with efficiency even when the opponent knows it's coming.
The real positive is the Bears were able to mix in big plays -- touchdown runs of 68 and 18 yards by Matt Forte -- as they totaled 218 yards rushing on 42 carries.
No passing grade
The running game sure bailed them out because veteran Todd Collins was wretched. He threw four interceptions and completed only six passes against a defense that was loading up to stop the run. Collins had a full week of preparation but looked lost and eventually was removed late in the third quarter. The Bears are going to need to reassess how they're stacking their passers behind Cutler while hoping the starter is back this week to face the Seahawks.
Bringing it home
Just another game? Hardly. Julius Peppers' return to his home state was much more than that, and he made sure of it when he beat right tackle Geoff Schwartz to deflect a Jimmy Clausen pass high into the air. From his knees, he dove and intercepted the ball. He also had four tackles and a quarterback hit and chased Clausen wild on a handful of occasions.
New sack master
Five days after Mark Anderson was cut, Israel Idonije turned in the finest effort of his career, at least from a pass-rushing perspective. He was credited with a career-high three sacks, although one might eventually be awarded to Brian Urlacher. Idonije was credited with seven tackles, tied for the team high, and a forced fumble. Idonije now has a team-high four sacks (Peppers is next with two), and he entered the season with eight for his career.
Passing offense, F: Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie combined for 29 yards passing — yes, that’s right, 29 yards. Collins was picked off four times and finished with a 6.2 passer rating. Even an erratic Jay Cutler wouldn’t have seemed so bad for one afternoon.
Rushing offense, A: Matt Forte and the Bears rushing attack finally broke out. Forte had the longest run of his career (68-yard touchdown run) and had a career-high 166 yards, not to mention his first two rushing TDs of the season. Chicago gained 218 yards on the ground.
Passing defense, A: The Bears had five sacks, three interceptions and held Carolina to 62 passing yards. Israel Idonije had the best game of his Bears career with seven tackles and three sacks, and Julius Peppers had a happy homecoming with one of the most athletic plays of the season, batting Jimmy Clausen’s pass into the air and making a diving interception from his knees.
Rushing defense, A-: DeAngelo Williams had a 23-yard run, but gained just 28 yards on his other 11 carries. Jonathan Stewart had a 24-yard run, but produced just six yards on his other seven rushes.
Special teams, A: The Bears got big plays from both Daniel Manning (62-yard kickoff return) and Devin Hester (50-yard punt return), and Robbie Gould went 3-for-3 on field goals, including a season-best 53-yarder.
Coaching, B+: Lovie Smith and Mike Martz focused on the running game early, and stuck with it, a brilliant game plan with career backup Todd Collins behind center. This would have been an A as well except this game raised the question: “Where was that running game in the first four weeks?”
Overall, A-: Every other category that the Bears did very well in overshadowed the putrid passing attack. A dominant win like this one is just what the Bears needed.
— Jay Taft, Rockford Register Star
. This meant a ton to Julius Peppers: The normally laid-back Peppers tried to downplay his return to Carolina leading up to the game, but the five-time Pro Bowl defensive end showed his true feelings by celebrating after a first-quarter interception. Peppers put his finger up to his lips to silence the crowd, a gesture he repeated later in the game following a pressure on Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen. A grinning Peppers said the move "spoke for itself" when questioned about it in a postgame press conference. The only time a dead Charlotte crowd made any noise was to boo after Peppers' name was announced after a tackle. Peppers got the last laugh, in more ways than one.
2. Israel Idonije responded: The Bears desperately needed another defensive end to step up in the wake of Mark Anderson being released, and Idonije delivered. Not only did Idonije tie for the team lead with seven tackles according to NFL statistics handed out in the press box, but the defensive end also registered a career-high three sacks. It was curious for the Bears to sit Charles Grant -- why sign a guy and not play him? -- but Idonije more than made up for it. If the Bears can consistently get pressure from the other end spot, Peppers becomes that much more dangerous.
