Moon's Bears Grades
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Marc Trestman was confronted with an immediate coaching test when the Rams turned a couple of Bears mistakes on offense and defense into 14 points before the Bears had run even their second play. He and the staff managed to stay with the game plan for the most part, but that was one of the few positives in a game that saw the Bears undisciplined before and after the whistle, with dire consequences.
And for the second straight game the Bears fell behind by double-digits within a matter of minutes, this time without a thunderstorm to stop the game and allow them to regroup.
“Our guys were ready to play today,” Trestman insisted. “I think they were ready, and I think that showed up over the course of the game.”
What showed up, however, were not a lot of exhibits to support Trestman’s contention.
Special teams were called for three holding penalties, including one by Craig Steltz to nullify a touchdown punt return by Devin Hester.
That was matched with a holding penalty on Jermon Bushrod that nullified a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
As happened in the two failed two-point conversions vs. the Detroit Lions, the play calling seemed more intent on tricking the Rams rather than exploit clear personnel advantages. With a fourth-and-goal at the St. Louis 1-yard line in the third quarter, Trestman called for a Michael Bush run that went at right end Robert Quinn, rather than use the 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-6 receivers he has plus all-around back Matt Forte.
Putting the ball in the hands of no better than the fifth-best player on offense at that point simply was difficult to understand. Given the team’s recent struggles in the red zone, this one was particularly puzzling.
Penalties spoke to a breakdown of discipline in all areas, including one for too many men in the huddle in the third down. That was followed shortly by a delay of game that made a third-and-10 even longer. And the Bears held on that play, so a conversion would have been negated anyway.
“We knew (the Rams) would be ready for us after two weeks (with last Sunday off),” Trestman said. It was the Bears, however, who were not ready, whether to score inside the red zone (as they worked on with emphasis last week), to stop a generally average St. Louis offense or to give their offense and defense help on special teams.
Moon's Grade: F