The Chicago Bears were looking to bounce back from their dismal performance in Week 2, when they welcomed the St. Louis Rams to Solder Field on September 23. While I was not overly impressed with how the Bears played in this game; they did just enough to pull out a 23-6 win. Here is how I graded the team both offensively and defensively.
Offense - C:
From an offensive standpoint, The Bears have been a mixed bag so far in 2012 and this game was no different. The offensive line played noticeably better against the Rams, surrendering only two sacks compared to the seven they gave up to the Green Bay Packers a week ago. Jay Cutler was average, completing 17 of his 31 passing attempts for 183 yards, with one interception and no touchdowns.
With Matt Forte sitting out due to an ankle injury, Michael Bush was given a chance to prove he could be an every-down back in this offense. In the first half, he rushed for 49 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, but the Rams' defense did a good job of limiting him in the second half as he finished the game with 55 yards on 18 carries. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery led the team with five receptions apiece, but totaled only 116 yards between them.
Defense - B+:
The Bears' defense was definitely the difference in this game. The unit recorded six sacks, forced two turnovers, including an interception that was returned for a touchdown, giving the Bears a 20-6 lead in the fourth quarter. Rams' quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 310 yards in their 31-28 win over the Washington Redskins in Week 2, but our defense limited him to just 152 yards. The run defense was also solid in holding the Rams to 59 yards on 17 carries.
The good news is the Bears came away with a victory despite the fact the offense struggled for the second straight game. However, the outcome will be a different one if we don't have a balanced attack on the road next week against the Dallas Cowboys.
James Tillman III is a resident of the Chicago-land area, who has followed the Bears for more than twenty seasons. James is also a Featured Sports Contributor for Yahoo! Network and a Sports Journalist for Sports Rantz Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @jtillman9693
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