Kevin Schroeder’s Bears Player Performance Grades vs Panthers

Kevin Schroeder’s Bears Player Performance Grades vs Panthers

They say the best offense is a good defense. It certainly was for the Bears Sunday, as they scored fourteen points on defense. Since they played offense on defense, they felt comfortable playing defense on offense. Some fans found the offense’s defensiveness offensive and are clamoring for a coaching change. In a turn of events from a couple weeks ago though, it appears some fences have been mended with Fox, as some fans get defensive when the idea of a coaching change is brought up, as they find it offensive to discuss such a move when the team is playing so well defensively. As for me, I’m on the fence.

Player Performance Grades

The grading scale goes from -3 to +3 for each play. Penalties are counted in whatever phase they were committed. “Short” throws are 10 yards or less, “Medium” is 10-20, “Deep” is over 20. Everything else (scrambles, throwaways, etc.) is under “Miscellaneous.”

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So what happened?

The defense had another excellent outing, with Eddie Jackson scoring on a fumble recovery and an interception. Danny Trevathan would get a pick of his own late in the game. The Panthers moved the ball a few times, but the defense did a great job of keeping them off the scoreboard. Panthers drive chart:

Start Spot Plays Yards Time Result
15:00 1Q CAR 25 9 47 6:01 Fumble
8:59 1Q CAR 25 3 -6 1:13 Punt
6:08 1Q CAR 21 3 -6 2:20 Punt
14:55 2Q CAR 42 6 25 2:27 INT
12:28 2Q CAR 26 16 56 9:10 FG
1:10 2Q CAR 17 5 63 1:10 End of half
13:38 3Q CAR 24 11 52 6:50 Downs
4:58 3Q CAR 20 8 42 6:37 Punt
11:17 4Q CAR 24 3 8 1:35 Punt
7:26 4Q CAR 36 3 0 0:19 INT
4:29 4Q CAR 11 3 -2 0:53 Punt

Akiem Hicks ended up of the wrong side of a handful of blocks, but was a disruptive pass rusher. A facemask penalty kept his score from being really special. Eddie Goldman had another strong outing. Leonard Floyd and Pernell McPhee made life difficult for the Panthers’ offensive tackles. Trevathan was excellent no matter how Vic Fangio deployed him. Prince Amukamara had a few biffs that led to a lousy score, but as a whole, the coverage was very good. Cam Newton often didn’t have any place to go with the ball.

I swear I must be the only person not upset about the offense. I mean, you can’t play every game like this, but if you’re up two touchdowns and the defense is playing so well that your opponent doesn’t look like a serious threat to even get one, “don’t do anything stupid” is an acceptable strategy. Yes, low usage of Trubisky is a valid concern, but when he was called upon, he was generally good. He had two passes dropped by Tarik Cohen and a completion was called back on an illegal formation penalty. Counting the pass that was called back, Cohen was targeted four times, Zach Miller three times, and Tanner Gentry once. That says something about something. If the offense is still farting around next year with a quality receiver group (or if the receiver group sucks again), then go ahead and yell about this. As for Trubisky, he only had a few bad plays, but didn’t get enough chances to make up for them to end up with a quality grade. The pass for Miller that he sailed can’t be thrown and he can’t take the sack that pushed the field goal attempt to 52 yards. Otherwise, this was another step forward. Small, but forward. The deep ball to Cohen was a touchdown if thrown a yard farther,and he said as much after the game. However, he’s throwing to a 5’6 RB and that 5’6 RB had plenty of space, so just making sure he catches the ball is fine.

Jordan Howard averaged just over 3 YPC, but given how many times he had to make something out of nothing, I’m pleased with his performance. Josh Sitton and both tackles had strong days – this was Bobby Massie’s best performance as a Bear. Dion Sims made more good plays than bad ones, but the bad ones were really bad. Adam Shaheen’s role was expanded in this game and I imagine it’s going to continue to do so.

#FireFox (not the Mozilla product) status

He looked competent. Maybe it’s the beard. My only real complaint about Fox this week is that he should’ve challenged the ruling on Howard’s run on 1st and goal. I didn’t see an angle on the TV replays that would definitely prove he got in, but with two-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, and all three timeouts, and goal-to-go, why not take the chance? What are you saving the timeout for? We saw how conservatively they were playing on offense – I highly doubt the plan was to score, force a three-and-out and try to put together drive before halftime with a minute to minute-and-a-half and no timeouts.

Anyway, a win Sunday means this section goes on hiatus. With the way the schedule looked before the season, getting to the bye at 4-4 would be an achievement in and of itself, and the back half of the schedule features games against the 49ers, Browns, and Bengals, who have a combined to wins, and a home game against the Packers, who are riding with Brett Hundley. Win Sunday and we start talking about the p-word.

Staley Nickels

My award system can give up to three nickels per player. Keep in mind that I might not award the optimum amount of Staley Nickels to the highest-graded players since different grades mean different things to different players.

Offense

3: Josh Sitton

2: Jordan Howard, Bobby Massie, Charles Leno

1: Adam Shaheen

Defense

3: Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, Kyle Fuller, Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Danny Trevathan, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman

2: Sam Acho, Jonathan Bullard

1: Mitch Unrein

Staley Nickels Count

Would love to hear your thoughts… hit me up on Twitter @KSchroeder_312

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Kevin Schroeder

Kevin Schroeder

Football guy, be it NFL or college, even the CFL. If you take football out of his life, he's not going to function well. Kevin also writes about Michigan football and Blackhawks hockey at goodifitgoes.com. Find him on Twitter @KSchroeder_312.



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