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The Baltimore Sun

Cutler stays up, but Bears' offense a downer

On his first chance in the exhibition season, Roy Williams dropped a third-and-10 pass that would’ve picked up 16. While he gets into football shape, can he also get into catching shape?

No, wait, I think one of the guys with a reputation for drops might actually be in his catching shape.

The Bears opened their first two series with runs, so at least there was the threat of a balanced offense. But each series ended with incompletes on third down passes to Williams, so there wasn’t much threat of an offense, after all.

But hey, at least Jay Cutler didn’t die in the Meadowlands.

Devin Hester caught a bomb and Matt Forte took a screen pass for 42 yards to get the Bears into the red zone on their third possession. But then, pfffft. Cutler twice targeted Hester. One time he stepped on Williams’ foot, the other he dropped at the goal line. Marion Barber, anyone?

No, wait, Barber couldn’t get in from a yard-and-a-half against the Giants’ backups in the third quarter. So. OK. Ideas, people?

The first-string offense’s just getting into the red zone counts as progress. That doesn’t make it good, not when it finishes with three big plays, three drops and no third-down conversions.

But hey, only one sack, so at least the offensive line showed improvement in giving Cutler time to throw to hamhanded pass-catchers.

Most importantly, Cutler didn’t die.

By the way, this game had nothing to do with redemption from last season’s 10 sacks and Cutler’s concussion. Nothing. That one counted toward the playoffs. This one counted toward winning jobs.

That’s how Kellen Davis shows his gratitude?

Can the Bears go back to kicking from the 30?

The Bears’ starting defense tackled well to open the game, but seemed to get worse. In one stretch, it gave up three straight third-down conversions after a fourth-down conversion.

The Choice (and remember, death is not an option): Brian Iwuh being decleated or Major Wright whiffing on Brandon Jacobs’ 18-yard TD run?

Is Jacobs done carrying Chris Harris?

But at least Iwuh earlier had broken up a pass near the goal line on third-and-6.

The Bears’ sixth possession with the first string started with 3:09 to go in the first half. A chance to run a two-minute drill. Barber picked up a first down, but Hester tried to give it back by running backwards on a wide-receiver screen. Forget it.

That’s zero touchdowns by the first-string offense in the first two exhibition games. So, it’s not just the Bears’ defense in Bourbonnais. It’s everybody’s defense everywhere.

The first offensive line started the second half with Caleb Hanie and Barber in the backfield, and immediately converted a third-down. So that’s what it looks like.

Before the game, ESPN revisited Jay Cutler’s knee injury in the NFC Championship Game. Keyshawn Johnson sounded as dumb on Monday night as Maurice Jones-Drew and Deion Sanders did that day. Does anybody at the World Wide Leader know that a knee sprain is a ligament tear?

Also pregame, Mike Ditka said the Bears’ “offensive line is horrendous and they don’t have a good receiving corps.’’ Ditka called out Mike Martz for Cutler’s ridiculous number of sacks. Sounded like Ditka was one expletive away from grabbing the clipboard.

Somebody ought to grab a clipboard, anyway. This was a bad showing against a good team.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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