Virtually every member of every unit contributed to the outcome. But at the 10-game mark of the season, an offensive line should not be as humiliated as tackles Gabe Carimi and J’Marcus Webb were by the San Francisco pass rush.
The problem is that there are no quick fixes, with journeyman veteran Jonathan Scott the only rostered option. The guard spot already was tweaked with Chilo Rachal replacing Chris Spencer at left guard. Rachal committed two holding penalties and was crushed in the pass rush along with the rest of the front.
The reason why the concerns are more than simple over-reaction is that while the line held the Houston Texans without a sack last week, even the Bears’ own defensive linemen were railing privately at the deplorable state of Soldier Field turf. It may not have been home-field advantage but it was an O-line advantage. Without that, the Bears’ offensive line was, as Comcast colleague and former Bear Hunter Hillenmeyer said on our “PostGame Live” show, a bunch of wet paper.
Brandon Marshall has been a linchpin of the offense this season, which was fine when the defense was carrying the offense. On Monday the 49ers cracked Marshall.
San Francisco double-teamed Marshall often and hard, and as the first half wore on, Marshall’s frustration was amply apparent. He got into physical confrontations with 49ers defensive backs after plays were over and at one point Marshall appeared to be going off on Matt Forte or another player along the sideline. Center and offensive co-captain Roberto Garza stepped in it appeared that wide receiver Earl Bennett also mediated.
Tempers flare on sidelines and on the field. But Marshall’s loss of composure started when the game was still salvageable. Worse, the 49ers basically defied the Bears to find someone else to beat them.
The Bears couldn’t.
If they can’t, the Bears will not be playing more than 16 games. Again.