Week 14 Bears Grades
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Holding the Dallas Cowboys under 30 points regardless of weather is something of an accomplishment the way the Chicago defense has played overall, particularly against the run. Indeed, Bears linemen were beaten too often in run blocking, failing to hold the point and letting DeMarco Murray get to second levels throughout the first half.
Fourth-quarter yardage after the game was decided served to inflate Dallas’ stats, with 94 rushing yards in that quarter when the Bears were up by multiple scores and playing the pass. But the Cowboys had nearly 100 rushing yards in the first half and the Chicago defense benefited from the offense covering over its difficulties with a continuous flow of points.
“It’s something we’ve struggled with and still need to get better with,” said defensive end Corey Wootton. “I think we did a better job getting off the field but they still converted 50 percent of their third downs so we still need to get better.”
Pressure on Tony Romo was spotty at best, with the Bears finishing with two sacks and just two hits, and only one tackle for loss by a Bears lineman.
Julius Peppers came inside and knocked center Travis Frederick over backwards with a bull rush in the second quarter that forced Romo to tuck the ball and take a sack by linebacker James Anderson in the second quarter. Tackle Landon Cohen executed a perfect spin move to beat Dallas guard Ronald Leary, forcing Romo into Jeremiah Ratliff who took Romo down for the Bears’ other sack.
“That felt good, to be honest,” said Ratliff, whose snaps count went from 23 last week in his first game to 42 against his former team. “I looked at some things last week that I needed to improve on, like pad level and using my hands. This week was definitely better.”
Moon's Grade: C