Upon Further Review: Bears Week 4

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
12:30
PM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Chicago Bears40-32 loss to the Detroit Lions:

[+] EnlargeReggie Bush
Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SportsReggie Bush ran (and jumped) over the Bears in the first half Sunday, but Chicago's defense clamped down on him after that.
Run defense: The Bears allowed Reggie Bush to gain 112 yards in the first half, then held him to 27 yards in the second half. With Henry Melton out, the Bears played Stephen Paea at the 3-technique spot and moved Nate Collins to nose tackle. The Bears might want to consider trying Collins at the 3-technique and Paea at nose.

After the game, Paea wore a walking boot due to minor turf toe on his left foot, and maybe that injury diminished Paea’s effectiveness.

“I’ve played some 3 [technique] before, but it’s just a matter of time, repetitions and practice,” Paea said.

Jay Cutler: This could come off as odd, but despite Cutler’s horrid performance (65.6 passer rating with three interceptions, plus a fumble returned for a touchdown), this game might have shown growth on the quarterback’s part.

Detroit scored 17 points off turnovers, and Cutler appeared to be the culprit on every giveaway but one (his first interception). How the quarterback handled himself in the heat of battle and afterward gives reason for optimism. Despite the mistakes, Cutler held up well and nearly brought the Bears back. After the game, Cutler showed accountability for his contribution to the loss and told it how it was, which signals he’ll take the appropriate steps to correct the issues.

“I have to give us a better chance to win. I mean, three picks. It’s hard to come back from that,” Cutler said. “[I] have to play better.”

Third-down conversions: The Bears converted just one of 13 third downs, and no matter how well the defense plays, it’s difficult to overcome that deficiency. It’s not all on Cutler. In the second quarter, Jordan Mills was whistled for a false start on third-and-10. Two series later, Cutler was in a third-and-21 situation after a 9-yard sack on second down. In the third quarter, a 27-yard gain on third down was negated by a Kyle Long penalty. Then, on the next series, Cutler was sacked and fumbled for Nick Fairley’s 4-yard touchdown.

“The big thing was third down,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “We did horribly today [on third down], and that starts with me.”

Too much pressure: Cutler was sacked three times and spent most of the day under duress. This team has invested too much into protecting Cutler for this to continue.

"Either we didn't execute on the play or we didn't give Jay enough time to throw the ball," running back Matt Forte said. "Give credit to them for giving a great rush, but we didn't do our part."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider

NFC NORTH SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 9/4
Sunday, 9/7
Monday, 9/8