3. The Bears can still win with defense and special teams: Lovie Smith called it "old school Bears ball." With the starting quarterback on the bench, the Bears turned back the clock to 2005, leaning on their defense and special teams to finish off the Panthers. After an early wake-up call, the Bears' defense shut down Carolina's anemic attack and limited the Panthers to only 147 net yards. Big returns by Danieal Manning and Devin Hester also gave the Bears great field position. This style of play probably won't work anymore against good teams, but for one day, they jumped into the time machine.
4. Caleb Hanie should be the No. 2: Todd Collins has the experience, but Hanie has the talent. Mike Martz predictably and incorrectly opted to start the experienced Collins over Hanie -- after all, Martz was the guy who pushed so hard for a veteran backup -- but the Bears were able to overcome the poor decision basically because Carolina is awful. At this point, it would be a little surprising if Jay Cutler sat out next week against the Seahawks, but if he does, there is no question Hanie gives the Bears the best chance to win. Hanie has stepped in twice this year and made plays. Collins turned the ball over four times. What else is there to debate?
5. Good things happen when Forte and Taylor touch the ball: It's unclear why Matt Forte and Chester Taylor saw their roles in the offense diminish after Week 1, but after combining for 218 yards on the ground, there is absolutely no reason why the duo's workload should ease up once Cutler returns. Forte and Taylor are two of the best players on the offensive side of the ball, and they both need touches. Every week. It was encouraging to see a little improvement from the offensive line with the insertion of J'Marcus Webb and Edwin Williams in the starting lineup. Hopefully, that unit can start to build some continuity after Chris Williams officially comes back, and the run game can become a consistent theme of the offense, not just a one-time freak occurrence because Cutler was out.
Hard to find too many compliments to hand out in a 17-3 loss.
His protection was virtually non-existent but Jay Cutler clearly had no sense of what was swirling around him, holding the ball too often when the rush was coming. Todd Collins was thrown into the fire and completed 4-of-11 passes before he was knocked out of the game. Caleb Hanie completed 3-of-4 and took the record-setting 10th sack.
RUNNING BACK C-
Matt Forte and Chester Taylor netted 59 yards on 16 carries (3.7 avg.) in a game where their lack of involvement was puzzling at times. Forte caught two passes but the backs were never a factor.
TE Greg Olsen caught a team-high five passes and Earl Bennett added four but the problems in protection made it impossible to establish anything with any of the receivers. TE Brandon Manumaleuna was beaten to the inside by DE Osi Umenyiora for a sack and by DE Justin Tuck for a second sack in the first half.
OFFENSIVE LINE F-
Jay Cutler was sacked nine times in the first half and the offense failed to establish anything up front against a suspect Giants front without its leading pass rusher. NY sacked Cutler on each of the first two series as Roberto Garza and Olin Kreutz did not stop Chris Canty up the middle. Frank Omiyale was beaten by Osi Umenyiora for two sacks and two forced fumbles in the first half.
DEFENSIVE LINE B-
The front stood up reasonably well throughout but eventually had its breakdowns late. Julius Peppers sacked Eli Manning in the second quarter, forcing a fumble. Israel Idonije had a first-half sack of Manning. Peppers added a pass deflection and tackle for loss plus two QB hits.
Brian Urlacher recovered a fumble following the Peppers sack. Pisa Tinoisamoa had six solo tackles to help contain the New York run game and Lance Briggs had three solos.
Tackling by DBs was poor in the first quarter, by Danieal Manning and Charles Tillman to allow runs for first downs. Zackary Bowman was beaten on a deep throw to set up a TD as he and Tim Jennings alternated at one corner spot. Chris Harris recovered a fumble and added six tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS D
Robbie Gould converted from 40 yards for the Bears’ only points as the Bears got virtually nothing in the return game. Devin Hester averaged three yards on two punt returns and Danieal Manning was held to a 17-yard average on three kickoff returns.
If Mike Martz deserves kudos for adjusting at Dallas, he has to explain the seemingly slow-developing plays against a frothing NY pass rush and failing to use the run game and more throws to backs to blunt the rush. The defense was effective for most of the game. Special teams delivered little against a supposed weakness of the Giants’.